How to Have a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for joy, love, and laughter. But unfortunately for many, these special occasions can cause a level of anxiety that’s only been heightened by the pandemic. Navigating the mental, financial, and food-related challenges around the holiday season can be tricky. No matter what your holiday looks like, these simple tips will help you through it. 

Stay present and engaged

Set boundaries — COVID-related or otherwise — for holiday parties ahead of time and check in with yourself periodically. This time of year can be chaotic. When you need a break — whether it be from the food, the people, or the shopping — take it. Even better, schedule time for self-care before the stress sets in. Your calendar is likely filling up quickly, so don’t be afraid to step back and recharge, even if that means politely declining party invites. 

Avoid food restriction

While it may seem counterintuitive, try not to restrict anything from your diet this season. Avoid putting foods on your plate because they’re “healthy” or choosing small portions out of guilt. This will likely leave you hungry and unsatisfied — potentially causing you to overindulge on dessert or leftovers later. Stick to a healthy lifestyle and your normal routine 80% of the time, and allow yourself to enjoy the other 20%. If you do end up overeating, take a walk and drink a glass of water to reset. Balance is key. 

Choose gratitude

When the holiday season gets hectic, it can be easy to forget about the simple pleasures life has to offer: family; friends; plenty of food; a place to call home. This feels particularly true when we’re running around the mall shopping for gifts. Setting aside time to focus on what you’re grateful for will help remind you what this time of year is truly about. 

Let go of expectations

This may be the first time you’re reuniting with distant family or friends after a holiday in lockdown last year. This may also still be a time of financial stress due to the pandemic. While a sense of “normalcy” may be a bit ambitious, allow yourself to celebrate the best way you can given the unique circumstances


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