Health / Mental well-being

6 Ways to Have a Happier and Less Stressed Holiday

Mother and child with holiday decorations

The holiday season often brings stress along with its good cheer and sugar cookies. These tips and resources can help you and your loved ones have a healthy, happy holiday. 

1. Get vaccinated to protect yourself and loved ones.
The best way to stop viruses from ruining your holiday plans is to get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone ages 6 months and older get a flu shot and an updated COVID-19 vaccine. Adults ages 60+ and pregnant women should talk to their doctor about whether to also receive the new RSV vaccine. In addition, if you have a child under 19 months, ask their pediatrician about a new immunization called nirsevimab that protects infants and young children from RSV. All these vaccines are covered at $0 under your BCBSRI health plan.1

Make it easier: Find a participating pharmacy where you can get vaccinated.

2. Make time for the holiday traditions you most enjoy—or create new ones.
Shopping, cooking, decorating, party planning—on top of your usual responsibilities—can keep you very busy. If you’re not enjoying those activities, try to cut back and create space for the activities you want to do, whether that’s watching your favorite holiday movies, having dinner with family, or walking around the neighborhood to see the light displays. 

Make it easier: Take a few minutes for yourself with these mindfulness tips.

3. Eat healthy, but let yourself indulge a little.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean denying yourself some of your holiday favorites. Just eat them in moderation. Take a small piece of cake or a few chips and really savor every bite. Research shows that the first few bites of a food taste the best, so a small treat may be the best way to go. Not skipping meals, using smaller plates, and avoiding high-calorie drinks are also good ways to eat healthier during the holidays.

Make it easier: Find healthy holiday recipes to share with the Rhode Ahead cookbook Lighten Up Your Holidays.

4. Schedule time for being active.
To make time for exercise, try adding it to your calendar or telling your family when you’re planning it. Doing something you like—whether going for a walk, taking a fitness class, or practicing yoga—is good for your mood and your body. Make it family time to stay active together or alone time if you need a break.

Make it easier: Take free fitness classes at Your Blue Store locations. Sign up for a class.2

5. Give gifts focused on wellness (and save money doing it).
As we’re all trying to stay physically and mentally healthy, consider buying gifts that can help throughout the year. This might include fitness equipment, streaming fitness services, virtual classes, or meal services. You can also give out coupons for helping family and friends with shoveling, meal delivery, and other helpful tasks.

Make it easier: Blue365®3 offers members-only savings on health and fitness gear, fitness services, meal plans, and much more. There’s no charge to register, and you can sign up for email alerts tailored to your preferences. Check out the savings at Blue365

6. Talk with a therapist from your couch (or anywhere else).  
If you are feeling anxious or depressed, a therapist can help. And you can get treatment however it works best for you—in person, through video, or by phone. 

Make it easier: You have coverage for clinically appropriate video and phone visits from in-network providers, including therapists. Ask your therapist if that is an option for any treatment that you need. 

Helpful resources

These resources can provide assistance if you or someone you know needs help. 

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, call or text 988.

Kids’ Link RI
This 24/7 hotline for kids in emotional crisis—1-855-543-5465—is offered in collaboration with Gateway Healthcare, Lifespan, Hasbro Children's Hospital, and Bradley Hospital. 

United Way 211
You can call 211 for help 24/7 with housing, food, and so much more.

1This benefit is for all BCBSRI medical plans except Plan 65.

2Not all exercises are suitable for everyone and any exercise program could result in injury. Always consult with your physician before beginning an exercise program, especially if you have an existing health condition.

3©2000‐2023 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association ‐ All Rights Reserved. The Blue365 program is made available by BCBSRI in conjunction with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

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