Even Santa is susceptible to stress during the holidays. Luckily there are plenty of simple pleasures to keep the Christmas spirit soaring through the season. Photo: @semkow116

Paddle Healthy | Holiday Stress Busters

The holiday season brings a lot joy and cheer, but it also brings a lot of stress. Fitting in all of the holiday parties and gift shopping, missing a workout, hosting visiting family, and working to get ahead for vacation collectively creates a perfect storm for stressful times. Enjoy the holidays without the extra stress by incorporating five simple pastimes into your holiday schedule. Because “merry” just isn’t possible without a little “me” time.—Shari Coble

Go for a paddle.

We all know that a little SUP session is a great escape and stress-reliever. If it's too cold where you are, do something active, preferably outdoors; sunshine, fresh air, and some movement can do wonders for the mind and body. If you're limited to the indoors, just pump up the beats, visualize your happy place, and get to sweating.


Studies show meditating or just focusing on breathing can relieve stress. If possible, find a quiet place, close your eyes, and focus on the natural flow of your breath. You'll feel refreshed after a quick minute or two. If you can’t get away, take a few deep breaths.

Eat well.

It’s simple and may sound silly, but diet makes a difference in your daily life. Straying from your normal diet can cause stress on the body, and during the holidays, it's easy to get off track. Extra alcohol and sugar will take a toll on your overall health and that will affect your mood.

Be grateful.

We get caught up in work deadlines, the craziness of holiday shopping, and travel. Take a step back and think about all that you're lucky to have in your life. From fulfilling relationships to having some great memories with your SUP, there's plenty to be grateful for and when you count your blessings, you're not just knocking stress, you're doing good for yourself too.

Shed and give back.

For most, holiday time is truly the season of over-consumption. Whether it's food, alcohol, or material objects, a lot of us have plenty to share or even spare. Reduce extra clutter around the house and donate the stuff that's in decent shape to a nearby thrift store, salvation army, or even another family that you know is in need. You'll feel less stressed after ridding your house of frivolous items and freeing up space, but you'll feel even better knowing that your items will go to someone else really in need because studies show that giving is good for reducing stress and improving overall health.

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