3 Steps to Ditch the Stress (And Zits)
FRÉ Ambassador Emily Schickli is a Sustainable Self-Care Coach, helping empower women to cut through the overwhelm and finally make self-care a reality, so they can live their most balanced lives. She has given us some tips on how to stop those stress-related breakouts in their tracks, beat the holiday stress, and feel a lot more like YOU.
If you’re like me, you’ve been using FRÉ Skincare to help kick those post-workout breakouts (I mean...super effective, vegan, smells amazing, empowers women, AND gives back to local communities?? Yes, please).
But, let me ask you a question...what have you been doing to tackle what’s causing those pesky pimples?
I’m talking about STRESS.
(Maybe you’re like, what about workouts?)
Hear me out: yes, workouts make you sweat, which gets trapped in your pores and leads to breakouts. But...have you ever noticed that “happy” sweat doesn’t stink as much as stress sweat?
It’s because stress sweat releases more nutrients to the skin’s surface––the kind that bacteria love––and more bacteria equals more stank and more big ‘ole zits.
With our to-do lists getting longer every minute, notifications constantly popping up, and new emails hitting our inboxes on top of us wanting to spend time with our loved ones, it’s no wonder that women are more stressed out than ever before. To top it off, we often place ourselves last on our to-do lists.
The result? We’re stressed out AND we don’t have time to do anything about it. That’s pretty much a recipe for burnout and breakouts. Here’s some good news––we do actually have time for self-care.
So you don’t go thinking I’m painting a dreamscape that doesn’t exist, let me share a bit of my story.
2 years ago, I was working 14-hour days at a high-pressure tech company, had daily chronic pain from my IBS and migraines, was 15 lbs overweight, had almost no energy, and didn’t know how to advocate for myself.
You could say I had hit my health rock-bottom. The worst part was that I felt like I had no time to do anything about it, and I felt like a failure. Even though I was taking steps forward, like working out and seeing specialists about my symptoms, nothing was working. It was partly because I didn’t believe in myself.
It was also because I was going about self-care all wrong.
After about a year and a half of struggling, I finally figured it out.
Now I’m a Sustainable Self-Care Coach, registered yoga teacher, meditation instructor, and Reiki Master. I juggle a full-time day job with my passion (my business, Mind Body Dharma) as well as spending time with friends, family, and my amazing partner.
Because I’m all about helping women finally make self-care a reality rather than just another thing on their to-do lists, I want to share 3 steps that you can take right now to help avoid burnout and start feeling more like YOU.
Step 1: Come back to the breath!
When we're in a state of stress, our body is in fight or flight mode.
Unfortunately for us, our biology can't tell the difference between being chased by a lion and that growing pile of laundry calling your name.
To combat this, take a few deep belly breaths. Inhale, filling your belly like a balloon, hold, take in one more sip of air, and then exhale out your mouth. By breathing this way, your body's natural relaxation response or parasympathetic nervous system will kick in and soothe you.
Step 2: Narrow your focusIt can be easy to write down ALL THE THINGS we want to do and then feel frustrated at the end of the day when we only do 3 of them. Try making your master to-do list separate from your "today" to-do list.
Pick 3-5 essential things and only stick to those. You'll feel more accomplished when you check them off.
Step 3: Put self-care on your shortlist
We tend to get stuck in a stress cycle when we let our self-care slide.
As in––we get stressed, so we prioritize the more “urgent” things on our list and then forget to keep up with self-care. Since we’re then not taking time to recover and reset, we end up MORE stressed, and the cycle continues.
(See what I mean?)
So instead of putting self-care off, see if you can make it a habit. That’s the true key to avoiding overwhelm and burnout.
Because we tend to make decisions based on emotion rather than logic, the more we can leverage the power of habit, the more successful we’ll be. And the way to make self-care a habit is to create a sustainable, attainable, and adaptable self-care routine that addresses your mind, body, and spirit.
As I like to say, plan for future You so that when future You is stressed out, past You has already set you up for success.
Since all of that is easier understood than put into practice, I’m giving FRÉ readers my #1 tool, Daily Focus Cards: The Easiest Way to Prioritize Self-Care. Click here to get them! These Daily Focus cards are seriously life changers and really are the easiest way to make self-care adaptable, sustainable, and check-off-able.
To get her clients results, Emily combines her expertise as a registered yoga teacher, Reiki Master, and intuitive with 7 years of teaching experience, 5 years of working in tech, and a Masters in English and Curriculum design from U Chicago.
Emily Schickli retains all rights to the content of this post but has given permission to FRÉ Skincare to publish it on their blog and promote it.