Despite the Temptations, You Can Create a Healthier COVID-19 Holiday Season





Everyone knows about the trappings of the indulgent holiday season. Between holiday parties, gatherings with friends and family, and delicious treats tempting you around every corner, it is easy to pack on the pounds during the month of December. However, you do not have to resign yourself to weight gain during this festive time of the year.

The unique circumstances of 2020 are providing the perfect opportunity for you to break the cycle of holiday weight gain and mental distress. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is causing many people to change the way that they approach the holidays.

Here is how you can revamp your holiday activities and traditions so that you are not scared to step on the scale in January. As a bonus, you will be doing a favor for your mental health along the way.

Choose Healthier Options for Your Virtual Gatherings



Although gathering online for virtual celebrations certainly has its drawbacks, there are ways that you can leverage this health crisis to improve your eating habits during the holidays. Instead of being tempted by lavish buffet displays of goodies, you can create your own healthier holiday meal to enjoy while meeting with friends and family online. It is important to remember that it is acceptable to indulge a bit in your favorite holiday foods. However, it will be much easier to control your eating impulses when you are not gathering in large groups.

Cooking for Fewer People? Use This Opportunity to Scale Back



In addition, your in-person holiday gatherings are also likely to be smaller in nature. This gives you the excuse to scale back on what you serve. For example, instead of baking four different types of pie for a large group, you can serve just one variety for a smaller group of people. This alone will help you to control what you eat. Scaling back is perfectly acceptable this year, giving you the chance to improve your December diet.

Create New Traditions



There has never been a better time to create new traditions. For example, if your friend group had traditionally gathered in person to bake holiday cookies to deliver to those less fortunate, perhaps this year you want to organize a virtual socks drive for the homeless? Look at ways that you can use the pandemic to create new traditions while eliminating the holiday eating temptations that typically throw off your healthy eating habits.

Use the Extra Time to Get Exercise



It can be easy during a normal holiday season to fall off the wagon when it comes to your exercise routine. As all of the obligations of the season pile up on your calendar, your commitment to physical fitness is often one of the first things that get the ax. One of the silver linings of the pandemic is that almost everyone has more free time on their hands.

Use this gift of time to be intentional about fitting more exercise into your daily routine. Do not let the cold of winter stop you. Instead, find activities that take advantage of the weather. Create a new tradition by taking a socially distanced hike through the snow after your holiday feast. Or organize a snowman making contest for your neighborhood. With a little creativity, you can get some exercise and build social connections while still adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Put Focus Back on Mental Health



You are not alone if you feel like your mental health has suffered greatly at the hands of this pandemic. The holidays are the perfect time to hit the reset button on your mental and emotional health. Use this downtime to do the things that bring you joy.

Maybe this is curling up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and reading the latest best-selling novel? Or perhaps this is piling your family into the car to drive around and look at holiday light displays while listening to festive music? Lean into the magic of the season and use it to boost your mood and spirit.

While there is no doubt that this holiday season will look drastically different, you can use this to your advantage to improve your health in numerous ways. This holiday season may end up being one of your most peaceful yet.





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