Here at BioScriptives we’re always warning that stress can do a real number on your skin.  So we thought it would be helpful–and useful–to tell you how you can save your skin by stressing less.


And since nobody has time for some long, elaborate de-stress program we wanted to focus on stuff that would take five or ten minutes: stuff you can do at your desk, or between loads of laundry, or wherever you happen to be.


Think it’s impossible? Think again, because we found seven ways that you can get out of your funk in no time flat!


1. Smile!


Yep, just smile, right now. Even if you think you don’t have much to smile about.


The action of changing your expression will automatically lighten your mood.


But if you’re having trouble, step it up.  Close your eyes and visualize. Tap into a favorite memory or place yourself inside of a favorite daydream.  Really allow yourself to experience the feeling of those Hawaiian white sands between your toes (or whatever).


2. Burn a Scented Candle


Smells are powerful things.  You may not be a big proponent of aromatherapy, but you don’t have to be to know that the scent of vanilla or lavender is enormously pleasurable for you, if it is.


So go ahead.  Burn that candle, bust out the essential oil, spritz yourself down.  Don’t go crazy with it and don’t do it if you’re going to annoy a coworker, but if you’re all alone then sit back, breathe deep, and let the smells open up your mind and heart a bit.


3. Stand up!


Quick, how long have you been sitting at this computer?  If you’ve been here for more than an hour, check your posture–chances are you’ve been slumping without even knowing it.


And as you slump and slouch you’re inclined to feel less and less powerful and competent.  That means stress is going to hit you harder: after all, your body posture is helping you unconsciously project a stance that says you may not be able to deal with whatever comes your way!


Sit up straighter.  Do you notice a difference?  Now stand up.  Stretch out a little bit.  If you’re still not feeling it then take a quick walk around your home or office.  Get a drink of water.  Stand up while you take that phone call.  If nothing else you’ll work out all the lactic acid that built up while you slumped at your terminal.


4. Have some chocolate!


Chocolate fills you with endorphins and boosts your serotonin.  What’s not to love?


Of course, if you want to preserve your skin you’re not going to reach for mass-produced, sugary milk chocolate.  You’ll reach for 80% pure cacao dark chocolate instead.


5. Get organized!


When something stresses you out it might just be time to focus on something else.  Cleaning or organizing for 20 minutes keeps you productive without forcing you to do anything too demanding.


By the time you’re done you’ll find something amazing has happened.  As you sit at your freshly organized desk or pour yourself a cup of coffee in your newly cleaned kitchen you’ll realize that you feel more in control and more capable of clear, helpful thought.  All of that clutter was stealing bits of your attention from you…whether you realized it or not.


6. Fix Your Feet


If you’re in a position to slip off your shoes then you can instantly improve your day with a quick foot massage.  Get out a golf ball, a tennis ball, or a frozen water bottle. Roll the ball beneath the arch of your foot to really hit and ease those tense reflexology points. The pain relief alone might make life look better.


7. Ask your friend to text a joke!


Many articles and blog posts about stressing less will tell you to call a friend. But there’s a pitfall.


Your buddy might cheer you up. But you might also be inclined to whine and wallow a lot longer than you might have otherwise, which means you’ll get off the phone feeling even worse! Heaven help you if you and your buddy start in on one of those “whose day is harder” contests. We all know we shouldn’t, and we all do it sometimes anyway.


Even if your friend is the most upbeat and encouraging person ever you might well lose a large portion of the day to the conversation. This can backfire if your stress is coming from a difficult deadline or an increased workload.


Instead, just text your friend and ask them to send you a silly joke. If they ask why, just say, “A little stressed — need to change tracks!” That tells your friend that you don’t need to talk about this at length, you just need the dumb joke. Try it–it works! Of course, feel free to return the favor, whether by request or at random, with (appropriate) jokes that you know your friend will enjoy. It will be a fun exercise for you both.


Adorable otter videos are also acceptable. When all else fails, look at this. You’re welcome. 😉