Stress is an inevitable side effect of life which I’ve spoken about in a previous post and today we’ll discuss a little about my personal coping mechanisms when life pulls you in different directions all at once.
Most of my patients at Nuriss know that I was once a full time NHS doctor and whilst I do still work for the NHS and very much value my time there, being part time means I now have more of a work/life balance to enjoy life and have a little time out.  Burn-out is a very real and very problematic issue that many suffer from when they have demanding jobs and demanding home lives. And worryingly significant numbers suffer in silence without the insight that it can take a huge toll on your long term physical and mental health.

How do we prevent this?
By promoting acts of self-care. It’s important to remember what the essence of self-care truly means; to take a few minutes out of your day and put your needs first; an ethos that you need to look after yourself before you can look after others and to be productive in both your professional and home lives.

How do I do this?
Exercise, knitting and skin rituals are my forte! Exercise is medicine’s true wonder-drug and I’m sure I need not emphasise the plethora of benefits regular exercise has on mood, health and energy levels.  Knitting is my secret weapon on tough, hectic days. Just 30 minutes of focused, repetitive actions that lead to a tangible sense of achievement, helping can relax the mind and soul, and ready me for a good night’s sleep.

Knitting may not be your thing. Many have their own desired activity from mindful colouring to meditation to even just taking an aromatic bath to tingle the senses. The most important thing to exclude in the hours leading up to bedtime is screen time. Blue light has been shown to be stimulating for the brain and can affect your body’s ability to switch off and recuperate.

Once a week on a day off I set aside an hour of pure, unadulterated me time where I treat myself and my skin.  To give your skin full opportunity to absorb your skincare products, it needs to be clean and free of make up and environmental grime. I use Garnier new organic and cruelty free Lemongrass cleanser which is sulphate and fragrance free to prepare my skin with a quick tone with Indie Lee’s Coenzyme Q10 antioxidant toner to bring my skin’s natural pH back into balance. And then my favourite step, not one, but two face masks! I first apply Nuriss’ Bentonite Clay, Salicylic Acid and Zinc mask to draw out impurities from my pores and reduce inflammation, followed by a Garnier Hylauronic sheet mask to really flood my skin with hydration.  The result is that my skin feels fresh and nourished.  I finish off with my Nuriss Alpha Arbutin Serum to stabilise the pigment transfer in my cells (I’m prone to post inflammatory pigmentation), and finally round off with Murad’s Retinol Night Cream so that I know that my cell cycle is kept on point to promote collagen synthesis and keep those wrinkles at bay.  Add in my favourite scented candle and a delicious glass of Malbec and I’m pretty content, ready to tackle any stressor coming my way.

Dr Shanika