Healthy and Happy Holidays

November 23, 2019 Joe Brady

Coping with Holliday Stress

Thanksgiving should be a time to gather around a warm hearth with loved ones and give thanks for the blessings we have. Unfortunately, politics being what it is, this thanksgiving is shaping up to be quite stressful for many families. One strategy for healthy and happy holidays is to agree before dinner to make politics off-limits as dinner conversation. Another good strategy both to relieve stress and also burn off a few extra calories is some good old fashioned physical activity. Taking a nice walk before or after dinner can go a long way to relieve stress and avoid too many awkward conversations. Research shows that in addition to the physical benefits of exercise it also has many mental and emotional benefits as well. Read more for some great healthy thanksgiving recipes and more stress management techniques.

Physical activities – like walking, biking, dancing, yoga, or tai chi – can help with the effects of stress.

Research has shown Physical Activity can:

  • Reduce feelings of depression and stress
  • Enhance your mood and overall emotional well-being
  • Increase your energy level
  • Improve sleep

So, the next time you are feeling down, anxious, or stressed, start moving! Get exercise ideas, motivational tips, and more from Go4Life, an exercise and physical activity campaign for older adults from the National Institute on Aging at NIH.


Exercise the Mind as well as the Body 

Thanksgiving and the winter holidays are times to meditate on food, fun, family. You may want to try some mind and body practices to help keep holiday stress under control. The percentage of people who meditate tripled between 2012 and 2017. Meditation in motion practices may help you get some physical activity and focus your mind at the same time.

Find out what research shows about:



tai chi and qi gong

relaxation techniques.

For a good explanation of what mindfulness meditation is all about, watch the video

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Worst comes to worst if the conversation deteriorates simply interrupt and say “Let’s Eat”

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Here is a great source for some really tasty but healthy thanksgiving recipes from:

How to Cook the Ultimate Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner

by Elizabeth Laseter

Here are a few examples to whet your appetite

  • Broiled Shrimp with Buttermilk Rémoulade
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Oat Topping
  • Green Bean Salad
  • Herbed Bread Stuffing with Mushrooms and Sausage
  • Honey-Bourbon Spatchcocked Turkey
  • Tuscan Turkey

To get these recipes and more see