Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Deck the halls with some ahhhhhhhh

In this season of comfort and joy, it can be really tough not to stress out, can’t it?

If I get one more email screeching, “Last chance! Act now! Save save save!” or something like that, I might pass out. Well, not really. But I can feel the stress level ramping up the closer we get to Christmas. So much to do, so little time. Shopping, baking and decorating, oh my.

We’ve been running a lot of holiday health advice in the Healthy Life section lately (and check out another cover story in this Sunday’s paper), and much of it reminds us to take care of our health especially at a time when demands pile up and family tensions can erupt. If you’ve lost a loved one, no matter how long ago, the  holidays can rub some serious salt in that wound.

My advice? Check out one of downtown Fredericksburg’s new fitness offerings, and I’m not talking about your traditional gym.

Alex Kelly-Maartens’ Pitaiyo studio at 1006A Caroline St. has dark wood floors, soothing paint colors and classes that blend mind and body fitness (think relaxation while working your muscles in a fusion of pilates, yoga and tai chi…you have to try it to understand).

Dragonfly Yoga Studio at 810 Caroline St. has an inviting, modern vibe and classes that range from beginner and restorative to power as well as hot yoga in a separate, specially heated room. They have family yoga and chair yoga. All of their classes offer some peace and tranquility in the midst of a harried holiday season.

I had the pleasure of taking a class at each new studio a few weeks ago, and I’m telling you, it changed my whole mindset. There’s something so calming about being in a place that supports overall wellness. I don’t have anything against traditional gyms, and treadmills or free weights can be just the ticket when you need that kind of workout.

But sometimes we all need a deep, cleansing breath and a long stretch. Especially in the face of Santa’s impending arrival.