NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s “the most wonderful time of the year,” but during the holidays our health often takes a back seat.

“The holidays tend to be a really stressful time for many people but if we can just take a few moments and do a few things focused on health, it will make us feel better throughout the whole season,” explained Caryn Sullivan, a healthy lifestyle writer.

It can be hard fitting in the gym this time of year, so Sullivan says keep your running shoes handy, so you can get in a few steps whenever possible.

“When you can add 10 minutes walking here and 10 minutes walking there, those times add up,” Sullivan said.

We’re in and out of stores a lot during the holidays…

“So before you actually go in and purchase, take a 15 minute walk going window shopping,” Sullivan recommends.

Or before grocery shopping, walk up and down the aisles for a few minutes.

There’s no shortage of treats this time of year…

“So a great way to offset that is to have healthy food around your desk if you work, in your car if you’re going out and about, that way when you get really hungry you can grab something that will nourish you, and then maybe have a treat later,” Sullivan explained.

And don’t underestimate the power of hydration.

“You’re on the go,” Sullivan said of the holidays. “You’re likely not drinking a lot, or you’re drinking drinks with lots of caffeine.”

So keep a few bottles of water in handy places, like in your car or on your desk.

To keep stress at bay, turn to essential oils.

“There are scents like lavender that are known for having properties that actually soothe a person,” Sullivan explained.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed…

“You can pour a few drops of lavender in your hands, rub them together and take a big breath,” Sullivan said.

Another way to ward off stress is by carrying around something that makes you feel joy, like a lucky key chain, photo of a loved one, quote or affirmation card.

For more wellness advice from Sullivan, visit

Staying Healthy this Holiday Season