|[December 17, 2012]
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri Offers Tips on Getting a Handle on Holiday Stress
ST. LOUIS --(Business Wire)--
The following is an opinion editorial by Dr. Wayne Meyer, medical
director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri
Seeing blue instead of red and green The holidays should be a time of
peace and joy, at least according to the greeting cards.
But the holiday season can also be a time of stress and depression,
beset by money worries, frenzied to-do lists and family tension. Stress
is practically built into the holiday season, but with some preparation
you can help to head it off at the pass:
Set realistic goals. Decide in advance what is most important
for you and your family, and focus your celebrations on those things.
In this day of extended families, we often feel that we have
to spend time with everyone. Sometimes these expectations are
not realistic. Remember you get to create your own family traditions
and sometimes that means slowing down and putting aside special times
just for you and your kids. That means don't over schedule - decide
ahead of time what activities you want to do rather than ones
you feel obligated to do.
Make a budget and stick to it. Overspending is a major source
of holiday stress, and the credit card bills can leave a hangover for
months after. If gift buying is part of your holiday celebration,
decide in advance what you can afford to spend this year. The easy
part is creating a list of everyone you'll shop for and how much to
spend - the hard part is sticking to it. Consider less expensive gift
options, like a nicely framed photograph of a shared memory or the
gift of your time.
Don't abandon healthy habits. During times of stress, people
often cut back on sleep and compensate by loading up on alcohol,
caffeine and unhealthy food. Not only do those overindulgences sap
your energy but they can also compound your feelings of stress and
guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don't
go overboard on sweets. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical
activity, even if it's just a brisk walk between social engagements.
Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community,
religious or other social events. Many workplaces offer employee
assistance programs through their health insurer that can provide
resources for support and companionship. Volunteering your time to
help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your
Seek help. If you feel hopelessness, loss of interest in work
or other activities, social withdrawal, a significant change in
appetite and/or unhappiness or irritability for a prolonged period of
time, seek out a health care provider. You may be dealing with
Seasonal Affective Disorder, which tends to build up in the late
autumn and winter months as sunlight decreases, or with long-term
depression. Depending on your situation, talk therapy, light therapy
and medication may help.
As you head into the holiday season, consider ways that you can change
the pressures you may be putting on yourself during this time of year.
Instead, make a plan to rest, relax and reflect on the true meaning of
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri
In Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area) Anthem Blue
Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name for RightCHOICE® Managed Care,
Inc. (RIT), Healthy Alliance® Life Insurance Company (HALIC), and HMO
Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates administer non-HMO benefits
underwritten by HALIC and HMO benefits underwritten by HMO Missouri,
Inc. RIT and certain affiliates only provide administrative services for
self-funded plans and do not underwrite benefits. Independent licensees
of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered
trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue
Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue
Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and
Blue Shield in Missouri is available at www.anthem.com.
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