5 Ways to Stay Happy and Healthy During the Holidays

Tis the Season to be Jolly—and Stressed?

Yes, it’s true. Many studies have shown that the holiday season can cause spikes in stress, frustration and sadness. Staying happy and healthy during the holidays can be easier said than done.

It’s understandable. There’s a lot going on. Crowded airports, family gatherings, inflation, fattening food—the most wonderful time of the year can be hectic and draining. 

Plus it’s easy to put added pressures on ourselves during the holidays. For new parents in particular, the holidays can resemble a high stakes test, where everything has to be just exactly right. Others might be down because they can’t see friends and family at all.

You can see how it can all add up. The stress can trigger unexpected negative reactions. But the holidays don’t have to be so pressure-packed.

Here are 5 tips for staying happy and healthy during the holidays.

Five tips for staying happy and healthy during the holiday season.
The holiday season can be hectic. Make sure you're taking care of yourself and staying happy and healthy during the holidays.

5 Tips for Staying Happy & Healthy During Holidays

Eat Heartily, Yet Heathfully

From candied yams to sourdough stuffing, figgy pudding to pecan pie, chances are you’ll challenge your diet during the holiday season. Don’t beat yourself up about eating too much. 

Just be smart about your holiday feasting. Eat in moderation. Choose homemade courses over processed foods. Spoon plenty of veggie dishes onto your plate, too.

And don’t forget to take those after-dinner walks.

Don't be a Present Perfectionist

Missed that amazing Black Friday offer? No big deal. It’s the thought behind a gift that counts. The pressure of gift giving can cause undue stress, so keep it in perspective and cut yourself a break.

Whether you’re shopping for your special someone or a secret snowflake at work, effort trumps the deliverables.

Don’t worry about regifting either—it’s practical and even kind of cool.

Practice Travel Mindfulness

Holiday travel can be chaotic. Highway traffic, long security lines at the airport. 

The tension might run high—but rather than snap, take the high road.

Relax.

Live in the moment—listen to your favorite playlist in the car, play the license plate game, check out other air travelers, daydream you’re a globetrotter by the departures board. 

Be a mindful traveler, and understand that we’re all in this experience together, trying to get where we’re going. You’ll get there on time.

(Though it can’t hurt to arrive a bit on the early side, too.)

Stay Hydrated & Hygienic

Don’t live on eggnog and aperitifs only during the holidays. Drink plenty of water. 

If you’re flying, at a holiday party, or just between courses at Aunt Belle’s, gulp down that agua. Yes, 8 glasses a day is a good goal, any time of the year.

So is minding your personal hygiene.

Travel with some hand sanitizer, and keep washing your hands a lot. Why risk getting your people sick? COVID-aside, there are still plenty of foul germs floating around out there.

You don’t want to kick off 2023 with a nasty cold.

Stay Positive Through it All

Whether you’re stuck somewhere away from friends and family or plopped down by a relative with a different worldview than you, don’t despair.

Be positive. Stay upbeat.

Besides the many health benefits of positive thinking, you’ll simply have a better time if you don’t fall into the trap of negative thinking. Instead of feeling lonely or wading into an unpleasant conversation, try a different approach, like volunteering to help a local organization, or steering touchy topics to something less upsetting. 

By bringing a positive attitude to your situation, whatever it is, you’ll rest better later when the holiday season is in the books.


Mental health is key to focus on any time of the year. Through our partnership with Talkspace, Clearwater Benefits includes mental health coverage on all of our plans. To learn more about our health plan options, schedule a chat with a Clearwater agent today.