• heather5937

How to Recover From Thanksgiving Weekend

Ah, Thanksgiving … the time-honored tradition that brings families together around dinner tables and TV screens all across the country. Whether you love or loathe this turkey- and football-centered holiday, it’s easy to feel exhausted after overdoing it on all the food and family time. Try this five-step Thanksgiving recovery plan*.

1. Burn Calories and Boost Your Mood

Thanksgiving dinner may be the most delicious meal you’ll have all year: oven-roasted turkey, thick gravy, buttery mashed potatoes, green bean casserole or almandine, and pumpkin (or for me, apple) pie—food that probably makes your mouth water just thinking about it. Unfortunately, these delectable dishes are not exactly diet-friendly, and many of us can attest to food-coma being a real thing! To avoid putting on any unwanted pounds, hit the gym or go for a run. If you’re not one for intense workouts, even just going for a walk after dinner can help. In these colder, darker months, exercise is also a good mood booster and anxiety releaser, so get those endorphins going!

2. Help Your Liver Recover

It’s not only all that food you’re recovering from, but, for those of us that drink, it's also all that booze. Do your liver a favor and cleanse your body by loading up on some vegetables that aren’t covered in fat. These three juice recipes feature powerhouse fruits and veggies like beets, carrots, lemons, and kale.

3. Use Your Leftovers Wisely

Get back to eating better portion sizes by stretching out those leftovers after all the Thanksgiving overeating (it’s true, we’re all guilty of overindulging in pie). Smaller meals throughout the day are better for your health (and waistline) overall. A few turkey leftover favorites? Sandwiches, soup, turkey pot pie, and turkey tetrazzini .

4. Find Unlikely Places to Sleep

Overdoing it on quality time with your family can be tiring, so make sure to get some much-needed shuteye before returning to work or school. This is one of the best reasons to take the bus or train (following CDC safety guidelines)—rather than navigate the stress of intense holiday traffic, you’ll get the perfect opportunity to snooze on the ride home. Just sit back, sink into your neck pillow, and let yourself doze off.

5. Give Back to Others

Of course, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without some Black Friday or Cyber Monday madness. Discard that Thanksgiving lethargy with a shopping trip amidst a bustling crowd—nothing makes you feel more alive than a frantic run through Target, right?

That being said, why not counter the shopping craze by giving back to those in need? With the holidays up ahead, there are lots of food and toy drives (like Feeding America and Toys for Tots) in need of donations. Gather some friends to help collect canned food, blankets, and books, and focus your energy on others rather than overconsumption. After all, that’s what the holidays are truly about.

Do your mind and body a favor, follow this Thanksgiving therapy and you’ll show up to your next family event with a big smile on your face, ready to handle the Christmas menu of frosted cookies, glazed ham, and [spiked] eggnog.

Don’t you just love the holiday season?!

*This five-step Thanksgiving recovery plan was brought to you by