Manage Holiday Stress with Help From Your Garmin

The holidays are fast approaching and for some people that doesn’t just mean colorful leaves, comfort food and baked goods. In fact, for plenty of people, the holidays are cited as the most stressful time of the year. Take a moment to ask yourself: Do you experience a feeling of increased stress during the holiday season? And if so, how do you plan on managing that stress?

Leave it to us. Select Garmin wearables offer 24/7 stress monitoring1. And they don’t just monitor your stress. They also include a relaxation breathing timer you can access right from your wrist when you feel like you could use a breather. So this holiday season you don’t have to sweat the shopping lists, the family gatherings, the icy roads and the travel delays. Your Garmin is here to help.

So how does it work? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Our wearables that offer stress monitoring can track you heart rate variability (HRV). Here’s a fun fact: Your heart doesn’t beat in a perfectly regular rhythm. In fact, there are tiny variances in the rhythm from beat to beat. HRV is just a fancy term for the tiny changes that occur in the space between heartbeats. And, without getting too scientific, your Garmin uses this data to estimate when you’re feeling calm and when you might be stressed. This makes you conscious of when you might need to take a minute to relax.

You can view the stress widget at any time. Just start at the watch face on your device and scroll up or down through the widget loop. If the stress widget isn’t appearing, then visit the Garmin Connect app and tap on your paired device in the top right corner. Then tap “Activities and App Management,” followed by “Widgets.” Here you can select what available widgets appear in the widget loop on your device. Select “Stress” and then “Install.” Your watch will sync and then you can view the stress widget anytime you want.

It’ll show you your current stress level and it’ll also show you a nifty graph of your stress levels for the last several hours. Want to go back further? Check out your Garmin Connect app again. On the “My Day” summary screen, you’ll see your average stress level for the day. Tap on it to see a more detailed graph, displaying your varying levels throughout the day and a tally of how much time you spent at rest and in different levels of stress.

Now that you know how your stress level is monitored, how can you use this data to help you keep a cool head? What can you do when — for example — an ice delay on the runway leaves you absolutely no chance of making your connecting flight? Your Garmin can’t do anything about the delay, but it can help you try to bring your stress levels back down. The stress widget also lets you access a relaxation breathing timer. It’s a 1- to 5-minute guided breathing exercise — known as the Fourfold breathing technique — that you can do anywhere: at your desk, in the car or even in line at the department store.  And hopefully, when the exercise is over, you’ll be feeling a bit more relaxed and ready to continue with your day.

To start the relaxation-based breathing timer:

Does this sound like something you want on your wrist this holiday season? Good news. These stress features are currently available on the following Garmin devices. Get one on your wrist so you can have an easier time staying in control of stress — any time of year.

vívosmart 3
vívosmart 4
vívomove HR
vívoactive 3
vívoactive 3 Music
fēnix 5 series
fēnix 5 Plus series
Forerunner 645
Forerunner 645 Music
Forerunner 935


1Activity tracking accuracy