13 ways to maintain wellness during the holidays

31 October 2023

Gathering with family and friends is a part of what can make the holidays so special. Office parties, holiday celebrations and dinner gatherings with friends offer the opportunity to create lifelong memories. 

However, holidays can also lead to stress, less exercise and unhealthy habits, which can derail efforts to maintain weight, wellness and peace of mind. Potential pitfalls include participating in too many activities, overspending, not eating healthy food and engaging in little to no exercise. 

Besides accommodating friends and family with food intolerances, consider adopting some or all of these 13 traditions for maintaining your health and wellness during the holidays.

Eat well:

  1. Make comfort food healthy food with lighter ingredients like yogurt or olive oil. Tasty food doesn’t have to be heavy and rich. 
  2. Swap out side dishes with high trans or saturated fats like vegetables in cream sauce for roasted vegetables. 
  3. Try mashing sweet potatoes with carrots, adding spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves for a tasty, nutrient-rich side dish.
  4. Remember this time of year is perfect for making healthy chili and soups a regular feature in your weekly meals.


  1. Continue any stationary bike, treadmill or calisthenic workouts you may have done before the holidays, even if they’re shorter due to time constraints. 
  2. Start a new tradition of going for a walk or hike with your family after dinner. You could even consider signing up for a holiday-themed walk or run. 
  3. Ask family and friends to help decorate your home (indoors and out) for the holidays. 
  4. Too blustery and cold for the outdoors? Visit your local superstore to check off two to-do items: a brisk, walking workout and holiday shopping.

Manage stress: 

  1. Avoid overspending and overextending yourself. Set a budget and stick to it. 
  2. Remember, it’s okay to say no to social invites you don’t want to attend. Be polite but assertive.
  3. Share your to-do list with family members to ease the burden spreading joy can bring.
  4. Take breaks. Schedule them, if you have to. Spend an hour devoted to your favorite hobby, reading a book or taking a short nap. 
  5. Forget about perfection. Breathe, laugh and relax.


Labcorp can help

Labcorp’s health coaching programs can guide your employees to nutrient-rich, healthy food, and an exercise program that fits them and tailored steps to manage their stress. Our team of healthcare professionals supports participants in making positive, sustainable lifestyle changes to help them lead their best lives both inside and outside of the office. 

If the holidays are stressful for you, also consider working with a health coach who is certified in mental health first aid. 

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