Today’s day and age requires a little more energy than say our predecessors who’s day consisted of hunting and gathering and having children. That’s not to downplay the finesse required to skin a bear but we seem to have just a few more things on our plate now days.

A full time job that requires your love and devotion and then some. Three kids at home that play saxophone, have math tutoring, play 3 team sports and not to mention the mental anxiety of your 20 year old who wont move out, eats your pantry out of house and home and has a permanent stain outline on your couch.

Or you’re a uni student studying 4 units, working Saturday’s at McDonald’s and living off Mi Goreng.

Whoever you may be the life styles we have today demand more energy and with depleted energy and no Sauvignon Blanc on your team comes our lovely little friend ‘Stress’.

We insist on having things in a faster and easier manner and when you go to bigger cities you can really see these things in motion. The “slow life” is no longer an option and it’s often seen that if you’re not pursing a path that will ensure the end of world poverty and the restitution of climate change, you almost feel lost and purposeless and sometimes like a failure.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t ‘do our part’ where we can, I am saying we are no longer happy with slowing down. It’s completely foreign to us. I had heard something on the radio not so long ago and it was about encouraging schools to adopt techniques for praising effort, struggles, persistence, choosing difficult tasks, learning, strategies, choices and how to improve these, essentially embracing failure and what to do after it – And I thought that was really cool because maybe if our young are taught these things it would lead to less stress!

Stress carries with it sooo many side affects and I am not just talking about those bunny lines that you need anti-wrinkle for every 3 months (Saviour). I am talking about real clinical issues that we eventually seek professional help for. These conditions include; headaches, increased depression, insomnia, a weakened immune system, high blood sugar, fertility problems, low sex drive and many more.

Stress also causes a chemical response in the body that will cause your skin to be more reactive and sensitive. Take for instance the good old breakout – how many of us have woken up with a pimple the size of Mt Everest on our nose right before a big date. That’s because stress stimulates hormones like cortisol which tell your sebaceous glands to secrete more oil and god as your witness you can assure some bumpy goodness after that!Other skin conditions that stress will exacerbate are psoriasis, eczema and rosacea.

Here are some very seemingly easy and very effective things you can do to decrease the amount of stress you’re under and perhaps decrease some other conditions you may be experiencing too.

  1. Get at least 7-8 hours sleep – sometimes easier said than done but if this requires you taking short power naps during the day so be it
  2. Get some locomotion in your life – even if it is just taking the dog around the block, the blood flow is good and also stimulates your endorphins and you’ll appreciate your thighs better 🙂
  3. Take up something that you thoroughly enjoy doing that is relaxing! – that may be reading a book for 20 minutes or doing yoga. It’s important to have some reflecting time too and these are perfect opportunities to do so
  4. Say no sometimes to things that will stretch you thin – birthdays occur every 365 days or so. You can miss out on this one – Jenny will still be doing 151 shots next year for her 32nd birthday
  5. Talk to someone if you need to. Sometimes verbally saying out loud the things that are stressing you to someone will a) allow for some supportive words of encouragement from your friend and b) make you see how much of a crazy cat lady you are
  6. And six, look after your skin. Washing your face after a big day only takes 1.5 minutes and putting your active ingredients will take another 2 minutes and this entire 3.5 minutes will save your life. Really though you’ll face less break outs and the motion of actually applying your oily skin products will also relax you. Put your pajamas on and apply a mask – you’ll thank me later

Its really not hard and sometimes it means missing out on things and initially feeling like a bad person for doing so, but you’ll most definitely reap what you sew and those benefits far out way Jenny’s birthday.