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How to Keep Up with Healthy Routines During the Holidays

written by Skye Kalil Written by Skye Kalil
Skye Kalil

Skye Kalil

Skye likes writing about mental health, nutrition, and wellness. She is passionate about sharing information that will educate, and positively affect people's lives.

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November 19, 2021 Read Time - 6 minutes

Healthy Routines During the Holidays

Keeping up a healthy routine can be challenging, especially around the holidays. The holidays change up our typical schedule, give us opportunities to eat sugary holiday-themed food, and skip out of workouts in favor of holiday activities. 

People tend to struggle more with keeping up with healthy habits in the winter. Due to the cold weather, it can be hard to stick to a diet or get to the gym. But if you want to maintain your goals, we have some simple strategies that can keep you on track.

How Do You Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle During the Holidays?

Here are our overall suggestions for how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the holidays this season: 

  • Shift your focus: During the holidays, it can be easy to think about the superficiality of giving and getting gifts, eating copious amounts of food, and drinking. But the holidays are a great time to improve relationships and make memories with loved ones.
  • Ask for help: Sharing your goals with friends and family can be a chance to connect, and your support system can help you stick to your goals. You can go on walks, exercise together, and make healthy food; everything is always easier when someone is doing it with you. 
  • Go easy on yourself: If you let some of your healthy habits slip this winter, you don’t need to feel shame. You can use this as motivation, and set goals for the new year, and move forward. 
  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

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How Can I Eat Healthy During the Holidays?

Eating healthy during the holidays is a major theme that people struggle with. During winter months, we tend to eat more comfort food that is higher in calories, and typically carbohydrates and fats as well, which can lead to weight gain. 

Here are our tips on how to eat healthy during the holidays this year: 

  • Enjoy! (in moderation): Focusing on healthy habits overall is excellent, but depriving yourself of partaking in any special holiday food may lead to resentment, and will make it harder, in the long run, to stick to healthy habits. One cookie isn’t going to derail all your progress; balance is key, and it’s important to have fun! 
  • Don’t drink too much: If you do drink, you can follow the American Heart Association guidelines. Drinking alcohol is already ingesting empty calories, and can lead you to make unhealthy choices later, especially if you’re nursing hangovers. 
  • Start the day with a good breakfast: Starting off fully fueled up is the best start to the day, and will lead to a better balance through the day. 
  • Bring fruits and vegetables to your holiday table: Include some sides where fruits and vegetables are the star of the show. You can add some roasted vegetables or baked squash to your spread, or even add fruit to your holiday cookies, like banana oatmeal cookies or carrot cake cookies.
  • Drink water: It can be easy to forget to drink water when you are busy. You can carry a water bottle with you, or have a special glass to remind you to drink water throughout the day.

Related: Self-Care Ideas


What Should I Do to Stay Active During Holidays?

Exercise during the holidays can be hard to keep up with as well. As our typical schedule changes, it is easy to skip workouts, or take a few days off, which leads to taking weeks off. It’s easy to choose spending time with family over going to the gym. 

It is common to be less active during the holidays, but if you want to continue exercise, here are our tips: 

  • Don’t skip workouts: Pausing your workout routine and getting off your schedule can make it much harder to maintain a routine once the holidays are over. Getting back into exercising can seem daunting after you stop, so continuing will make it easier to stick to it. 
  • Add exercise to your calendar: Adding exercise to your calendar and planning time around working out will make it easier to follow through with training. 
  • Try a new activity: Mixing it up with a fun new workout can be the motivation you need. You could try indoor sports like tennis, Zumba, yoga, or swimming. Gyms and clubs often offer deals during the holidays, so now is the best time to start something new. You could also try ice skating, or other holiday activities.  

Work-Life Balance During the Holidays

Another issue people struggle with is maintaining a work-life balance. With many people working from home, the lines between work and life have been significantly blurred. Here are some tips for how to keep your work-life balance healthy during the holidays this season:

  • Mindfulness: Take time to yourself and just be. Mindfulness is where you focus on being actively aware of what you are feeling and experiencing in the moment without interpretation or judgment. 
  • Set boundaries, and stick to them: Setting strict boundaries makes your expectations clear. Make it known to your place of work that you are unmistakably unavailable. If you are taking time off, really take time off. 
  • Unplug: Spend a few days (or hours) without your phone. Don’t check your email or work related things; this is your time to relax. 

Related: What is Work Burnout?


  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Healthy Routines During the Holidays

Finding balance can be a daily challenge, and especially around the holidays, we can feel additional pressure. Navigating this pressure and stress can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. PlushCare provides support through our online doctors and online therapists. 

Prioritizing your mental health and physical health is the best thing you can do for yourself in the long run, and we can help you do that. Our online therapists are here to talk about holiday stress, family tension, COVID-19 depression or anxiety, or a tough time that you may be going through.

One major benefit of online therapy around the holidays is that you can see your therapist from anywhere! You don’t have to skip your therapy sessions if you are traveling; they can go on as scheduled. Snow storm? No problem, you can talk to your therapist from the comfort of your couch. During this busy and stressful time, online therapy is the perfect solution.

Our therapists are all licensed, specially trained for online therapy, and available for virtual therapy sessions. Prioritizing mental and physical health during the holidays tends to fall on the backburner, but focusing on yourself is the best thing you can do to take care of yourself.

Click here to make an appointment with an online therapist with PlushCare. 


Read More About Staying Healthy During the Holidays


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Harvard Health Publishing. Keep your health habits on track during the holidays. Accessed October 25, 2021 at https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/keep-your-health-habits-on-track-during-the-holidays 

Díaz-Zavala, Rolando G et al. “Effect of the Holiday Season on Weight Gain: A Narrative Review.” Journal of obesity vol. 2017 (2017): 2085136. Accessed October 25, 2021 at  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514330/ 

National Agricultural Library in Food and Nutrition by the US Department of Agriculture. Five Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays. Accessed October 25, 2021 at https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2020/12/09/five-healthy-eating-tips-holidays

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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