Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

By: Health Matters State Employee Wellness Program

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we’ve got four simple tips to keep you healthy, happy, and grateful!

  • Let’s Talk Safe Turkey. No one wants to be responsible for making people sick from food, especially on a holiday! Practice good food safety including washing hands frequently; keeping raw meat away from ready-to-eat foods; keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold; and refrigerating perishable leftovers within two hours1.
  • The first three bites are always the best. Our enjoyment of food diminishes as we get less hungry2. Savor all your favorites but try to notice when you are no longer completely enjoying the stuffing, potatoes, or pie and consider putting down your fork. You can always have more later!
  • Thanksgiving is about so much more than food. Don’t lose sight of the real reason for the holiday – showing gratitude and connecting with people you care about. Try a gratitude tree or “I’m thankful for…” jar as an activity to bring everyone together around something other than the turkey.
  • Tell your body “thank you!”  Make time to get some sort of movement throughout the day. Instead of using exercise to “burn off” your Thanksgiving meal, consider it an act of gratitude to your body. Our bodies were made to move and there is no better way to show your appreciation than by getting your blood pumping!

1 “Food Safety by Events and Seasons.” FoodSafety.gov, https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep-food-safe/food-safety-by-events-and-seasons#thanksgiving. Accessed November 2019.
2 Consason, Alexis, Psyc.D., “Tips for a Mindful Thanksgiving Feast.” Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/eating-mindfully/201211/tips-mindful-thanksgiving-feast. Accessed November 2019.

Thank You!

Guess what? Thanksgiving can actually increase your wellness, health, and happiness. Giving thanks and having gratitude are very healthy habits and they reduce stress. This Thanksgiving, before things get crazy, take time to tune in to what matters in your life. Consider these questions…
  • Name 5 people you are grateful for
  • Name 5 physical abilities you are grateful for
  • Name 5 material possessions you are grateful for
  • Name 5 things that happened today for which you are grateful
  • Name 5 things you are grateful for in nature
  • Name 5 things you are grateful for about you!
Try a little gratitude this Holiday Season. It may help lower your blood pressure, sooth jagged nerves, and put a smile on your face. Watch the video 20 Things We Should Say More Often from SoulPancake – and have a laugh! Share what you are thankful for…