Stress is one of those tricky things where if you warn someone of the consequences of stress, it’s probably just going to make things worse. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, we’re going to skip the doom and gloom of what happens to your skin when you are under a lot of stress (it’s bad) and skip right to some tips on how to curb stress before it starts.


Maybe jolly old Saint Nick is keeping tabs on your sleep habits because he knows just how important a good night’s sleep is for your health (and your skin). According to the American Psychological Association, 45% of adults who don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep a night are more likely to feel irritable or angry over little things. Make sure to prioritize sleep in preparation for the holidays so you don’t end up acting like a Scrooge!


While that high kick you threw at the old lady who was getting away with the last flat screen on Black Friday was an impressive feat of athleticism, you can’t rest on your laurels this holiday season. Getting the right amount of exercise is exactly what you need to keep your mind and body sharp so you can deal with holiday stressors as they come.

Exercise “produce(s) endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve(s) the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress,” according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. So you feel better and you sleep better when you exercise. That’s two turtle doves with one stone.


Your sense of smell is directly linked to your limbic system which controls the parts of your brain that handle associative learning through the hippocampus as well as emotion via the amygdala. This means that in order for certain smells to have an effect on your mood you would first have to have an experience with which to associate them.

So if peppermint and gingerbread reminds you of holiday stress, ditch the trite holiday mainstays and try a scent that appeals to you!


Let’s not lie to ourselves. We’re all going to eat way more sweets and fats that we typically would and that’s not the end of the world. The problem is if we start to let these little concessions run rampant the whole month of December.

Figure out when the meals are that you are going to eat whatever you’d like and do your best to avoid sweets and fatty foods in between them. Excessively indulging in these types of foods can not only damage your skin, but it will also drain your energy and cause you to feel more stressed and burdened.


When you’re dealing with a stressful holiday situation that’s about to boil over, having cracked, itchy skin or chapped lips will make it that much more difficult to stay composed.

Maintaining a certain level of moisture is a constant battle during these winter months so do yourself a favor and moisturize regularly. It will not only give you some time to yourself to take a deep breath and clear your head, it will also save you the stress of having dry skin down the line.

@LIRA Clinical