Take A Hike
It’s easy to get annoyed or stressed out by congested L.A. malls packed with holiday shoppers. The best way to escape the mall madness to simply run far, far away from it. A brisk walk or run outdoors will do wonders to loosen overstimulated nerves. Head to the Santa Monica Mountains for great trails with ocean views or Griffith Park Observatory and see the sprawl from above the fray. After winter rain, enjoy a breath of peculiarly fresh L.A. air.
Bike It By The Beach And Beyond
Bicycling by the beach is one of the best ways to reinvigorate yourself in L.A. Dust off the old Schwinn (or rent one) and rediscover childhood excitement on one of L.A.’s best paths. From the L.A. River to Ballona Creek, there’s no shortage of urban trails to blaze. Westsiders can put a new spin on the tried-and-true Santa Monica bike path with Breeze, the first bike-sharing program in the city.
Spa Day, Every Day
When the holidays agitate, there’s always a spa to alleviate — especially in L.A.’s Koreatown. The mid-city neighborhood is a mecca for spa therapy. Some spas are open 24 hours a day, including Grand Spa, Century Sports Club and the four-level retreat, Wi Spa. If in need for a body scrub or a soak to deal with seasonal sulking, a traditional Korean spa may have just the no-nonsense therapeutic touch you need. Korean spas are elaborate wonderlands of relaxation; for the full experience, expect to spend the whole day on the premises. Holiday stress is no match for herbal saunas, hot steam rooms, jetted pools and massage treatments. Treat yourself.
Let Your Inner Artist Out
According to Mayo Clinic, artistic expression is often linked to better relaxation and may even reduce major depression. In trend-setting L.A., the craze of coloring and painting for therapy is huge. Coloring books for adults are flying off the shelves of L.A. mainstream and independent shops. These books — not of the cutesy preschool variety — are filled with intricate patterns and elegant designs. Most grown-ups hooked on coloring consider the activity relaxing therapy. Similarly, group drawing sessions and paint parties, like Paint Nite, are popping up all over the L.A. map. Paint night is hosted by canvas pros who teach novice guests classic techniques. Attendees feeling blue during the holidays can paint the town red, especially at ‘paint and sip’ events, which mix wine and spirits with acrylics and watercolors.
Shake It Off
That’s right — shake your booty. Dance is a great form of exercise and expression — where even the most buttoned-up can let it all hang out. For a feel-good groovy night, head to Zanzibar in Santa Monica, Ham and Eggs Tavern Downtown or Footsies in Cyprus Park. More of a morning person? Head to the next Daybreaker, an energy pumping morning rave without the booze and drugs. The modern, millennial-charged phenomenon has been a major hit in L.A., throwing parties from Marina Del Rey and Venice to Hollywood and Downtown.