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Are you excited about a healthy holiday season? Maybe you’re hoping to take a long winter nap and avoid the whole thing. From Halloween through to Near Year’s Day, the festivities are often a highlight for young and old. Yet, healthy holiday plans in 2020 feel cloudy to many of us. I believe this will be a holiday season for the record books! Between a worldwide pandemic, economic uncertainties, political transitions, and social distancing, EVERYTHING seems different.
Healthy holiday planning can be heart-warming no matter the conditions.
Our collective creativity and concern for one another can win the day!
All of the challenging experiences of our past, and our desire to focus on the good, can help us use our resilience at this precious time.
What are your holiday plans for the remainder of 2020? How will you embrace deeply-held family traditions or reinvent a new gameplan for holiday joy?
To help you feel more excitement and less hesitancy, I’ve pulled together some healthy resources to encourage your healthy holiday plans. Click the links below and see what others are doing to make a 2020-style celebration.
The holidays often include our favorite meals, celebratory treats, and at-home gatherings. The holidays in front of us all may be quite different in 2020. As you celebrate in old and new ways, think of little changes you can make to fuel your exhausted body, replenish enthusiasm, and reach out to others in a safe and loving way.
1. Relax and be mindful before and after every event. If you’ve never done mindfulness meditation, my favorite source for 15-minute guided meditations is the Ten Percent Happier app. I use this app for the first 15 minutes of my day to center myself and feel uplifted.
2. Watch Linda Graham’s video in her Three Practices to Find Calm and Equanimity from Mindful@Home. As worry or feelings of loss arise, the calming example of Linda Graham can help you center yourself and feel more joyful: https://youtu.be/5XI7rkcYmy8.
3. If you’ll be visiting with family and friends over Zoom this holiday season, you might like a little help as a first-time user of the zoom platform. My friend Marcia Chadly has a very popular instructional video to make your first or next experience much easier! https://youtu.be/hI32Xk2Va7M
4. Enjoy all the food groups as you celebrate. Think about food categories for every day eating. Are there produce items at every meal? Are there nuts and whole-grain crackers in your snack bowls? Have you eaten a quality protein source today? Of course, there will be room for pie and cookies, too. Make sure your body has some real food fuel to balance out the treats. This will help you feel better throughout the season.
5. Give the gift of books to children in need this Christmas. The World Literacy Foundation exists so every young person, regardless of geographic location, has the opportunity to acquire literacy skills to reach their full potential, succeed at school and beyond. If you’d like to add to their ability to gift books to children this holiday season, here’s a link for you to learn more. I plan to participate. I’m a book lover! https://worldliteracyfoundation.org/christmas2020/
6. Volunteer at a Food Bank this holiday season. Here’s what Brittany from Salt Lake City, Utah tells the Feeding America Network: “Holiday meals are expensive and they’re not in our budget. I knew we would eat on those days but I was planning on serving grilled cheese sandwiches or spaghetti. I’ve never been able to buy a turkey.” Brittany and her family were gifted a turkey and all the fixings at her local food bank. Would helping families in need lift your holiday spirits? Learn how you can help: https://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/volunteer/holidays
7. Four Ideas for Hosting a Virtual Family Christmas party. Seniors in our community may live in more isolation than ever due to Covid 19 precautions. I found a senior living facility that’s created a fun resource to help cheer those who cannot have holiday visitors. Would this resource help you? https://bit.ly/36UAS6t
8. Make a family music and movie playlist that everyone in every town can enjoy together. I have sisters and brothers I will not get to see for Christmas this year. It’s fun to think about the music and favorite movies we enjoyed as kids…or have newly discovered as adults! Sharing a playlist can help the holidays feel more connected. We can listen together over a family zoom call and celebrate safely. Here’s a ‘perfect’ playlist resource for your family: https://nyti.ms/3nGZMNI
9. Healthy holidays for your family may still allow for face-to-face visits. Do you know the Covid Restrictions for holiday travel in your part of the U.S.? I’ve found a resource to help you follow the Safer-At-Home Guidelines for your town or state: https://bit.ly/3fg7xa8
10. Take some time to soak in joy. Looking forward to special days and family traditions is an important part of healthy living. Some people say that looking forward to special events is even more enjoyable than the event itself! Even though we all have some concerns about how things are going to be different in 2020, we all can focus on the good in our own upcoming holidays. However we decide to celebrate the holidays we love, it’s up to each of us to find our own joy. I hope for you that joy anticipated–and even some unexpected joy–fills your heart this holiday season.