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San Clemente Journal

Community News - Survive the “Holi-daze” How Will You De-Stress This Holiday Season?

Nov 01, 2009 11:10AM ● By Don Kindred

by Cheryl Shih Stone

Though the mere mention of the holidays may stir up feelings of nostalgia and comfort in some, it might very well throw others into a state of panic. From holiday parties and gift wrapping to food preparation and shopping, the ‘to-do’ list quadruples at this time of year. It’s time to be proactive this year. To protect and preserve your mental and emotional well-being so that you can fully enjoy what the season brings.

Halloween usually marks the beginning of the holiday frenzy. Jack o’ lanterns and trick-or- treaters signify the beginning of a long ride. Pretty soon you’ll overhear talks on turkey basting and head counts, and before you know it you’ve been sucked into the flurry of the “Holi-daze.”

So how will you de-stress this holiday season? Before you reach for the eggnog or that second glass of wine, try some of these helpful tips:
Just Say “Ohm”

Many places in town offer yoga classes from beginners to the serious yogi. If you’re looking for a way to really unwind from clamor and clutter, treat yourself to an hour or two of guided meditation and deep breathing. 

The Yoga Spot on Camino de los Mares offers a tranquil setting for centering your energy and regaining a peace of mind. You’ll be amazed at how a little bit of oxygen flow can refuel your muscles and restore you to a place of sanity.

Find out more at:

Aha Yoga on Avenida Granada offers an introductory rate of 10 days for 10 dollars. They offer the trendy ‘hot yoga’ and also Pilate’s classes.

Find out more at:
The San Clemente Recreation Center also offers a variety of classes. From Hatha Yoga, Yoga for a Healthy Back, Power Yoga to Ashtanga Vinyasa, there’s a class to fit every person.

Check the online fall and winter catalogs at:

No Agenda Days
For one whole day, set aside all lists, obligations, deadlines, and responsibilities and give yourself the freedom to simply “play it by ear.” This means letting go of everything you’re supposed to be doing and instead; do what you feel like doing. 

If you cannot bring yourself to do this, simply reassign duties and obligations for the day before or the day after. Planning this ahead of time will allow you to spend a guilt free day with absolutely nothing and no one to answer to. A No Agenda Day works best on a Saturday or a Sunday when it’s easier to clear your calendar. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend your No Agenda Day alone. In fact, this works well with spouses, friends, and children. Just make sure that your companion understands that the most important rule is that there are no rules!

Spa Pedicure
After a long day of running errands and shopping, there’s no better relief than a bath of warm soapy water for those tired feet. Soak those toes and relax to the rhythmic pulse of a massage arm chair. 

This special treat is not exclusive to the ladies. Men greatly benefit from spa pedicures as well. In fact, I can’t think of better candidates than men who often neglect their feet.
As the weather gets colder, those dry crackly feet will definitely need some extra TLC. Request the callous treatment and you’ll thank yourself all week long.

Rent a DVD
Sometimes the simplest stress reliever can be a stroll through a video store. Whether you watch it alone or with friends and family, there’s nothing like a good classic holiday comedy to distract you from eminent stress. Amid all the reruns of It’s a Wonderful Life, you owe it to yourself to take control of what you want to watch. Laughing out loud to a silly comedy can be just what the doctor orders. Load up on snacks and drinks and prepare to kick up your feet for some fun and relaxation.
Here’s a list of some holiday favorites:
• Adams Family Values
• Chevy Chases’ National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
• How the Grinch Stole Christmas
• Home Alone
• Elf
• Abbott and Costello: The Christmas Show
• The Munster’s Scary Little Christmas

Get a Massage
Allow someone else to do all the kneading and rubbing this holiday by treating yourself to a lovely massage. There are many therapeutic benefits to massage for both mind and body. It increases blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, improves concentration and hey, it just feels good. For one blissful hour, the hardest thing you’ll have to do is flip over on the massage table. Make a visit to: 
5 Elements, on Avenida Del Mar
Talega Day Spa, on Puerta del Sol

Take a Bubble Bath
When was the last time you stayed in a bath until your fingers were pruny?

Go for a Swim
Whether in ocean or pool, the buoyancy of water relaxes even those who are most uptight.

Walk on the Beach or Pier
Clear you mind of all thoughts as you listen to the gentle lapping of water on the shore, the flapping wings and piercing cries of seagulls, and the refreshing sounds of children building sand castles and playing tag with the waves.

Turn off the Noise
Start with your car. Drive in silence for a trip or two. 
T’is the season to be giving, but don’t sell yourself short this year. In a time when everyone else’s needs seem to come before yours, keep yourself in check. Survive the holidays by being on the offensive this year. If you make it a priority to de-stress, you’ll nip anxiety in the bud. Believe me, your mind, body and soul will thank you for it. b