National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Happy and Healthy Holidays

Taking Care of Our Own

The holidays are here! This time of year can bring good times and good cheer, but the holidays can also bring challenges to our physical and emotional wellbeing. Here are a few tips to maintain a physically and emotionally healthy lifestyle throughout the holiday season.

Here are a few simple ideas to help maneuver the holiday season:

  • Maintain routines that support your wellbeing. Holiday travel, food, parties, and family gatherings can challenge habits and routines related to diet, exercise, sleep, and substance use that keep us healthy. While it may be easy to let go of healthy habits during the holidays, it can be difficult to get back on track. We can increase the likelihood of maintaining healthy habits by anticipating challenging situations and making plans to maintain healthy routines. For example, if you know you’ll be challenged to maintain your exercise routine while traveling, do some research in advance about places to hike, run, or workout in the area. If maintaining good sleep is important to you, consider ways to optimize sleep conditions in advance.

  • Anticipate stress and emotional needs. Just as it’s important to plan for maintaining habits that support physical health, it is important to make plans to address stress and emotional needs in advance. If you know the holidays are emotionally challenging for you, make proactive plans to meet your needs. If you know you might be feeling lonely over the holidays, be proactive about consistently connecting with others. For example, make a plan to reach out to at least one person per day, plan events that you look forward to, or volunteer to serve others in your community. If gatherings with family and friends become stressful, set boundaries, and make plans for time to recharge.

  • Go easy on your wallet. This time of the year can get expensive and stressful due to costs like gift-giving and travel. Establish a budget in advance and be creative! Offer to have friends over for dinner instead of going out to eat. Set spending limits for gifts and use mail and technology to stay in touch with remote family and friends.

  • Connect. The holidays are a great time to connect with people we care about. Now is a great time to reach out to friends, family, and coworkers to check in, share a funny memory or share what you appreciate about them. Make a list of people you want to reach out to and make your way through the list. While the holidays are often celebrated as a time of good cheer, they can be a difficult time for many people for different reasons. Never underestimate the impact of a simple text, call, a photo, video, or holiday card.

  • For additional tips and information about staying healthy during the holidays and winter months, check out the Mental Health Subcommittee’s 2021-2022 Winter and Holiday Newsletter here: MHSC Winter Holiday Newsletter 2020-2021 (

Discussion topics:

  • What plans can you make to maintain healthy habits and routines throughout the holiday season?
  • Who do you plan to make connections with this holiday season?



Firefighter Health & Safety
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Apr 2023

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