Subtitle BlueCross BlueShield Health and Wellness Experts Provide Simple Tips to Stay Healthy and Energized Buffalo – The holiday season is officially upon us. Most people feel a sense of joy and anticipation towards the approaching holidays. But if the holiday hustle and bustle brings you added stress—you’re not alone. A staggering 62% of individuals experience elevated levels of stress during what should be the most wonderful time of year, according to research from Healthline. A new audiocast from BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York draws attention to the common issue. In the free episode titled, “How to Stress Less this Holiday Season,” Kelly Hahl, BlueCross BlueShield’s Manager, Health and Wellness Programs, shares simple ways to reduce stress and anxiety during the holidays, while staying healthy and energized. According to Hahl - a registered dietician - individuals can follow these simple steps: Make time for favorite traditions. Instead of trying to fit everything into your busy schedule, spend time on traditions that mean the most to you and your family. Make your health a priority. Schedule time to prepare meals, and exercise. Even a moderate exercise like raking leaves or shoveling can help offset increased calories consumption. Set a budget and stick to it. Use an app that can help track spending and take advantage of holiday shopping deals. Get organized and plan ahead. Look ahead at your calendar and note family, friend and work obligations so you can plan time for shopping, baking and wrapping. Take time for yourself. Taking even just 15 minutes for yourself each day can refresh your mind so you are more prepared to tackle your next task. “During the holiday season, it’s important to tune into your body’s needs and respond when something feels off,” said Hahl. “By finding ways to incorporate activities that help keep your stress levels low, you’ll spend the season making memories instead of feeling overwhelmed.” The new audiocast is the latest in health plan’s Point of Health series launched in December of 2016. Hosted by BlueCross BlueShield’s Vice President, Corporate Relations, Julie R. Snyder, Point of Health audiocasts are posted bi-monthly and feature an interview with experts on health insurance and health care, covering a variety of perspectives and information. To listen to this episode, as well as past and future episodes visit www.bcbswny.com/pointofhealth. About BlueCross BlueShield of WNY BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Since 1936, BlueShield has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. BlueShield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as life and disability coverage, dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, BlueCross BlueShield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of our community. For up-to-date news, facts, and information about the company, leadership, and industry, please visit the BlueCross BlueShield News Center or follow us on Twitter.