By Jacqui Lewis
High stress levels, fatigue and emotional overwhelm are in abundance these days. On the downside, these things affect our mood, skin quality, our digestion, and our bodies. On the upside, there is a lot we can do to manage stress and overwhelm and increase the vitality of our skin and body overall.
When we are ‘stressed’–a blanket term I am going to use to describe here anxious, overwhelmed, tired, cranky and irritable–we increase stress-related hormones. These have a domino effect in that they disrupt our mood, our sleep, our digestion and they attract more stress hormones. In turn, we become like little mice in a spinning wheel of stress. To exit this spinning wheel, there are some really simple, implementable tools you can use to boost your mood, sleep and digestion.
Firstly, meditation is absolutely key when it comes to shifting our minds and bodies–although not all meditation is created equal. If you’re sick of guided meditations, where you listen to someone’s voice, I would recommend mantra-based meditation. It’s where a mantra, which is a Sanskrit sound, is repeated in a particular way–not chanted–in the mind, to allow the mind to reach deeper states of consciousness, allowing the body to release deep stress and fatigue. It’s a profoundly dynamic and flexible practice too, you don’t even need quiet to practice, and it’s done 10-20 minutes twice daily. You do need the correct training though, like with anything worthwhile, doing it right is the best investment we can each make. We teach mantra-based meditation, called Integrated Meditation live online at The Broad Place, and you can also look up Transcendental and Vedic Meditation.
Secondly, power down at night. An hour before bed, ensure you put down all technology. I recommend setting an alarm as a reminder for the first few weeks. You will increase the quality of your sleep significantly if you power down an hour before bed, and this will make a huge difference in your mood, but also boost your happy hormones and improve the quality of your skin.
Thirdly, this one sounds really obvious, and as such it’s often missed–do the things that make you happy to increase your happy hormones. You know that gorgeous glowy skin that people have when they first fall in love? That is an enormous boost of happy hormones. So every day, ensure you do something you love, that’s just for you–an act of deep self-love. Watch your mood boost, your hormones balance and your skin look at its best.
Lastly, exercise. We all know it’s key, but lockdown hasn’t been the kindest to our exercise regimes. Getting back on that bike or hitting that pavement or on that yoga mat three to five times a week will ensure your endorphins rise rapidly, your skin looks amazing from the circulation boost and your mood will be improved!
Taking care of our skin, our minds, and our bodies doesn’t need to be complex, but it does require discipline and daily application. There are no quick fixes that will create long term transformation, no matter how desperate we might be for them. So take the time, invest in yourself every day, and set yourself up to glow inside and out, for life.