Whether you’re heading out of state to spend the holidays with extended family, hosting guests at your house, or traveling a couple of hours to spend the weekend with your in-laws, the stress of the holidays might be starting to settle in. While this is generally a happy time of year spent with family and friends, it doesn’t come without its own unique set of struggles.
If you spend much of your free time being active outdoors or just require a few minutes of sunshine and fresh air, don’t cut this important aspect out of your life over the holidays. We all know the positive benefits of being outside, and if you want to relieve stress,burn off some energy with the kids, or just enjoy a little alone time, nature is the perfect place to do it.
Visit A Park or Outdoor Space
You don’t have to visit a popular national park to get the most out of the great outdoors. Local parks, national monuments, recreation areas, or a simple walking trail will do the trick. If you’re traveling somewhere new for the holidays, do a quick online search of the area and plan ahead. If you’re going back home, bring your partner or kids to one of your old favorite outdoor spaces or drive an extra hour to explore a state park you’ve never taken the time to see.
Go For A Walk Or Bike Ride
Depending on where you live (and how much of the white fluffy stuff falls before the holidays) you might consider bringing along the bikes and riding around the neighborhood or finding a nearby trail. Many cities around the country now offer fat bike trails if you’re up for riding through the snow. Love Christmas lights? Get the family together in the evening and take a stroll to check out the decorations. If nothing else, wake up a little early or take a break after dinner and treat yourself to a quick (or leisurely) walk to burn off some steam and breath in some fresh air.
Take The Kids Sledding
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, or older sibling, the younger members of the family will be thrilled to get out of the house. Sledding may or may not be your first choice of activities, but even if you only help pull the sled up the hill or stand at the bottom and cheer, they will be grateful for your presence. Need to burn off a little energy or stress of your own? Start a snowball fight.
Start a Campfire
Who doesn’t like sitting around a campfire making S’mores? Family and friends of all ages will likely head outdoors to gather around a fire. If it’s cold, get some blankets together, make some coffee and hot chocolate, and get cozy. This is a great setting to tell old, favorite family tales and reminisce about past holidays and exchange funny stories.
Don’t Feel Bad About Heading Out Alone
If you’re a runner, don’t feel guilty about waking up early and hitting the pavement on your own. Regardless of the activity, if it’s something that keeps you sane and feeling healthy, give yourself permission to take some alone time. The happier you are, the happier everyone around you will be.
Beat holiday stress with time spent outdoors. Regardless of whether it’s 5 minutes with a cup of coffee or a few hours exploring a park, fresh air can work wonders for your moral. And hey, if things get too awkward, you can always search for a nearby campground or cabin.