Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with loved ones. It is a time where we can reflect on how much we truly have to be grateful for. Here are our tips to make this holiday one that echoes a commitment to health and wellness.
Tip #1: Give Thanks
Research has shown the powerful effects of gratitude such as lowering blood pressure, decreasing depression, and improving quality of life.
Gratitude is an amazing tool to connect us to those around us and ground ourselves. USC gerontologist Leah Buturain Schneider says, “You can strengthen an awareness of gratitude by sharing what you are thankful for or letting people know you appreciate them. Expressing this helps build bridges, connects us to the sacrifices of others and allows us to see abundance rather than what we lack.”
Gratitude is something you can practice every day. We recommend starting this week by writing down 3 things you are grateful for every morning. It is a wonderful way to begin your day and set the tone for a fulfilling life.
Tip #2: Make lunch your largest meal
Professors from USC’s Nutrition, Healthspan, and Longevity program say that making lunch your largest meal allows your body to process those nutrients much better. Our bodies tend to digest better while we are awake and active. By eating a bit earlier (which most American families tend to do on Thanksgiving), you allow your body to digest before bedtime, something that has benefits for weight loss and overall health!
Tip #3: Include physical activity as a Thanksgiving tradition
An amazing part of coming together for this holiday is the opportunity for group activities! Whether that’s a local turkey trot, family football games, or simply walks around the neighborhood, incorporating exercise throughout the day is a great way to promote healthy habits this holiday season. It’s good for your body, mind, and soul!
Tip #4: Strive for wellness maintenance!
Be realistic. The holiday season is a magical time of connection to loved ones. You are more than your plate! Food is nourishment and this holiday is meant to remind us of just how grateful we should be for everything around us. This holiday does not have to derail all your health and wellness goals. However, your plate does not determine your value. You are in charge of your own health and happiness, and you may choose to fill your plate with something different than the person beside you. Changing our self-talk about these things can help us truly enjoy the holiday and savor this special time with those around us.