The last eight or nine months have been taxing for me, to say the least. I lost my cat Angel, after having her in my life for almost 17 years. I had my first “your parents are going to die one day” wake up call with my mom’s heart attack last month. I decided to cut off a friend that I became close with really quickly, after discovering that he really wasn’t such a “friend” after all. And, on the less dramatic side of things, I’ve been fighting a nasty cold that turned into a sinus infection and post-nasal drip and, to top it off, my skin has been acting crazy. It seemed almost like FATE when I got an email with Dr. Murad’s tips on how to figure out what’s REALLY stressing you out, and how to manage stress. Um, hello, it’s like he could sense my level of anxiety lately.
According to Dr. Murad, “healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness” so essentially, when the body is at optimal health, the skin will follow suit. Makes sense! Here are Dr. Murad’s tips to manage stress:
1- Get Connected: Get involved in community, events, exercise groups, book clubs, networking groups, etc.
2- Disconnect: There’s an odd duality to being attached to machines that allow us to connect with others around the world in an instant. In a nutshell, put down your phones! Take time at least twice a week to not check your phone or email. It’s a healthy mental break.
3- Start Your Day Off Right: Deficiencies in B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium stress out your body and trigger and increase levels of cortisol, not to mention food cravings. Many people skip breakfast and can easily find themselves lacking these critical nutrients and, in turn, rely on caffeine to stay alert and productive throughout the day.
4- Eat “Brain Food”: About 2/3 of our brains are composed of fat so, in essence, we need fat to think and maintain healthy brain function, as well as normal growth and development. The omega-3 fats in salmon, as well as other cold-water fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and olives have numerous proven health benefits.
5- Exercise: Exercising regularly nourishes the skin with oxygen, while sweating flushes out toxins. It will also improve digestion and increase one’s metabolism and endocrine function so that the entire body is functioning at an optimal level.