Holiday Stress in Our Faces

This time of year is usually stressful for me - and my face shows it. Is there anything you could recommend?

We are all humans, and as such, we are absolutely more alike than we are different.   But what our eyes and senses tend to perceive are our external differences.  The problem comes when we forget that the coworker, family member, guy in the car honking, etc. aren’t really that different from us.  And then we get mad or scared inside and go into “fight or flight” mode, only the “fight” is just inside US!

It helps me to remember that…. just like us, the guy in the next car may have just had a death in his family.  Just like us, that coworker may be dealing with financial stress.  It helps US to not sit in judgment of others, and remember that all of us have made mistakes…..lots of them.  We didn’t come into this world with a complete blueprint for life wired into our brains.

So when we feel ourselves spinning into stress, here’s what we can do:

  • First, take a few deep breaths. Relaxing the rib cage and throat with deep breaths immediately changes you.
  • Give yourself a pass and a break for being human and making mistakes.  If you’ve truly made a mistake, apologize and try to make amends.  This feels better immediately.  Beating yourself up internally doesn’t help you, the world, or the other people involved.
  • Write a quick list of things that de-stress you and bring you joy.  And then DO 2-3 of them.  Could be things like listening to music, a hot bath, a run, lifting weights at the gym, meditating, a massage, a call to a good friend, yoga…..
  • Focus on relaxing your jaw and not clenching. A gentle facial massage may help.
  • Always make a little time for yourself.  You can’t help others if you don’t care for yourself well.
  • Remember that you are never alone.  You are loved, and people will almost always be helpful if you sincerely ask for help. A crisis helpline can be a great way to start if you’re feeling really down.
  • Okay….and last but not least, a little Botox to relax that frown could be a good idea. 😉


Dr. Brandith Irwin
Founder, SkinTour
Director, Madison Skin & Laser Center
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Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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