6 Ideas For Maintaining Healthy Habits During The Holidays

Ready to feel great this holiday season? Let’s talk 6 ideas for maintaining healthy habits during the holidays! From planning ahead to practicing gratitude to accountability partners.

A cup of black coffee, two Christmas ornaments and a plate of cookies.

Tis the season to be merry! From holiday parties to cookie baking marathons to family visits, we have officially reached that time of the year when our schedules are jam packed with all sorts of festive and fun activities.

And … it’s also that time of the year when all those healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to establish can go completely out the window.

So today, I thought it might be helpful to talk about six different ideas for maintaining healthy habits during the holidays.

Now, let me be clear. I am allll about balance – I personally think that the holidays are meant to be savored and enjoyed. And yes, that includes all those delicious sweet treats!

But at the same time, I want to feel healthy and like my best self – so that I can really be present for all those wonderful moments throughout the month.

So for me, it’s all about the give and take (as my grandma would say).

Eating nourishing meals during the day, then enjoying a delightful gingerbread cookie (or two!) at night. Going for a nice walk, then savoring a cinnamon roll on Christmas morning. You catch my drift.

And with that said, let’s dive in!

Two Christmas ornaments, red and white garland plus a touch of greenery.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead

Take a look at your schedule for the month ahead. Think about what your typical day will look like and how you can incorporate some healthy habits. Also think about those days with scheduled holiday activities and what might work for those (i.e. when you’re out of your normal routine).

It can also be incredibly helpful to think through any obstacles or challenges that might come up and how you’ll handle them.

For example:

  • Take some time to meal plan for the days that you will be home. Load up on tons of veggies, healthy fats, protein and whole grains. Have healthy options on hand for breakfast and snacking. Maybe spend an hour or two on the weekend meal prepping for the week ahead. {You can find plenty of healthy meals in our recipe index if you’re struggling for ideas!}
  • Traveling for the holiday? Plan ahead! If you’re road tripping – pack plenty of water, nourishing snacks and maybe research restaurants along the way that have healthy options. If you’re flying, pack snacks that you can bring through security, grab water as soon as you get to your gate and move around in the terminal before having to sit for long periods of time on the plane!
  • For holiday parties and eating out, a little bit of advance thought can go a long way. Take a look at restaurant menus ahead of time, don’t go to parties starving, or if you’re contributing a dish to a potluck, bring something fresh and fabulous!

2. Keep A Water Bottle With You At All Times

Because if it’s with you and easily accessible, you’re more likely to drink plenty of water and not forget!

Yes, I am totally that person who always has a water bottle as well as a healthy snack in her purse.

It comes in handy if you’re out running a ton of errands and realize that you’re starving (which again, goes back to idea number one – plan ahead!).

A cup of black coffee, a plate of cookies, two Christmas ornaments and some fresh cranberries scattered around.

3. Schedule In Time For Movement

Put an alert on your phone. Write it down on your calendar. Do whatever you need so that it doesn’t fall to the wayside.

And remember, anything works! Exercise can be something as simple as going for a walk with a friend, dancing with your kids, doing some simple stretches or a quick yoga video at home.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and a little bit can go a long way!

4. Practice Gratitude

While there is a lot of merriment surrounding the holidays, they can also be a stressful time – maybe you’re overbooked, dealing with tricky family members or have a to-do list that’s a mile long.

One of my favorite small practices is to write down five things that I’m thankful for at the end of each day (whether large or small).

Not only do I find this helps me enjoy the holiday season more (and relax / unwind), but it can also help reframe negative or difficult situations.

Five different Christmas ornaments on crinkled white parchment paper.

5. Listen To Your Body

Pay attention, be aware, stop and listen. While this is one of those skills that can take some time to develop, I find it incredibly helpful for maintaining healthy habits.

Because the more you notice about what is happening, the more you can consciously choose your response.

For example, is your body telling you it’s run down? Sleep instead of going out. Are you craving veggies? Have a big ol’ salad for lunch.

Slowing down and paying attention is also a great way to really enjoy the season.

Savor that cookie and don’t rush through it. Be fully present when enjoying a holiday party with friends. Soak up all the sparkly lights and festive decor. The list could go on and on!

6. Find An Accountability Partner

And finally, having someone that you can check in with and talk to is incredibly helpful for sticking with healthy habits. Maybe it’s a friend, your partner, a health coach or a family member. Whoever.

But having someone to hold you accountable will make you more likely to follow through with your plans. Whether it’s just to ask if you did that work out or someone to actually work out with, either way it will help.


And that’s a wrap! So tell me – what are YOUR favorite tips for maintaining healthy habits and balance during the holiday season???

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