There’s nothing like the holidays: You get to forget all about your to-do lists and work deadlines for a few days of bliss surrounded by family, good friends, and a whole lot of good food. But when you head home for Thanksgiving, it can be hard to remember to pack a dose of wellness for the trip.
My holiday typically involves spending the day nestled in my Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan (hello, hygge overload!): After walking to Central Park and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, my fiancé and I cuddle up with our pup, snack on baked goods, devour Gardein’s holiday roast and endless sides (like my famous mashed potatoes and gravy!), and binge-watch Netflix. It’s one of my few opportunities to shut off and de-stress, no laptop in sight.
While I stay put living my self-care dreams, other Well+Good staffers seek out their own healthy traditions—whether it’s getting in a workout with family or doing some cooking with the people they care about most.
Here are 8 ways Well+Good staffers bring wellness home for Thanksgiving.
“My parents have been ridiculously active their whole lives, but Chicago over Thanksgiving can be brutally cold, so we’ll often go to the gym together—we all do our various workouts then pile back into the car. It’s really happy-making to me that my folks can be my gym buddies. (I’ve also been known to sneak out to CorePower Sculpt, which is a hot yoga–weights class that’s a personal tradition when I’m in Chicago.) Also, cooking healthy dishes together is a super-bonding ritual too. We always catch up on so much while chopping veggies. My parents meditate, so sometimes we do that together, though they sit longer than I do!”
—Melisse Gelula, chief content officer and co-founder
“I’m trying to convince my family that kale au gratin may be a better choice than potatoes au gratin this year.”
—Lindsay Harnett, marketing manager
“I nudge family members to sign up for a turkey trot with me every single year, whether we’re celebrating in my hometown in Kansas City, at my husband’s family’s in Philly, or at home in Brooklyn. It’s awesome for bonding, and everyone starts the day with endorphins…including me! (I’ve never missed one, even when I was pregnant with twins.)”
—Liz Plosser, senior vice president of content
“I’m from the South, so nothing on the table is healthy, per se. My brother and I work around it by making our own veggie-centric sides.”
—Erin Bunch, writer
“My dad and I always hit a local hiking trail together before dinner. It gives us time to hang out, just the two of us, and it feels good to do something active before such a big meal. Then, when I’m home, I spend as much time with my nephews as possible—and that means a lot of time chasing them around outside. They wear me out more than any fitness class. Seriously! (No, seriously, how are kids never out of energy?)”
—Emily Laurence, food and health editor
“We do a family walk in the park and take the little kids to a playground.”
—Tyler Del Vento, senior vice president, sales and marketing
“I typically try to get in a run or a workout that morning. When I was younger, my family would often take a walk around my nana’s neighborhood—where we spent the holiday for years—after we ate, so I’m going to try and bring that back this year!”
—Kendall Bryant, product manager
“My mom is really good about cutting up a thousand veggies and having crudité to nibble on all morning so we can snack on something healthy and keep our fingers out of her food—and occasionally top off our Bloody Marys.”
—Ella Dove, video producer