Caring for Your Mental Health this Holiday Season

Dec 21, 2020 | 2020, Access, Mental Health

This year has been a struggle for our social and emotional selves. It is natural to feel disheartened as events and plans we normally look forward to are happening virtually, postponed, or canceled entirely. From adopting remote work and distance learning to canceled vacations, weddings, and other family events, many people are grieving the loss of significant social interactions in their lives.

This holiday season, the continued need to physically distance and refrain from in-person gatherings may trigger additional sadness through our inability to bring together extended family and friends. It is important to find ways to manage stressors before becoming overwhelmed. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Be Flexible
Try to be realistic in your expectations and flexible while planning, releasing the need to control what you cannot. Find safe alternatives to travel and traditional celebrations, like holding video chats and group calls to help loved ones feel socially connected and less isolated.

Practice Self-care
Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy meals, take deep breaths, and try meditation to relieve stress. Prioritizing your own basic needs for mental wellness and resiliency, particularly around the holiday season, can help you better care for others, improve your mood, and avoid exhaustion.

Communicate and Set Boundaries
Share your thoughts and feelings with loved ones about how you plan to celebrate safely. Help others to understand what you do—and do not—feel comfortable with. Once you decide what is right for you and those in your household, set a boundary and stick to it.

Go Online
Sanvello—a completely confidential app that offers on-demand help for stress, anxiety and depression—is also available to members at no cost share through U.S. Behavioral Health Plan, California (USBHPC). Members can also find stress management articles, self-assessment tools, informational videos, and tips for improving mental wellness at For questions, contact USBHPC at 855-202-0984.

Sign-up for Coaching
Additionally, Sutter Health Plus offers the Health Coaching Program to help with stress management at no cost share. Participation is easy. Members work one-on-one with a trained, personal health coach to set goals and make healthier lifestyle choices. Call 866-961-8513 or visit the Health and Wellness Site through the Member Portal to learn more.

Ask for Help
Asking for help with managing stress, depression or anxiety is the first step toward improving mental wellness. It’s important to know Sutter Health Plus members have access to safe, confidential virtual care for their mental health. Through USBHPC, members can self-refer to a participating behavioral health provider to book a secure in-person or virtual visit, where available.

Take steps to care for yourself and manage stress this holiday season. With a little planning, positive thinking, and reaching out for help when you need it, we hope you can find moments of hope and joy.