Hello, my dear friends! Just got back from Paris for Paris Fashion Week, the trip was super fun, I will share with you my outfits, experiences and learnings in the next few posts. One thing I felt in common with all my fashion week adventures, is that I sleep even less than usual while my body and mind needs to perform at their best. I guess this is a unique aspect of being in a profession that depends a lot on appearances. Even if this is not what you do for a living, I am sure many of you have had encountered similar situations.
A direct result of physical exhaustion and mental stress, for me, is dehydration. My skin gets flaky, and I sometimes have pounding headaches. I can't really take the next day off, however, while on these trips. The best practice, as I've learned over the past few years, is power recharging the body like super-charging battery, get the best rest and recovery within the short 3 - 4 hours of sleep I might get. Here are a few of my time-tested tips:
1. Drink more water
When we are on the run, we often forget to hydrate. By the time we sit down, we end up drinking beverages that makes us feel good, such as coffee, soda, wine, etc. I make a point to drink lots of water, 1.5 - 2 liters a day when I am in my resting place, half in the morning and half at night, it really helps to flush out toxicants.
2. Eat more greens, less carbs
It's scientifically proven that carbs make us feel happy, so when we are tired, we crave them even more. In a place like Paris, how can I resist a flaky croissant or hard-crust baguette? I eat them in the middle of the day instead of at night. Recently, I found out meals with lots of gluten would make me retain more water and feeling more fatigue, so I try to go low-carb and gluten-free whenever I can. I eat salad and easy to digest protein such as fish for dinner, it makes a big difference in the way I look and feel when I wake up in the morning.
3. Take hot showers
Hot shower is very effective in terms of release body stress. Unless I am deadly tired, I try to take a 5-10 minute hot shower right before bedtime. My raised body temperature because of the hot shower helps me to go to sleep a lot faster. And a side benefit, the steam opens up the pores in my skin, perfect for the next tip I have.
4. Use masks
Special times ask for special care. I pack all sort of masks with me during my fashion week trips. They are usual hydrating masks, some also has tightening effect, some are for deep cleansing. This time around, Paris was actually colder than DC and the temperature swing was quite dramatic. I felt fortunate that I have all the masks to help my skin "drink up".
In the past, I could only care for whatever the masks would cover while leaving out the eyes and lips, which often stayed dry and show signs of fatigue and distress even more. Not this time, though. I brought with me the new Clarins Hydra Essential eye and lip masks, not only they took no effort to apply, I didn't need to worry about taking them off like other masks. The eye mask was a life saver especially, a few hours with it on really rejuvenated and brightened the skin around my eyes, they looked and felt much rested.
There are a couple of nights I fell asleep without doing any of my regular routine, so in the morning, I used just these two masks prior to putting on my make up for a quick refresh and boost.
5. Release some endorphins
All the daytime hustle and anxiety of keeping up with social media, I sometimes feel overwhelmed and restless. When this happens, I "take the edge" off by doing physical exercise if I can, or watching my favorite tv show for 30 minutes. Sometimes, I just hold my newest fashion acquisition and imagine all the lovely outfits I can wear with it. You might be laugh at my last trick, but it works! We are much better rested on happy thoughts.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you find these tips helpful when coping with work travel induced stress. Would love to hear what do you do in similar situation, please feel free to share them via comments.
Partnering with Clarins, I am giving away a full size Hydra-Essentiel Moisturizing Reviving Eye Mask & Hydra-Essentiel Silky Cream (total value of $86.00) to one lucky reader. Contest is open to all US-based readers, please leave a comment below to qualify. Winner will be announced on March 18, 12AM EST. You can also enter the contest via Instagram. Good luck!