Make It a Stress-Free Holiday Season

christmas-2971961_1280Keep Your Focus on Good Health

The holidays can cause stress and depression, making this time of year anything but jolly for many of us. We can all get stressed out from gift-giving pressure, money worries, family get-togethers, travel hassles, never having enough time and over-commercialization.

But there are some of proactive ways you can avoid the holiday blues. Try some of these strategies to keep your holiday season bright.

Prioritize. Keep your holidays manageable by deciding in advance what you can and cannot do.

Avoid over-committing. Share the tasks of shopping, wrapping, decorating and cooking with family members.

Volunteer. When you help others, you help yourself. Volunteering lowers stress, boosts self-confidence, keeps you active, fights loneliness, and decreases depression.

Make a budget. Money is the number one stressor for most of us. This year, make a budget, stick to it, and avoid that mountain of post-holiday bills. Tip: Many financial planners suggest budgeting 1% of your annual income for holiday expenses.

Fit in exercise. Schedule your workouts so you don’t miss them. It may be the last thing you feel like doing, but a brisk walk or hitting the gym can boost your mood for up to 12 hours (not to mention work off a few holiday-cookie calories).

Get your ZZZZs. Sleeping 7-9 hours per night lets you function at your best and helps you start each day with a sharp mind, positive mood, healthier heart, more energy, steadier blood sugar, strong immune system and better appetite control.

Eat healthy. The holidays bring lots of opportunities to indulge, so double your efforts to eat high-fiber, low-fat healthy foods the rest of the time. And try these party tricks: Eat before you arrive, avoid standing right next to the food table and wait 10 minutes before you go back for seconds.

Limit drinking. The calories in alcohol add up fast and can lead to weight gain as fast as a plate of cookies. So, sip slow and savor your drinks, have a glass of water between drinks, and use low-calorie mixers.

FEELING OVERWHELMED? Your benefits make it easy to get help when you or a family member is suffering from a mental health issue, like depression, stress, anxiety or eating disorders. These conditions are real, common and treatable. A professional counselor can help you get back to feeling better—sometimes in just a few sessions.

  • Your Health Plan covers mental health services the same as any other health care service—and no deductible is required.
  • Through MDLIVE, you can have convenient counseling sessions via online video, smartphone app or phone, so you can talk anytime and from wherever you are.
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