Let’s get real: sometimes, “the most wonderful time of the year” can feel more like a months-long stress-fest. Between our busy schedules, the seemingly-endless gift shopping, and the pressure to look our best at every gathering, it’s no wonder we often experience a bit of holiday anxiety.
The impact of stress on our skin is well-documented — but what can we do about it? Read on for our top self-care tips that will help put the sparkle back into your holiday season.
#1 Stick to your routine — mostly
You’re probably familiar with the fact that maintaining consistency in your day-to-day life can help you navigate those times when fate throws you a curveball. We’ve talked about this a lot with skincare: keeping up that cleanse, treat, moisturize routine not only supports a healthy complexion, it can be a calming ritual at the end of a hectic day.
But here’s the thing: it is possible to become a little too entrenched in the “necessity” of checking all those daily boxes. This is where prioritizing comes into play: figuring out which tasks are crucial, and which ones can be put off (perhaps even indefinitely) will free up some precious time for self-care, socializing — whatever floats your holiday boat.
#2 Plan ahead
This one builds onto that practice of prioritizing: we’re a big fan of lists — and we’re not talking naughty or nice. Whether it’s gift ideas, party planning, or even figuring out what to do with kids back at home, jotting down notes and prioritizing them can have a calming effect in itself.
Waiting until the “last minute” to tackle holiday tasks is inherently stressful (read: pimple-promoting), so dividing up projects in advance and setting up a timetable (even for something as simple as attending your annual office party) can contribute to your overall sense of well-being.
#3 Practice mindfulness
Meditation and breathing are powerful tools that can be used anywhere — and don’t cost a thing. From simple techniques like square breathing (inhale 4 counts, hold 4 counts, exhale 4 counts, hold 4 counts) to more lengthy guided meditations (look for ad-free videos on YouTube) there are myriad options to lower your stress levels.
Reducing the stress hormone cortisol helps with everything from maintaining a positive outlook during adversity to achieving a better night’s sleep — even getting that coveted glowing skin.
#4 Stock up on the good stuff
This tip comes straight from Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, herself:
When the holidays come around, my dermatology practice is always extremely busy, because everyone wants to get their skin looking great for parties and pictures. It leaves me little time to shop, so years ago I took a cue from some of my celebrity friends who keep a stash of great gifts on hand. So I’ve always got something ready to bring to a party, or for that friend who seems to have everything.
Of course, my go-to gifts this year are my SLMD Skincare Love & Lights sets*: there’s one for face, with my favorite Salicylic Acid Cleanser and Facial Moisturizer, and one for body, that’s got my best-selling Glycolic Acid Body Scrub and Body Lotion, too. I give these to everybody, because they work for all skin types — and who doesn’t want to keep their skin looking great during the holidays?