Thriving Through the Holidays

by Ashly Winchester / Dec 13, 2021
Thriving Through the Holidays

Now that turkey day is behind us, it’s time to finish out the rest of the year as healthily and happily as possible. The holidays are a time for giving thanks, visiting relatives, gift-giving, and cheer. It’s a time to break out that ugly sweater, enjoy the company of loved ones, and maybe even attend a few holiday parties.

Ideally, the holidays will bring joy, a renewed sense of self, connection, and revitalization.

But for many, the holidays can be notoriously stressful and bring an inordinate amount of pressure. Between travel, charged family gatherings, and alcohol-fueled late nights it’s no wonder this time of year inevitably has the potential of bringing some stress along with it.

It doesn’t have to be that way though.

Even if the yuletide - in all its glittery glamour - isn’t your cup of eggnog, you can still thrive through all the tinsel and the fruitcake. Whether you observe Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa, or if you just like to celebrate some extra time off work, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you thrive through this holiday season.

(Don’t forget to scroll all the way down for some delectable nonalcoholic beer mocktails crafted by our very own Hailey Hosler!)

Get Outside

We can’t sing the praises of getting in the outdoors enough. It’s no secret that exercise and movement help to lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and increase overall mood - all important things when it comes to this holiday season.

It doesn’t have to be extensive, nor does it have to be intense.  Any outdoor activity will do. Jogging, walking, or riding a bike for at least 17 minutes every day will give you the biggest health boon as far as chronic stress, depression, and blood pressure, but you’ll probably notice a difference in your mood within a few minutes of embarking on your first outing. It’s enough to get you hooked.

For maximum benefit, hit the trails. A wealth of research indicates that walking in nature is more beneficial than walking along city streets. Nature walks can boost working and short-term memory up to 20 percent better than the city streets. Take advantage of the local trail systems, explore a new park, and destress.

(Find out how our Two For The Trails Grant system helps build and keep trails open throughout the United States!)

Find Your Center

Can’t get outside? That’s okay because the next best thing is to take some time for yourself, let your mind relax, and breathe. Practicing mindfulness and taking time to breathe will not only help you feel more in control but will also make you more present and more tolerant.

Like nature walks, yoga and meditation have tons of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, increasing overall fitness, and increasing mood. Studies performed at Harvard University found that having a regular mindfulness practice can increase gray matter in the areas of the brain that help regulate mood, emotional regulation, learning, and memory.

All this is to say that mindfulness meditation and yoga can help you be more present and stay calmer when faced with stressful situations.

So how do you do it?

As far as yoga goes, you can find a plethora of follow-along yoga videos on YouTube, ranging anywhere from a few minutes to hours long.

When it comes to meditation, there are also tons of videos online and meditation apps for your phone. If you don’t have access to these things, meditation can be as simple as finding a comfortable position - whether that’s in a chair, on the floor, or laying down - closing your eyes and paying attention to your breathing. Take five deep breaths in and exhale fully after each one. Then breathe as normal and count your breaths. If you lose count or get distracted, give yourself grace and start over. You can set a timer if you’re in a time crunch. Ten minutes is perfect for a beginner.

As a reminder, taking a few minutes to yourself, whether that’s for walking, yoga, or meditation, is not being selfish. You have to fill your cup before you can fill others.

Skip the Alcohol

It’s no secret that drinking can exacerbate conflict and just generally make you feel awful. Around here, we’re big proponents of skipping the liquor, even if it’s just for one drink, one night, or for the long term.

Alcohol is a depressant that can disrupt the delicate balance of brain chemicals and processes, and is linked to aggression, anxiety, and mood swings.

Furthermore, drinking alcohol can severely impact sleep quality, especially when consumed in excess. This phenomenon has been studied since the 1930s, but there are still a lot of unknowns. Essentially, it causes an imbalance within the stages of sleep that results in poor sleep quality and shorter sleep duration.

Why is this so important? Sleep is important for overall health, and getting a good night’s sleep will help you “get up on the right side of the bed.” While it doesn’t really matter what side of the bed you get out of, getting a good night’s sleep will improve energy levels, mood, and productivity.

Get a Head Start on Dry January

Around here, we like to celebrate the New Year by saying “no” to alcohol for the entire month of January. We have fun challenges and games throughout the month to keep you on track, but you don’t have to wait until then to get started. Nor do you have to skip out on tasty cocktails!

Whether you’re attending a holiday shindig or cozying up by the fire with loved ones, give these delicious non-alcoholic beer mocktails a try.

All mocktails here have been crafted by our very own Hailey Hosler.

Golden Bird


Upside Dawn Golden Ale

1.5 oz pure cranberry juice

.5 oz fresh lemon

.5 oz agave syrup


Glassware: Coupe


Add all ingredients except beer to a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well.

Strain into a Coupe.

Top off with Upside Dawn Golden Ale

Garnish with a rosemary sprig.


Apres Wild


⅓ Run Wild IPA

⅓ Spiced Apple Cider

⅓ Ginger Beer

Glassware: Collins or rocks



Layer all ingredients over ice.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Hazy Herringbone


Free Wave Hazy IPA

2oz fresh grapefruit juice

.5 oz lime juice

.5 oz honey syrup (1:1)

2 dash Angostura Bitters (or n/a bitters!)

Glassware: Coupe


Add all ingredients except beer to a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well.

Strain into a chilled Coupe.

Top off with Free Wave Hazy IPA.

Garnish with a grapefruit twist.


Campfire Brew


All Out Stout

2 oz Cold Brew Coffee

1.5 oz cream (or sub almond/oat)

.5 oz simple syrup

Glassware: Rocks (or winter mug!)


Add cold brew coffee, cream, and simple syrup to a shaker with ice.

Shake well.

Strain over fresh ice in glass.

Top off with All Out Stout.

Garnish with whipped cream + nutmeg.


La Arboleda


Cerveza Atletica

1 oz fresh lime juice

.75 oz Luxardo Cherry Syrup

2 dashes peach bitters

Glassware: Coupe


Add all ingredients except Cerveza Atletica to a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well for 10 seconds.

Strain into a chilled Coupe glass.

Top off with Cerveza Atletica.

Garnish with a Luxardo Cherry.


Dawn of a New Era


Upside Dawn Golden Ale

6 Fresh Raspberries

.5 oz fresh lemon juice

.5 oz agave syrup

.25 oz apple cider vinegar

2 dashes rose water

Glassware: Collins


Muddle fresh raspberries in a cocktail shaker.

Add all ingredients except Upside Dawn to a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well for 10 seconds.

Strain over fresh ice in a mason jar or Collins glass.

Top off with Upside Dawn Golden Ale.

Garnish with fresh raspberries.


A Wild Ride


Run Wild IPA

1 oz fresh yuzu

.5 oz honey syrup (1:1)

2 dashes non-alcoholic bitters

Thinly sliced ginger

Glassware: Coupe


Add all ingredients except Run Wild to a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well for 10 seconds.

Strain into a chilled Coupe glass.

Top off with Run Wild IPA.

Garnish with ginger.


Shandy Haze


⅓ Free Wave Hazy IPA

⅓ Ginger beer

⅓ Fresh grapefruit juice

Squeeze of fresh lime

Glassware: Pint


Fill Pint glass with crushed ice.

Combine all equal parts over ice with a squeeze of fresh lime.

Garnish with a lime wheel or mint sprig.