Mental Wellness During The Holidays

While the holidays are a joyful time spent with loved ones, they are also a highly busy and stressful time. It may be a busy time of year at work, and running around shopping and decorating can be stressful. You could also be suffering from the Christmas blues. If you are experiencing the blues, know that you are not alone; they can afflict anyone at any age and are usually caused by a life event. Not to mention the stress of trying to impress others with gifts, attend parties, and deal with family or toxic people, all of which contribute to the blues. People also remember individuals who are no longer alive to celebrate throughout the holidays.  Here is what we do to make it past the awkward hugs, the eye-rolls, and weird, invasive questions about your love life.

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Organize and Budget Gifts

Organization will liberate you! Do you believe you have an insurmountable task list? As with the previous step, break them up. It will stress you out much more if you have this cloud of ideas flying about in your head. If your budget is limited, it is okay to decline gift exchanges. Instead of buying gifts for everyone, encourage them to give to charity, make a homemade gift, or organize a low-cost activity for you all to do. If traveling is too expensive for you, ask family or friends to contribute to the cost of the ticket rather than giving you gifts. If you are unable to attend, request to skype or FaceTime with the individual or persons so that you can still participate in the festivities. Plan your budget ahead of time so you know what you can afford. Here’s what to do:


  • Make your list – List out the names of people you’ll be seeing during the holidays that you want to buy gifts for.
  • Organize by priority – Once you can physically see the list, rearrange it by priority whether it be kids first, then immediate family, followed by extended family or just by the order that you plan on seeing them in.
  • Pick the presents – You can begin assigning present ideas to each person once you’ve determined who you’ll be buying things for. If the process starts to become stressful , brainstorm with some hot cocoa and/or play some soothing music like jazz or holiday-themed songs.
  • Set realistic goals – You probably have a reasonable estimate of your budget for these things, but price each item separately and sum it up. It is easier to plan when you have specific numbers to work with.
  • Finalize it – Top off the whole process by turning all of your information into a checklist, you can even put the dates you’ll be seeing each person to give yourself a little deadline. This way you can mark off the gifts as you go so you don’t forget anything.

It’s Okay To Say No

The holidays may be stressful, especially if you commit to too many gatherings or have unreasonable expectations. When you say yes when you should say no, it merely leads to a flood of overwhelming and resentful feelings. With work and limited vacation time, your schedule is already packed. Don’t try to be in too many places at once since you won’t be able to appreciate your time. You’ll be too preoccupied with getting to the next party or worrying about hosting your own. Take it at your own speed and learn to say no.


You can decline invitations to some gatherings in order to spend more quality time with the people you do prefer to visit. Set priorities and stick to your budget. Take the previous checklist and replace the gifts with family members you want to see. Instead of gift pricing, assign trip prices to each one. If you are unable to accommodate everyone, make plans to visit once the holiday rush has subsided. They’ll probably understand, and also appreciate the break from the hustle and bustle. Visiting after the holidays may end up being more of a gift to everyone involved. 

Don’t Overindulge

Consider all of the pastries and snacks you’ll be eating and drinking throughout the holidays! Our eating habits are tested over the holiday season, with dinners, parties, and cookie tables at every turn.  Overindulging can make you feel tired or sluggish. It can also cause you to gain an unhealthy amount of weight, adding to your mental stress. Take a brief walk to get some exercise. Allow yourself time to be active so that you can appreciate all of the delicious treats.  Attempt to maintain a healthy diet. Consuming whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruit is the foundation for a healthy body and mind. Eating well can also aid in leveling out your mood.

Make Self-Care A Priority

This is more than just meditation. If you have a fitness routine, don’t let it slip during family visits. Try to go to the gym or perform some home exercises. Sticking to your routines (whether self-care or otherwise) not only gives you a mental lift, but it also establishes an internal norm. You’re going to dedicate your time and energy to people you care about this Christmas season, but don’t lose sight of yourself in the process. Keep your feet on the ground. Make time for activities that make you happy. It could be reading a book, going to the movies, having a massage, listening to music, or walking your dog. It is okay to prioritize alone time when you need to refuel.

mental health tips graphic

Don’t Isolate Yourself

Some people may experience loneliness during the holidays, but if you don’t want to be alone, you don’t have to be. You can join an organization, volunteer at a soup kitchen, attend community events, and meet new people. Volunteering can be a wonderful source of comfort. You can feel less lonely or isolated and more connected to your community by assisting those who are less fortunate. Start a toy or food drive and invite your neighbors, friends, and coworkers.

Be Present

Have a two-week trip planned to see relatives? Take everything one day at a time. This can work even if you are not staying for an extended period of time. One hour, one minute, one second at a time. Simply concentrate on the subject at hand and give it your undivided attention. Don’t be concerned about the rest of it. It is beneficial to employ these bite-size moments during stressful periods. Pay attention in the present moment. If you spend too much time thinking about future occurrences, you will become more stressed in the present.

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Seek Professional Help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, speak with your mental health practitioner. They can assist you in identifying particular circumstances that trigger you and develop an action plan to modify them. Keep seeing your therapist if you’re already seeing one. If you’re not already seeing one your health insurance will actually cover some mental health services due to the Mental Health Parity Act. 


The Mental Health Parity Act requires insurance companies to handle coverage for mental and behavioral health and drug use problems in the same way that they treat coverage for medical and surgical care. This includes treating them equally in terms of money. For example, an insurance company cannot charge a $40 payment for a mental health professional’s office visit when most medical office visits only require a $20 copay. 


In addition, the Affordable Care Act also provides protection for mental health services. Mental health is covered as an essential health benefit in all ACA-compliant plans. As with other medical illnesses, your plan should cover some or all of the cost of mental health care. All ACA-compliant plans must include the following mental health services:


  • Outpatient individual or group counseling and therapy
  • Diagnostic services like psychological testing and evaluation
  • Ongoing outpatient treatment such as treatment programs and medication management
  • Outpatient treatment for alcohol or chemical addictions
  • Detox services
  • Substance abuse recovery treatment
  • Inpatient mental healthcare in a psychiatric facility

Work with EZ

Any visit has the potential to cause family turmoil. You want your parents/relatives to have a good time and enjoy your visit, but the holidays may bring a whole new level of stress to the situation. Maintaining excellent relationships with friends and family has surprising health benefits, so these trips are well worth it in the long term. Just keep these pointers in mind, and you should be okay. As for finding health insurance to cover your mental health, consider us Santa’s helpers. A licensed EZ insurance agent can explain the advantages and disadvantages of each plan, while also helping you in developing the plan that is ideal for you. 


Working with an agent saves you time and stress because you won’t have to decipher legal language or read fine text. Agents perform all of the heavy lifting, so you can relax knowing that your coverage is tailored to your specific financial and medical needs. Not to mention that EZ agents can save you hundreds of dollars on health insurance rates each year. We accomplish this by being able to search both on and off the market for the most cheap plans.


We can also locate and apply any discounts you may be eligible for. Also,we don’t simply provide you a strategy; we also aid you in maintaining it after the fact! We can assist in filing claims with your provider as well as renewing your coverage when the time comes. To get a quote, enter your zip code into the box below or call one of our qualified representatives at 877-670-3557.

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Live Like A Queen And Reap The Royal Results

Let’s talk about that thing no one likes to talk about: getting older. As much as we try to make it slow down, time just keeps plowing forward and it seems we need to run faster to keep up with it. According to the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy of women is 75.6 years, but Queen Elizabeth is 96 and is the first royal to have a reign over 70 year in the UK, which is amazing. While normal people, regardless of gender, can’t have the royal treatment, there are some tips from Queen Elizabeth’s lifestyle that non-royal commoners can incorporate into their own lives to work on extending their life expectancy average.

royal guard
Queen Elizabeth celebrated 70 years on the throne with her Platinum Jubilee. which makes her the longest reigning monarch in the 1000 year history of the British monarchy.

Have a cup of tea (or coffee) in the morning   

The Queen starts her day off as many Brits do – with a nice cup of tea. No matter what your beverage choice is, waking up and relaxing with a cup nestled in your hands is just a great way to kick off your day. It helps you really slow down and smell the roses. The Queen doesn’t add sweetener or milk so if you can avoid it or wean yourself off of it, that is only going to be better for your overall health. Grab a mug, have a moment of zen, and think about what you want to accomplish in the day ahead. It’s a great ritual regardless of royal status or beverage choice.

Eat breakfast

A bowl of cereal is a great go-to breakfast option. The Queen’s choice is Special K but find one that you love and incorporate it into your daily routine.

We’ve heard it all our lives: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Since breakfast ranges from healthy to horrible, take a page from Queen Elizabeth’s book and stick with a moderately healthy cereal to start your day off on the right foot. Her choice is a bowl of Special K.

While there are healthier breakfast options, there certainly are far worse. As long as you’re steering clear of sugary cereals, a bowl in the morning is a great way to get your day off on the right foot.

Meal plan

Her Majesty is lucky and has chefs who prepare menus for her. They present her with different options 3 days ahead of time. She can approve or change anything she might not be keen on and from there the chefs shop, prep, and cook her meals. Sigh. If only everyone had a personal chef. Since you probably don’t, what can we take away from this? The more prepared you are for meals the less likely you are to make unhealthy decisions. We’ve all been there. We’re staring at the fridge wondering what to make for dinner then just pick up the phone and order a pizza. If you start planning out your meals ahead of time you can be ready at the drop of a hat to make smart meal decisions. Maybe 3 days at a time is not feasible, so start small and try planning out the day. This can help lead to healthier and less spontaneous choices.

Drink in moderation

bar with bottles
The Queen has found ways to imbibe in moderation and you can too.

Alcohol use throughout the pandemic has spiked and whether you’re a drinker or not, it makes sense. People were stuck in their homes with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Lockdown exacerbated people’s desire to reach for the bottle and formed unhealthy habits. If you had a glass of wine once a week, perhaps it evolved into a glass of wine every night with dinner. No matter what happened throughout the pandemic with your drinking habits, it’s never too late to take a step back and change your relationship with alcohol. Be like the Queen and instead of binge drinking, enjoy a nightly cocktail. It’s rumored her favorites are martinis, gin, and champagne. You don’t need to stop drinking altogether if it’s something you enjoy but try to ease up and take notes from Queen Elizabeth, limit consumption to one per day.

While we can’t get the same attention and treatment as Queen Elizabeth, she must be doing something right. Put on your crown, act like the Queen, and try to live a little more like her. You just might be royally surprised at the results!

Relaxing Techniques To Practice At Work

We have all been in a situation where the pile of work in front of us seems to just keep getting bigger, and we begin to feel overwhelmed and stressed. At times it seems like it will never end, and still your job demands more from you. When this occurs, it is crucial to take a step back and relax. It is more beneficial to your health, and to your company that you work efficiently, and you can not do this when you are feeling stressed out. There are techniques you can practice right there at your desk or during your lunch break at work that will relax you and help you stay focused.

If you do not allow yourself to relax, you will soon find yourself at a breaking point. Your physical and mental health, along with productivity level will begin to go decline, and you may even experience a mental breakdown. These techniques are some you can practice to provide immediate relief from work distress:

Breathing Technique

Take a deep breath right while reading this- feel better? Deep breaths can make you feel more relaxed, even being named the best stress reduction technique by The American Institute of Stress. How?-Well it increases the oxygen supply to your brain, making you feel more calm. Doing this a couple of times, or throughout the work day will help provide you with some immediate stress relief.

Laughing makes you feel good.
Take a moment to laugh while at work. Laughing makes you feel better.


Ever heard the saying laughter is the best medicine? The reason for this is because it’s true! Laughing increases endorphins that are released by the brain, which in turn produces a relaxed feeling. Crack a joke with a friend or co-worker, look at some funny pictures or jokes, or tell funny stories. All of these will help reduce your stress level and make the workday go by smoother.

Go For A Walk

Go for a half hour walk on your lunch break in order to relieve some stress. By keeping your body moving, you can increase the production of endorphins in your body. Exercise reduces the body’s stress levels by reducing the stress causing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Take the stairs instead of using the elevator, or if you are stuck at your desk all day, try to do some exercises at your desk. There are many different kinds of exercises to do at your desk, such as desk push ups, where you place your hands on the edge of your desk and your legs out behind you and begin doing push ups.

Ear massage & Acupressure

Acupuncture is a practice throughout traditional Chinese medicine that has been proven to work by medical studies. Acupuncture refers to the reflexology points throughout your body, and is massaged or applied pressure on them, it can relieve stress and help relax you. Massage your Shen Men point, also known as the middle of the upper third of your ear. When massaged, this spot will decrease stress and increase energy. Another kind of acupressure to try is to apply pressure or massage in between the fleshy spot of your thumb and pointer finger. These techniques can provide some immediate stress relief while sitting at your desk.

Meditating can release a sense of ease.
Take a deep breath and reflect on the day while on break.


Yale University states that “mindfulness and meditation practices have been shown to decrease stress, improve sleep quality, increase compassion toward oneself and others, and improve overall well-being.” Meditation can help tune out the unnecessary noise and stress in your life. While at work, go find an empty room or go to your car for some peace and quiet. Then take a deep breathe, release, and then sit in silence while you meditate for at least 5-10 minutes. Think of all the things you are grateful for and want to accomplish. When you are done, open your eyes slowly and reflect before getting back to work.

All of these techniques are just some different ways to try and reduce stress, and provide you with some self care. Some of these may work for you, while others may not. You can search for different acupressures, desk exercises, or techniques that will work for you. Taking care of yourself is important so you can deliver your best not only at work, but to yourself.