For many, this time of year is deemed far too busy to keep up a regular surfing schedule. With the stresses of having family in town, an endless to-do list, and wrapping up a work year, surfing (and other recreational activities) can fall by the wayside. It is understandable to put personal time aside to accommodate special occasions with family, but surfing is actually a great way to combat the mental strain of the holidays - while also maintaining physical health, which can be difficult during these few weeks.

Every year near Christmas, terms like “winter body” and “holiday weight” get tossed around quite a bit. While there is obviously nothing wrong with a little bit of extra fluff to keep you warm through the winter months, one great way to combat the extra dessert is to keep surfing. Generally, I like to eat very healthily overall with the occasional, well-deserved “treat yourself,” but when I am very stressed, I tend to eat my feelings. And when I eat lots of comfort foods, I become more stressed, because I’ve broken my healthy habits. I know I’m not alone in this cycle of events, and that this can be an especially common occurrence around the holidays, due to the increased stress and abundant availability of tasty snacks. For those of us who celebrate near the beach, surfing during these hectic weeks can really help! You earn your special tasty treat, while clearing your head at the same time - a win-win!

In addition to the mental and physical wellbeing aspects to surfing at Christmas time, it is also a great activity to get the whole family together. Even if some family members aren’t surfers, they can watch the surfing, take photos, or simply get their feet wet while soaking up the salt air. Going to the beach makes for a lovely holiday tradition that can easily fit into the schedule of watching cheesy Christmas movies, catching up with relatives, and exchanging gifts. Whatever your plans are this holiday season, I hope that you all have a happy, healthy, surfy new year.