Eat well, feel well and stay safe this holiday season

November 18, 2021 Providence Health Team

This article was updated on Nov. 18, 2021 to reflect recent information and research.


In this article:

  • Providence Health clinicians share advice on navigating food, cravings and nutrition during the holiday season.

  • We offer practical steps you can take to ensure you and those you care about stay healthy and safe – through flu season and more.

  • Stress during the holidays is common – here’s what doctors say you should do to cope.

While holidays are a special time of the year – and often a great time to reconnect with family and friends – they can also be stressful. Many people at this time of year experience stress about shopping, finances and lack of time. Add concerns about risks to our health, and the stress is even greater. Self-care and looking after our loved ones have never been more important.

Below, we’ve curated some of our favorite holiday articles to give you a wealth of tips to stay mentally, physically and spiritually strong this holiday season.

A healthy holiday

It seems the holidays are often synonymous with food. After all, who doesn’t enjoy diving into turkey and stuffing, grabbing an extra slice of pie, sneaking a Christmas cookie before bed or noshing on a midnight snack? Luckily, you can still enjoy your favorite treats without going overboard. Here are a few of our favorite tips:

  • Drink up (water that is) Water can help you feel full and provides countless benefits to your overall health and wellness. Read more.
  • Try a smoothie to balance your diet. Smoothies are a great way to get in those fruits and veggies – and that’s always a good thing, especially around the holidays when our plates may be full of sweets and treats. Check out some of our favorite recipes.
  • Avoid sugary drinks Save those calories for favorite holiday-only foods and skip the fruity, sugary beverages. Find out where sugar may be hiding.
  • Balance your plate It can be confusing to know what you should be eating and how much. MyPlate offers great nutrition guidance to your gender, age and activity level. Learn more
  • Make some healthy swaps Changing an ingredient or two can go a long way in making a favorite (and classic) holiday dish a little more nutritious. Find out how.
  • Get ready for a reset Overindulge at a holiday celebration? It happens to the best of us. When setbacks do occur, stay focused on moving forward. Here’s how.

Stay present this holiday season

The holidays are always busy, but this year COVID-19, flu and dreaded supply chain issues are threatening to put the bah-humbug in anyone’s celebration. Help balance that stress by focusing on your mental health. That may mean running a hot bath, winding down with a meditation session each night or being mindful about what’s really important – spending time with family and friends.

Here, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite articles that can help you cope with this stressful time of year.


What better time to carve out some quiet time than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Research has shown that meditation has many wonderful benefits on your spiritual, mental and physical health. Start your practice with these tips.

Take the holistic approach to your wellness

Your good health takes more than eating right and exercising. It calls for an awareness of how all things in your life can impact your overall health. Whether it’s rising stress levels brought on by trying to find the perfect gift or heightened emotions triggered by family time (the good and bad), discover how holistic living can help.

Honor loved ones

Coping with grief can be particularly challenging at the holidays. Keep your loved ones in mind this holiday season with a few sweet tributes. Read more.

Natural remedies to help ease stress

Chances are you have the ingredients you need to make a few tried-and-true remedies that can help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Here are some great ways to unwind and relax this holiday.

Stay safe, stay healthy 

The holiday season always presents challenges to staying healthy, and protecting ourselves and our loved ones is the top priority. Luckily, with flu and COVID-19 vaccines readily available, and new guidance from the experts, there are many steps we can take to keep the season merry and bright.

Get vaccinated

The flu and COVID-19 vaccines remain your best bet at building your immunity and protecting loved ones. Still not sure it’s right for you? Have questions about the latest approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? These articles may help!

COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions

On the fence about getting your children vaccinated for COVID? Here are a few reasons to consider it.

Who's eligible for COVID-19 booster?

FDA grants full approval of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Follow local expert guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued recommendations for celebrating the upcoming holidays. It’s also important to check with your local public health department to learn COVID-19 transmission rates in your community, which can help you guide what’s safe and what may be better to skip this year.

Of course, basic hygiene can also reduce your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19, the flu or other viruses:

  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a mask indoors or in crowded outdoor settings
  • Stay 6 feet away from others when possible
  • Stay home if you are sick or have any cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms

It can also be tricky to decide what’s safe even if you and your loved ones are vaccinated. Discover what may be best for your family.

Extra care for high-risk cancer patients during the holidays

People fighting cancer have a higher risk of contracting other illnesses because treatments like chemotherapy can weaken their immune systems. If you or someone you know is undergoing cancer treatments, there are steps you can take to protect them, especially during this holiday season. Read more.

With the right support, even the most challenging aspects of the holidays can be made more manageable. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!


Find a doctor

Our doctors at Providence can help you mentally and physically manage the holidays and your overall wellness year-round. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory. Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can also access a full range of healthcare services.

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Related resources

Extra care for high-risk cancer patients

Healthy swaps for holiday favorites

Foods to help you reset your diet

Improving mental fitness with meditation as you age

Holistic approach to living well

Grief during the holidays

Natural remedies to help with stress and anxiety

On the fence about getting your children vaccinated for COVID-19?

FDA grants full approval of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

I’m fully vaccinated. Can I socialize now?

The immune system and folic acid: Are you getting enough?

Tips for beating stress eating

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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