Calm for Beauty: 9 Days to Get Your Glow On

It’s really true that the best things in life are free. You don’t need a million bucks to feel like a million bucks (and if you do have wads of cash . . . please, go spend it somewhere else!). There’s so much you can do without spending an exorbitant amount of money, or time. Most of these habits involve doing less, not more, than you usually do — and they can create physical, neurochemical, and hormonal changes that help you manage life's everyday stress and bring out the best in your looks.

All too often we can fall into the trap of negative thinking, telling ourselves that it costs too much to be beautiful and healthy. And I’m referring not just to monetary costs, but also to the psychological component in making an effort at instigating change in your life. It can seem scary and undoable, as if you’re about to stop everything you’ve already been doing and start a whole new life. Not so! You get to choose which action steps to take starting today, and you can build on your program as you progress. I predict, though, that as soon as you begin to see and feel results, you will embrace more and more of my recommendations. They are not radical; they are practical and sensible. And your body and mind will love it.

Try this nine-day plan to get your glow on:

Day One: Simplify. Establish a daily skin care routine and a regular (sound) sleep schedule.

Day Two: Relax. Book a treatment, connect with friends, try a yoga class, and/or have sex; learn simple breathing exercises you can do daily.

Day Three: Go green. Get out in nature and take in your surroundings.

Day Four: Eat clean. Avoid fast food, fried food, and anything processed.

Day Five: Make a move. Establish an exercise routine.

Day Six: Foster friendships. Connect with friends and family in person.

Day Seven: Pamper yourself.  Learn how to meditate before bedtime.

Day Eight: Sleep in beauty. Sleep in or try napping.

Day Nine: Reflect. Look back on your week.

Now work on making these habits part of your every lifestyle

Even though I’ve created this program to last nine days, it may take time for your body to respond to a shift in your lifestyle, however great or small. The nine days will really be a breaking-in period for you to establish these habits forever. And as I noted above, some of these habits can create new neuronal pathways in your body.

That’s right: The brain is not so hardwired as we previously thought. And neither is your skin. The moment you decide to adapt these ideas to your life is the moment you begin to make those physical, neurochemical, and hormonal changes for the better.

If you’re not sure how to get started with incorporating these practices into your life, explore my program in more detail. I want to get you thinking about establishing these habits in your life for the long haul — not just during a nine-day pocket of time.

Remember: Even small changes can have a big impact: When you’re carrying around a ton of bricks, shedding just a few can make the load more manageable, and inspire you to shed a few more.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler, MD. Copyright © 2008 by RealAge Corporation. Reprinted by permission of Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY.


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