Holiday Stress Busters in the Rogue Valley

Health Coach’s Corner By Vanessa Newman, MS.
ACE-Certified Health Coach

Whether you look forward to or avoid Holiday celebrations and get-togethers, this time of year can be stressful for most people. Below are some suggestions for avoiding the stress and having fun during a potentially nail-biting season.

Be a kid again

How about putting on some ice skates and doing the “wall crawl?” The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink is open and has been since November 21st. Bing your own skates or rent some of theirs. They have toddler sizes all the way up to a Men’s size 9. There are even “ice scooters” for the young ‘uns. Sorry, no one over three and a half feet tall can use an ice scooter.

95 Winburn Way in Lithia Park
Ashland, OR

Want to go bowling?
Knocking down those pins is one way to let out some stress especially if you give those pins family members’ names. Just kidding! Roxy Ann Lanes in Medford has some great specials going on that means you do not have to be stressed about how much money you spend! On Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, games are only $2.00 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. On Sundays, you pay for two games and get one free. For more information, check out their website:

2375 South Pacific Highway
Medford, OR

You could also have fun at 40 miles per hour at Rogue Karting!
They have a cafe, arcade and super cool fast go-karts that are exhilarating whether you are a kid or an adult. Why not have a party there? They offer Birthday party rentals too. Open 7 days a week, you ought to be able to find a time to go. Keep in mind that they are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

2065 Lars Way
Medford, OR

Deep breathing

The 4-7-8 breathing technique focuses on relaxing and letting go of worries. You do not need a special place or time to do it either. It can be just as easily performed in line at the store as it can be at home. Begin by inhaling through your nose for a count of four. Then, hold the breath for a count of seven and finally exhale fully through your mouth for a count of eight making an audible sound with your breath.

For more information on this technique and others, go here: mind-spirit/stress-anxiety/breathing-three-exercises/.

Practice gratitude

It is easy to practice gratitude when things are going well. Being thankful for your family and job might be a no-brainer. But how about being grateful for the slow drivers in front of you because you get to listen to your favorite song on the radio? Maybe it is being grateful for the long line at the bank drive-thru, so you have a moment to make a mental list or check voicemails.

“Blessing counters” tend to be 25% happier than the rest of the population according to Prevention magazine (

If telling yourself to be appreciative is not enough, you might consider purchasing a journal at a local store like Paddington Station ( or Bloomsbury Books ( and making your own gratitude journal.

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