News and stories

Keep yourself healthy this holiday season

Dec 15, 2021, 08:00 AM

The winter holiday season can be a time of great joy, as we celebrate and gather with loved ones. It can also be a source of stress, as events pile up and we work through complex emotions.

For some, the holidays bring on feelings of sadness, depression or anxiety. They may even bring up thoughts of doing personal harm. If that happens, ask for help immediately.  Call the 24 hour crisis line:

  • Columbia County: 503-782-4499
  • Clatsop County: 503-325-5724
  • Tillamook County: 503-842-8201 ext. 294 or 800-962-2851

If you are struggling this season, remember help is available. Columbia Pacific CCO members are covered for mental health care and substance use treatment.

Here are some tips to help you throughout the holiday season.

Use moderation
Enjoy holiday foods and drinks in moderation, but maintain a balanced diet overall. This article gives simple, budget-friendly tips like eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water to help keep your mind and body in balance.

If you are struggling with alcohol or drug use, you can get help. Resources and support groups are available to you.

Stick to routines
The cold weather can make it challenging to get the exercise we need. But exercise helps keep our mind healthy as well as our bodies. Try to keep up activities you like. Even a walk around the neighborhood to get your body moving can help.

Going outside also helps us get natural light. Lack of light during the winter throws off our mood-regulating hormones. We can all benefit from sunlight, even when it’s filtered through clouds.

In addition to exercise and healthy eating, we all need plenty of sleep. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule even during these busy times can help keep us in balance.

Find ways to connect with others
The pandemic has made many of us feel isolated or lonely. Those feelings of isolation can multiply when we’re stuck inside in the winter. Staying connected with family and friends can help, even if it’s just a video or phone call.

Making a difference for others can also make you feel more connected to others. Look for ways to help a neighbor or volunteer in the community.

Get help when you need it
Columbia Pacific CCO members — and all members of the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) — can receive counseling and other mental health care or substance use treatment at no cost. To get help, talk to your primary care provider, use our Find a Provider tool or call Customer service toll-free at 1-855-722-8206 (TTY 711).

More helpful resources:

Coping with stress

Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping

6 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress