Health / Mental well-being

6 Tips for a Happier and Less Stressed Holiday

Older couple opening gifts

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+ should talk to their doctor about whether to also receive the new RSV vaccine. All these vaccines are covered at $0 under your BCBSRI Medicare Advantage plan.

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 this box breathing exercise.

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 easier: Take free fitness classes at Your Blue Store locations. Sign up for a class.1

5. Give gifts focused on wellness (and save money doing it).
This might include fitness equipment, streaming fitness services, or meal services. You can also give out coupons for helping family and friends with meal delivery, babysitting, and other helpful tasks.

Make it easier: Blue365®2 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 help however it works best for you—in person, through video chat, 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. You can also schedule $0 video visits with therapists and psychiatrists through BCBSRI Doctors Online3. To find out more, visit or call 1-800-345-1419. Learn more about your mental health and substance use disorder benefits.  

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.

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

1Not 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.

2© 2000‐2023 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) – All Rights Reserved. The Blue365 program is made available by BCBSRI in conjunction with the BCBSA. The BCBSA is an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. Blue365® offers access to savings on items that members may purchase directly from independent vendors, which are different from items that are covered under the policies with BCBSRI, its contracts with Medicare, or any other applicable federal healthcare program. The products and services described herein are neither offered nor guaranteed under BCBSRI’s contract with the Medicare program. In addition, they are not subject to the Medicare appeals process. Any disputes regarding these products and services may be subject to BCBSRI’s grievance process. BCBSA may receive payments from Blue365 vendors. Neither BCBSA nor BCBSRI recommends, endorses, warrants, or guarantees any specific vendor, product, or service available under or through the Blue365 Program.

3Doctors Online is a telemedicine service provided by American Well®, an independent company that administers Doctors Online on behalf of BCBSRI.

Your Blue Store locations follow state and federal guidelines during emergencies. Please visit for the latest information.