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Read our tips on how to relax whilst caring for your skin

Here’s How to Relax

Written by – Emma Gunavardhana (Independent Beauty Journalist)

When we’re tired or run down the physical effects are obvious. You can start to feel sluggish, overwhelmed, foggy-headed, heavy and any physical effort completely takes it out of you. The signs of being run down are visible too - most noticeably in our skin. You may see that you’re having to use a little more concealer under your eyes than usual or that your daily skincare regime isn’t quenching your skin in the way it normally does. You might also notice that your makeup doesn’t seem to look the same on your skin or that your foundation seems too dark for you. It’s likely because your complexion has become drawn, slightly sallow and your circulation has slowed down because of all the stress and fatigue in your system.

If your skin feels as though it looks different, needs more makeup or your skincare isn’t satisfying it then it could be a sign that you’re not getting enough time to rest and rejuvenate. This isn’t just about getting a good night’s sleep either, although the body’s natural restorative process happens when we’re sleeping, it’s about finding those all important pockets of ‘me time’. We may all dream about a weekend away at a spa, but it could be as simple as taking five minutes here and there to slow down.

Here are our top tips for getting the best rest possible…

MEDITATE

Meditating might sound like a big effort and when you try it the first time you might feel as though you’re not all that good at it, but it’s worth persevering. Meditation is something you can teach yourself or you may prefer to learn it in classes, As little as five minutes a day can be all it takes…

Here's a basic meditation technique:

    • Sit quietly and comfortably
    • Close your eyes
    • Take a few moments to settle into your body. Gently observe your posture, and notice the sensations where your body touches the chair and your feet meet the ground
    • Relax the muscles of your feet and work your way up your body relaxing as you go
    • Focus your attention on your breathing. Don’t make any effort to change it, just observe the rising and falling sensation that it creates in your body
    • Then breathe in deeply and let your breath out. Count your breaths, and say the number of the breath as you let it out: one as you inhale, two as you exhale, three on the next inhalation, and so on, up to 10. Then start again. This gives you something to do with your mind, helping you to avoid distraction
    • Do this for 10 or 20 minutes. You might find you have to work up to 10 minutes, so start by aiming for just a couple of minutes
    • After the timer sounds, spend 20-30 seconds just sitting. You might find yourself inundated with thoughts and plans, or feel calm and focused. Whatever happens is completely fine
    • When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes again

    JOURNAL

    The art of journaling has become a huge trend, not least because it’s been proven to have a myriad benefits for the mind, body and soul. If you’re run down because you’re juggling a few too many things and feel overwhelmed keeping a daily journal can help release some of that stored up stress. Thankfully, you don’t have to be particularly good at writing to benefit from journalling. Not only that, but you don’t even have to worry about things like grammar or spelling – none of those fussy details matter at all. When it comes to journalling, there’s nothing to master but your own ability to be self-aware.

    Why not try some of these top tips to start your first journal https://www.buzzfeed.com/jasminnahar/insanely-useful-bullet-journal-tips?utm_term=.nmgP7MrZ8O#.hf6XVOvAPZ

    SLEEP

    A good night’s sleep is often the first thing to go when you’re under any kind of stress, but skin relies on the restorative power of those restful hours which is why a poor night’s sleep can leave you looking less than your best. Your bedroom should be a haven for sleep– not chatting on the phone, watching TV, or catching up on the household bills. Sleep experts say your bedroom should be reserved purely for rest and relaxation, preferably with dim lighting and soft furnishings. So try creating a bedroom sanctuary for good sleep, and good skin!

    EXERCISE

    There’s been a trend in the last few years to get as much out of your exercise session in as little time possible. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Tabata are examples of maximum effort in less than 10 minutes that produce the same calorie burn as an hour of steady exercise. As well as burning lots of calories they also cause the body to release the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol, which can put the body into a greater state of stress over time. So while they might be great for an intense sweat session, they could make it harder for your body to unwind. You might feel a post-cardio high after an intense session when you’re run down your body might prefer a gentler type of exercise over a longer period. A long walk, a gentle jog or a barre class. Steady exercise reduces levels of adrenalin and cortisol, but also stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood enhancers, which can promote feelings of relaxation. Take some gentle exercise and see your skin come back to life.