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Beat Stress These Holidays. Live, Love, Surf.

Surf Action is a surf shop situated in Margate, KZN, South Africa. We're located in a very popular holiday destination, so we're going to give you a few helpful tips to help you keep the holiday stress at bay. What is it about surfers? Relaxed, easy-going, they seem to be the epitome of chill. But you don’t have to live on the beach and surf all day to get some of that laid-back karma into your busy lives. A few simple principles inspired by the surfing lifestyle will help you to reduce stress, deal with problems and give you that ‘all’s well with the world’ feeling.

During the holidays you have a lot going on—a lot more than usual, anyway.

Here are a few tips Surf Action believes will reduce stress these holidays.

1. Set A Mission and Stick to it.

When a lot of tasks and issues are flying through your head, it helps to set one above the rest. Remember why the holidays are really important to you, If your mission is to go surfing or fishing or just to connect with family or friends, then being together is all that really matters – no matter where you are, what the weather is like or what you’re eating. If it’s rest and relaxation you’re after, then taking time for yourself is critical. It’s OK to allow some other things to fall by the wayside.

2. Respect Your Limits

Don’t push yourself too much, You want to stay well clear of your breaking points. If you are tired, rest. If you are hungry, eat. If you are overburdened with extra tasks for the holidays, try to let some of your other responsibilities slide for a few weeks.

3. When Partying Or Buying Gifts, Set a Budget

The holidays can be an expensive time. with all the festivities going on it's easy to go out partying once too often and having one tequila too many resulting in a seriously dented holiday budget. Making a budget for each person you buy gifts for can help, If you tend to overspend, try to make all your purchases with cash.

4. Don’t Worry About the Perfect Gift

Some people really work very hard at trying to get the right thing, trying to be creative, that effort can be taxing. don't overthink the process of buying gifts, in most cases people are happy with just the thought of getting a gift and gifts can always be returned if worst comes to worst, although if you had to ask us here at Surf Action we would agree that a surfboard makes a great gift every time.

5. Make the Holidays More Low Key

A lot of families have annual holiday rituals. They may seem like they’re set in stone but they’re not. Minor changes to reduce stress are possible. Don't pack your schedule with too many activities, be spontaneous, go for those long walks on the beach, go for that early morning surf. When you're on holiday its ok to sometimes just chill and get that well deserved rest an relaxation. Perhaps you can get by this year without rushing around trying to attend every social event on the calendar or the open house for everyone in the neighborhood. Going a year without attending every social event won't ruin your relationships.

6. Control Your Expectations

Your holiday is not going to be perfect. Stress will ease if you accept that, Having expectations that aren't met usually leads to disappointment and stress. The onshore easterly winds might ruin the surf conditions, there may also be one too many rainy days. Your holidays might not look or feel picture perfect, but if you stop looking for perfection, they can still be a wonderful time for you and your loved ones.

7. Don’t Expect People to Change

They are who they are and you’re just going to have to make the best of the situation. If Uncle Billy is crude and insulting every other day of the year, do not expect him to change during the holiday season. Make your plans with his limitations in mind, seat him at the end of the table, next to Grandma’s bad ear, where he can do the least amount of damage.

8. Stay Away From Toxic People

The family and acquaintances you come in contact with during the holidays may not be the most relaxing to spend time with. Change your tactics to experience them in bite-sized portions. Instead of being afraid of your brother’s road rage, think up a reason to travel in a separate car. Stay at a hotel instead of your critical cousin’s house. Invite your nosy neighbor over for dessert instead of dinner.

9. Renew Contact with Lost Friends

There’s something about connecting with other human beings that has an ability to help people reduce stress, Don’t focus on why or how you lost touch with those you’ve drifted away from—focus on the reestablishing of ties. It's always good having good times with good people. Now is the time to let people know that you are thinking about them. If you aren't able to meet up with your long lost best mates, the communication may at least bring about some closure.

10. Express Gratitude

Telling others you care about and value that they are appreciated sends out good vibes, this and counting your blessings can alleviate life anxiety. Gratitude is the shortest lived human emotion, so reminding ourselves to be grateful is a great way to reduce stress. In the last 20 to 30 years there’s a whole science called positive psychology that has actually begun to verify that this is a healthy thing for people to do.

11. Connect with the Spiritual Part of the Holidays

Don’t neglect to do things that put you and your family back in touch with the deeper significance of the holidays (e.g., going to services, helping the needy),

12. Be Careful Drinking Alcohol

Watch your drinking, particularly if you have a tendency to become depressed, If you are already struggling with depression, consider not drinking at all..

13. Be Careful Serving Alcohol

The best way to shut off someone who tends to drink too much is to limit the amount of alcohol you have available, Keep only enough alcohol on hand to give everyone a drink or two.

14. Surf as often as you can.

One thing is for sure, if you surf often, you can significantly reduce stress, if you have ever wondered what it would feel like riding a wave then come do a surf lesson with Surf Action this summer.

Enjoy the holidays and be safe, most of all take it easy.

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