When you're feeling fatigued, overwhelmed, dealing with gut issues, breakouts or your skin is looking dull, splotchy, red, or inflamed, your sympathetic nervous system could be triggered creating the feeling of flight or flight and slowing down your lymphatic system.
It's important to try something different to get the body moving in a different way to calm stress (the flight or flight feeling), promote circulation and a healthier lymphatic system.
I've got 5 ways to flood your organs with oxygen rich blood, move any toxins out of our body, calm the mind. The bonus?!? Healthy glowing skin! WIN-WIN, right.
1. Breathe - Set a timer for 5 minutes
Find a quiet space and breathe..it makes a huge difference. Floods your body will oxygen rich blood and calms your fight or flight response aka the sympathetic nervous system.
Open and close your jaw a few times
Roll your shoulders up to your ears and down your back.
Close your eyes and mouth.
Breathe in through your nose for a count of 5 and out for a count of 7.
Do this until your 5 minute timer goes off
2. Move your body (but not the way you think)
Did you know that slower activities like yoga or walking can actually be really helpful for your body and the mind? When you walk instead of run, it helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) - reducing the fight or flight response-helping you to calm down. HITT, dance, and running are all great cardio but it doesn’t tap into the PNS. I’m encouraging you to try something slower and more mindful to reduce stress. If your body is always in this fight or flight mode, which oftentimes it is, especially in high intensity exercise, it can be good to slow down a little, be a bit more gentle with yourself.
Ideally you’re looking for 30 minutes of movement four to five times a week.
- Take a 30 minute walk around a park or the neighborhood.
- Try an online yoga class to hone in on the mind-body-gut connection.
Pro Tip: A yoga practice will transform your mind, soul, and body. Be open, find a studio that calls to you & fills your soul tones
Moving the body is key for your mental health (it’s an excellent way to deal with stress) and physical health. Plus it will ultimately give your skin that glow you crave.
Find a funny movie, show, or a group of friends. Or even fake it. Laughing increasing the feel good hormones and stimulates the vagus nerve (which calms the brain-gut)
4. Schedule or give yourself a massage
What's more relaxing than a massage? NOTHING. A massage relaxes muscles, releases tension and stuck fascia, improves circulation, reduces the stress hormones (cortisol), improves skin tone, and stimulates the lymphatic system to increase lymph flow just to name a few.
If your lymphatic system isn’t working properly you’ll notice swelling and fatigue, bloating, slow digestion, weakness, brain fog, and duller skin and acne breakouts.
A foam roller is a great way to give yourself a massage if you’re not able to get a professional massage. I love to lay on the floor directly on top of the roller letting my body weight and the foam roller do the work. New to foam rolling, here’s a great step by step foam rolling video. Massaging and melting away back, legs, hips, and butt soreness and tension.
Pro Tip: For a more natural healthy glow, adding in this facial massage 3-4 times a week to increase lymphatic flow.
5. Hydration is key!
The human body is made up of roughly 60% water and skin cells are made up of roughly 70-80% water. If you don’t replenish what's lost through day to day living, dehydration will occur causing slow digestion, fatigue, headaches, & total unnecessary stress on the body. YIKES! Your body relies on hydration for proper organ function, to reduce inflammation, flush out toxins, stimulate the lymphatic system, and to help your body function at it's best.
But did you know your skin is the last organ to receive water you've drank? That's why it's important to keep skin hydrated with a good facial mist Dehydrated skin cells cause more crepiness, fine lines, and dull looking skin.
On average, 2 liters or half gallon will be enough but if you’re exercising, playing sports, living in super dry or hot climate, you’ll want to gulp down nearly a gallon to keep your body running at its peak. I notice when I drink a close to a gallon a day my body feels better and my skin looks even better.
Now before you gasp about the amount you need to drink along with the thought of running to the bathroom every two minutes, I’ve got a couple simple tricks to keep you hydrated.
TRICK 1: Add a few splashes of lemon juice, cucumber plus a few mint leaves to jazz up the flavor.
TRICK 2: Before you have your morning coffee, drink 8-16 oz of lemon water.
TRICK 3: Sip on bone broth to soothe your gut plus boost collagen intake.
TRICK 4: Eat foods like celery, watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, and lettuce. These are full of water.
TRICK 5: Use a 1 liter/32 oz travel cup as your guide. Drink 1 by the afternoon and another by evening.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye on your urine, clear, pale yellow color and nearly odorless means you’re well hydrated.
These simple ways are so effective for reducing stress, calming your mind and body. Hope you've felt inspired to find what works best for you.