1. Stay connected.
Many people will be away from family and friends this holiday season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Feelings of isolation may contribute to stress and anxiety, but there are lots of ways to stay connected to loved ones from a distance. You can use your phone, laptop, or tablet to celebrate with friends and family in real-time.
2. Protect your time.
Your routine matters, even during the holidays. Create a schedule for yourself so you don’t miss out on meals, rest, or anything else that’s important to you. This can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
3. Celebrate those you’ve lost.
Holidays can be difficult after losing a friend or loved one. Remember that you’re allowed to be sad, even in the holiday season. Look for ways to honor those who can’t be with you. You might continue a tradition they cherished, share memories, or pull out old photos. Whatever you do, embrace your emotions and share them with the people around you.
4. Remember, you don’t have to do it all.
Do you stretch your budget thin trying to buy gifts for everyone? Does the pressure of hosting a virtual party stress you out? Don’t be afraid to tell friends and family that you need some help. Sharing the load takes the strain off you and gives others a chance to pitch in.
5. Do something good for your community.
Did you know that volunteering has health benefits? According to The Mayo Clinic, volunteering can reduce stress and lower your risk of depression.[i] Consider volunteering virtually or donating clothes, toys, and food to local charities if you have the means. Helping others, even strangers, can make you feel good and may even lead to new traditions.
6. Get help when you need it.
If your holiday stress becomes something more, reach out for help. Call family and friends and tell them what’s going on. EmblemHealth members can get additional support by calling the EmblemHealth Carelon Behavioral Health (formerly Beacon Health Options) at (888) 447-2526. All New Yorkers can talk, text, or chat with mental healthcare professionals via NYC Well.