5 ways we wear our stress and 5 ways to fight it

"The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming!"
Time to wear your red scarf, your favorite cashmere sweater, your fabulous boots and your stress. What? Wait! One of those things is not like the other! But, unfortunately, we wear our stress just like we wear our jackets – on the outside.
  1. Skin – Increased stress means increased cortisol, which can make your skin oily and prone to breakouts.
  2. Hair & Nails – Stress can result in hair loss. Nails can become brittle, and stressed people are more likely to bite their nails and cuticles.
  3. Posture – When you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, your shoulders can mimic the feeling.
  4. Expression – Being stressed means it is harder to smile, which naturally diminishes your looks. But, it also means you furrow your eyebrows, frown and grimace, all of which increase the fine lines on your face.
  5. Exhaustion – Tired and stressed go hand in hand. Sallow skin, puffy eyes and under eye circles all rear their ugly heads with just one restless night.
You may be able to cover a little stress with a great concealer, but high stress requires a full body makeover.
  1. Breathe – In the words of Anna Nalick, "Just Breathe." It is that simple. When you are feeling overwhelmed, find a quiet place and breathe, in and out, for a few moments.
  2. Sleep – I know, easier said than done. But, if you can get more sleep, your stress level will decrease.
  3. Exercise – I know you don't have time. Do it anyway.
  4. Drink more water – Stressed people tend to take in more caffeine. After the first wake-up cup, more caffeine will negatively affect your skin, your sleep and your energy level. Opt for water instead. Hydration will prevent headaches, moisturize your skin, help your gastrointestinal system and generally balance your mood.
  5. Eat less junk – When I'm stressed, I have a tendency to grab anything sweet or salty. It is even more important when you are experiencing a high stress time to eat more fruits and vegetables and less junk.
If stress can wreak havoc on your external, imagine what it is doing to your insides. If your reflection in the mirror is shouting, "You need to take it easy," be sure to listen. Not only will you look better, you'll feel better and have a better chance of remaining healthy, in both mind and body, through the end of 2013.
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