8 TOP TIPS
Do you ever find yourself so submerged with something, then you look at the clock and hours have gone by? Find something you enjoy doing and allow yourself some time to have fun! There’s plenty of things to keep you occupied - a funny film or tv show, writing/drawing, puzzles, online quizzes, or even virtual games you can play online with friends!
While they're a lot less chatty, if you have a pet, spend some time with them too! Animals can bring us so much joy with the little things they do and can be a great company when you're feeling low.
“The way to someone's heart is through their stomach!” - A tasty treat is always a great way to put a smile on someone's face. There are plenty of free recipes online, so why not have a go at trying one yourself? Baking can be a really therapeutic way of keeping busy for a few hours and as a bonus, you'll have an afternoon treat to go with a cup of tea!
If you're in need of some inspiration, take a look at these yummy looking recipes!
Offering an act of kindness to others is always a nice thing to do. It can make somebody’s day and you’ll feel great seeing their reaction, knowing you’ve done lovely something for them. Ideas could be offering some help to somebody who is struggling, treating a loved one to a home-cooked meal or even showing a smile to a stranger.
Having something positive to listen to is always a good way to lift the mood. Put together a playlist of all your favorite songs to put on or find something interesting to listen to. There are plenty of podcasts online where people talk about all kinds of different topics.
For an all-round feel-good podcast, The Mental Makeover Podcast has lots of episodes on how to live a happier lifestyle, including topics such as the law of attraction, boosting your mood and improving your self-confidence. Definitely worth a listen!
Although we all know the importance of staying inside at the moment, we can still get our dose of vitamin D! Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain's release of a hormone called serotonin, known as the happy hormone. Even going for a short walk or standing outside for 5-10 minutes can help. Just don't forget your SPF!
Taking some time out to practice self-care is so important for good mental health. Run a bath, pop a face mask on, grab some of your favourite body products and treat yourself to a few hours to yourself to relax and unwind. An early night now and again helps too - a rested mind makes anyone feel better!
If you really want to treat yourself, take a look at ARK Skincare's new Uplifting Care package! The perfect gift to treat yourself or a friend to.
- Vitality Hand & Body Wash
- Nourishing Body Lotion
- Hydrating Beauty Mist
- ARK Washbag
You can find more of our other care packages and gifts here.
When we are stressed Cortisol is released by the body. We have discussed Cortisol before as it can have very negative effects on skin causing skin sensitivities, break outs, and irritations. Cortisol is released as part of our fight or flight defence mechanism. It is not all bad as in small doses it prepares us for action. However, large or prolonged doses can have a number of negative effects on our health. Unfortunately, as we age, the amount of Cortisol we release increases, and it takes longer for this potentially damaging hormone to return to normal levels, meaning we are exposed to it for longer, and negative side effects may be seen.
The first step to managing stress, and reducing cortisol, is to acknowledge it. We can not adopt coping mechanisms unless we acknowledge what is adversely affecting us. There are a number of signs which can help us identify if we are chronically stressed. Poor memory, lack of concentration, only seeing negatives, as well as irritability, anxiety or a change in eating patterns can all be symptoms. Take the time this month to assess situations which may be affecting you and then find ways to cope with them.
Coping mechanisms can help us overcome chronic stress. Coping can be achieved by changing the situation you find yourself in, or by changing your reaction to the situation. There are a lot of well documented ways to cope. The key is to find what is right for you.
Top tips which have helped some of the ARK Skincare team:
Laugh - studies have shown laughter can reduce the stress hormone Cortisol. Find something which makes you laugh and do it more!
Exercise - symptoms of stress can be reduced by including physical exercise in your weekly routine. Just twenty minutes a week can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing according to this study
Unplug - modern technology can seriously increase the amount of demands placed upon us. Take time to "unplug", turn off devices, and slow down.
Be mindful - take time to bring your complete attention to the present moment. There are plenty of techniques, find out more here
Massage - Studies have found that regular massage can reduce stress and improve sleep patterns. There are many different kinds. Find a therapist here
In summary it is key to remember to accept that stress is unavoidable. You can take steps to reduce your stress and learn how to cope with it, but you will never be completely rid of stress. Stress serves a purpose as a healthy response to overwhelming situations or perceived threats, and it can be dealt with in an equally healthy fashion. Remembering this is, in itself, a good coping strategy.