Monthly Cycle + Low Self Esteem

148027218The monthly clash of hormones can lower your self esteem in an instant.  As hormonal acne sends a blossom of zits across your T-zone and PMS bloating has the zipper of your jeans digging into your stomach, it is easy to feel horrible about the way you look!   The bloating and acne is never as exaggerated or as apparent to other people, but those PMS days can serve as a blow to your ego.

Wellness encompasses all aspects of our lives, like sleep, nutrition, friends, family and fitness.  What happens to us when we have negative feelings due to added water weight or acne?  I’ll insert another “ask” here for you to help us with our research by taking our survey on how PMS affects us at work because we wonder if low self esteem also plays a role in a woman’s reluctance to negotiate for a higher salary or not taking credit for her work.

Plus, as stated in this Huffington Post article, women are prone to dwell on the negative and ruminate, even on stupid things like thinking that everyone is talking about the pimple on your chin or that your skirt is a little snug.  And when you are busy mulling all of your perceived shortcomings, coupled with looking at people’s perfectly curated lives on social media…well, the self loathing can get worse!

Here are a few quick self esteem activities to boost your confidence:

Get outside.  Take a walk and be mindful of the sun on your face, the budding trees and the daffodils sprouting after a long winter.  Natural settings improve mood.

Avoid emotional eating.  This is the time when sticking to a healthy diet is truly difficult because you might want to stuff your face with donuts or ice cream or potato chips for that quick fix, but that junk food won’t help in the long run.

Take a nap.  Can you put your head down on your desk for 20 minutes?  Sometimes just a little rest will make you feel like yourself again.

Sweat. Take it all out on the elliptical or on the treadmill.  Feel good endorphin's will help you bust through your personal pity party.

Take a screen break.  Seriously.  For the next few weeks we will be writing about some analog pursuits!  Our #GirlUBeWell campaign will explore ways to spend an hour or two offline.  We are hoping this will spark your creativity and give you even more ideas for some positive self esteem activities!

Check back soon or look for #GirlUBeWell on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

How to Beat PMS Acne

period_acnePMS acne doesn't affect everyone who has a period, since we all react to hormonal shifts in our bodies differently, but it’s actually pretty common:  a study from the Archives of Dermatology found that 63% of acne-prone women experience premenstrual acne flare ups, usually about seven to ten days before their period.

It’s those lovely up-and-down hormones that can wreck havoc with our skin.  Rising levels of progesterone mid-cycle can cause a build up of sebum, a thick, oily substance that acts as a natural skin lubricant.  For some, this means a healthy-looking glow; for others, though, it means increased breakouts.

It’s important to note that these breakouts aren’t due to your hygiene regimen; it’s far more related to hormones, which, unfortunately, you can’t do a whole lot about.  But don’t worry—there are things you can do to keep your skin healthy and happy, minimizing the effect of a PMS acne breakout!  Here are some tips:

  • Avoid touching your face—your hands can help spread dirt and bacteria, exactly what you don’t want during a breakout!
  • Clean your cell phone regularly. Phones can store up a lot of bacteria, and if you’re not keeping your phone clean, you’re introducing that bacteria to the most vulnerable parts of your face—your jaw line and chin.
  • If you’re working out at the gym, put a towel down on the mats to protect yourself from other people’s germs.
  • Don’t smoke—smoking contributes to all forms of acne.
  • Stay hydrated! Drinking lots of water can help flush toxins out of your body, which is great news for your skin.
  • Wash your face twice a day. Make sure to avoid products that include oil.  You may even want to step it up a notch and try a facial mask for added self-care and relaxation.
  • Consider herbal supplements, including zinc, vitamin B6, and chaste tree berry. Chaste tree berry, incidentally, is one of the herbs in the GirlU supplement, so be sure to check that out!

PMS acne can be one of the more frustrating PMS symptoms, but there are plenty of natural options for beating it!