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Taking Care of Mental Health During the Holidays

According to a recent survey by Travelocity, 60% of Americans aren’t going to travel to see loved ones for the holidays this year.* In fact, about one-in-three said that they aren’t going to celebrate the holidays at all. Stores are still selling decorations. Some commercials are encouraging celebration. But people are feeling disconnected and disappointed because they’re no longer apart of the festivities. And those that choose to partake in get-togethers might feel anxious and stressed out due to fear of getting sick.

During times such as these, it’s important to focus on mental health. Busyness can breed anxiety and loneliness can breed depression. But there are ways to remain calm and seek help for mental issues.

Remember: Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand. Poor diet and immobility can lead to feeling sluggish. Getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, and exercising regularly may help a poor mood. Little steps, like adding a vegetable and fruit to every meal can greatly improve energy levels. Spending some time outdoors, calling friends or family, taking a break from social media, or reflecting on the positive things in life are also good things to try.

For those still not feeling like themselves and finding it hard to cope, there are professional resources.

  • Telehealth services provide access to licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists from the comfort of home.
  • For those having a mental crisis and/or thinking about suicide, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available anytime at 1-800-273-8255. Trained counselors are also available to chat online.
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness has free support groups for people with mental illnesses.
  • For those who’ve lost a loved one, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have information on how to cope with grief and loss.
  • For those who’ve noticed that a friend, family member, or acquaintance has been behaving out of the ordinary, Indiana University Health has suggestions to help: How to Support Someone’s Mental Health During COVID-19. The National Alliance on Mental Illness also has family support groups for family members of people with mental illness.
  •  The Optum Help Line (1-866-342-6892) is a 24/7 emotional support service staffed by professionally trained mental health experts. It is free of charge and open to anyone.

It’s normal to feel stressed in difficult times. UnitedHealthcare cares about mental health. For more information on how to deal with stress, click here.