Skin Tip: Pencil in Some ‘Me’ Time!

me time

This time of year can be particularly stressful for everyone with all the shopping, traffic, end of the year deadlines, etc.  What can that mean for your skin?  Increased breakouts, eczema flareups, and a weak immune system that can trigger skin redness (or rosacea).

Take a few moments this weekend to squeeze in some time for yourself.  Whether it’s as simple as lighting a candle with a relaxing scent, booking a quick massage/facial or dancing, figure out what makes you happy and less stressed and put it into practice. 🙂

Wishing everyone a great and safe weekend, 

Stephanie   

When Is The Last Time You Checked-In?

massage

No, I don’t mean the status check-in, but with yourself.  When our daily life screams go, go, go, it’s good to push pause, at least for a couple of minutes.  Sitting at a computer all day, working out, the stress of everyday life, etc can take a toll on us and  even worse, it can lead to chronic inflammation.  Chronic inflammation is not good for your skin, for your overall well-being, it’s not good period.  After a weird week and a bit of lower back discomfort, I decided to book a massage, trying hard not to think twice about it.  Since  I am  the type of person who’s mind is always thinking non-stop (except when I am sleeping), forcing myself to relax is somewhat of a battle, but when I am able to let go, I feel better.  Allotting some time to check-in with myself allows me to think, Is it really worth it to stress over everything?  A tensed demeanor looks good on no one.

Here’s what I learned about massages-it does a good deal more than you might think!-and popular types.

Therapeutic Benefits of Touch/Massage

  • Decreases stress and anxiety

 

  • Reduces pain and boosts the immune system

 

  • Can increase air flow in asthmatics

 

  • Affects brain waves, breathing, circulation and heart rate

 

  • Relieves muscle tension and pain

 

Popular Massage Treatments

Swedish Massage

The Swedish massage is the most common in the U.S. and uses long, smooth strokes, kneading and circular movements that can be gentle and relaxing.

Deep Tissue

Deep tissue massages target the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue.  This type of massage benefits those who have chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or recovery from injury.

*Note: People often feel sore for one to two days after

Hot Stone 

Heated smooth stones are placed on certain points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles.  This is a good alternative to deep tissue.

Alternative Massage Techniques

While receiving a massage is very beneficial, there are also instances in which receiving a massage is not a good idea.  If you have open lesions or anything contagious, you need to wait until it’s all cleared up to receive a treatment.  Also, certain health conditions can contraindicate a treatment due to the increased circulation.  Below are a few alternative treatments that can be performed but ALWAYS check in with your physician first to ensure your safety.

Acupressure

Acupressure is an oriental technique of applying pressure to specific points of the body to release muscle tension and restore balance.

Pressure Point

Similar to acupressure, each point has a movement that is repeated 3-6 times.  Sometimes, a blend of essential oils are used.

Foot Reflexology

This technique applies pressure to the feet based on a system of zones and areas on the feet that directly correspond to the anatomy of the body.  Foot reflexology causes relaxation, increased circulation and brings balance to the entire body.

relax Your problems will be there waiting for you so why not take some time to not worry about them? 

 

 

Lights, Curtain, Dance!

 

Latinva Group

Last week I talked about the importance of making time for you, and besides skincare (of course!)  here is a glimpse into one of my “me time” indulgences-dance!

I participated in the Gym Crew Challenge at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre over the weekend, performing with the Latinva Dance Crew and it was a blast! I used to do ballet, tap and jazz when I was younger but I had forgotten how much fun and nerve wrecking it all could be. Running late to tech time, a tiny wardrobe malfunction, hair piece not staying in place, makeup touch-ups and numerous run throughs can leave you feeling exhausted before you even perform.

Then, it’s show time!

That ‘butterflies in your  stomach’ feeling when it was announced we were on deck, the adrenaline rush once the the curtain rises and the lights (and all eyes!) are on you, recalling all the steps you’ve learned- turn right, pivot left, (was it left?)- at light speed, all while remembering to smile, smile, smile.  And, oh yeah, celebrity judges like Brian Friedman, Chris Scott and Comfort Fedoke will be watching and critiquing us at the end, so no pressure whatsoever.  Despite all this running through my mind,  the performance was almost perfect.  All those hours spent practicing were put to the test, and although we didn’t win, it was great nonetheless.

I feel so lucky to have met and worked with such a wonderful group of inspirational, positive, and motivational people, including my lovely mother.  It’s funny how back then, she was the one who would help me learn my routines and now I was helping her.

This dance experience reminded me that sometimes life is like a dance routine: you have to take it one step at a time and be willing to step out of your comfort zone- it’s a way to make you grow!

Below, a video of our performance that felt a little like an episode of Dancing With The Stars and a picture of me with the makeup look I opted for.

Steph
I hope you enjoyed this post!

Priority: You!

MTFY

Schedules.

Deadlines.

Life in general.

On any given day, we probably find one more stressful situation/event to add to our already hectic, fast-paced agendas.  We tend to give all of our attention and effort to meet these demands but how much of that energy is geared towards dedicating an equal amount on ourselves?

Not much or I don’t have time is typically the answer.   The concept of “me time” boils down to a selfish act or deemed as unimportant to the average individual, and in a sense, who can disagree?  Raising a family while having to work and tend to household chores doesn’t  offer much flexibility and can leave you feeling exhausted.  Since I love helping others, I often put their needs ahead of my own, so yeah, I am guilty as charged.  However, taking time for yourself has proven to be productive rather than its counterpart.

When you slow down your mind and thoughts, your mind and body have time to relax and replenish themselves, helping you gain fresh perspectives from whatever circumstances you’re currently facing.   Squeezing in some “me time” also allows you to better serve others.  After all, how can you take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself first? Taking time to make sure you are healthy and well cared for optimizes your ability to help others.  It’s also beneficial in reducing stress because doing something you love allows you to focus on the better aspects of life.

Working out, joining a sport/club, getting a massage or facial (my personal faves) and meditating are all great options you can explore but it can even be smaller things.  Setting aside a moment to read a chapter of a new book before going to bed, drinking a cup of tea, catching up on an episode of your favorite show, writing in a journal, even spending time on your skincare routine can work wonders.  It’s all about finding what speaks to you.

Priority Quote

How do you find time to take care of yourself?