Healthy holiday tips during COVID-19

Published December 21, 2020
Body

Staying healthy this holiday season may mean more than staying home and practicing social distancing. It may mean tending to our mental health.

We all know the winter holidays are looking very different this year as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. We've all been challenged to adapt, and the experience may be stressful. Here are some tips and resources for staying healthy in body and mind.

Social isolation during the holidays

First, we might not be celebrating the way we're used to. Public health experts are urging people to stay home, not to travel and to continue to socially distance. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota's chief medical officer Dr. Mark Steffen offers detailed recommendations on how to lower the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the holidays.

Next, we might not be feeling the way we're used to. Continuing isolation and the stress of a prolonged pandemic are taking an even greater toll on those already dealing with mental health issues. Here's how some Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans around the country are helping members anticipate and cope with those challenges.

Understanding mental health symptoms

Independence Blue Cross Medical Director Dario V. LaRocca, MD, recommends paying attention to your mood over the holidays, and knowing when to take time to take care of yourself or seek help. The health plan has created a new public health campaign, Know Your Mind, that helps explain conditions like depression and anxiety, including how they're different than simply being sad or worried. The campaign’s site combines expert voices on a range of mental health topics with links to local and virtual resources.

Navigating relationships during the holiday

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan experts are helping people prepare for what may be difficult decisions when it comes to choosing who to interact with during the holidays. This episode in their series of "table talks," A Healthier Michigan Table Talks | Managing Relationships During COVID-19 - YouTube, gathers a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employee, medical expert and member sharing how they plan to approach keeping safe while keep connected with loved ones during COVID-19 as the holidays approach.

Taking care of mind and body

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island is reminding members of the importance of staying active, for a healthy mind and body. But the health plan takes it a step further, providing free, live online fitness classes Mondays through Fridays. Check out the cookbook, too, filled with healthy holiday options.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina health coach Dorthea Lewis gives practical advice on self-care, which she says becomes even more important during the holidays, and especially during a pandemic. The idea is to set aside a little time for yourself every day, but also to know what resources your health plan might have to help you stay healthy, from telemental health to wellness options.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

BlueCross & BlueShield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.