Sometimes, not all is merry and bright: tips for managing holiday stress

Health Care and Community News

For Immediate Release 

Source: IEHP


Contact: Inland Empire Health Plan 

Media & Public Relations


The holidays may look merry and bright on TV specials and social media feeds – however, for many Americans, this can be an incredibly stressful time. 

Especially for people already struggling, the holiday season can heighten feelings of grief, loneliness and other emotional pain.
Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Clinical Director of Community Behavioral Health Amrita Rai says holidays can elevate emotional highs and lows.

“This time of year can add additional stress in our lives, and stress can possibly trigger conditions such as depression and anxiety,” said Rai. “Not everyone experiences the holidays the same; it’s OK to experience your feelings.”

Rai offers the following tips for managing potential stress during the holidays:

  1. Breathe. 
  2. Set realistic expectations.
  3. Let yourself say no to new obligations.
  4. Set boundaries with others.
  5. Reach out for help.

In addition, Rai recommends checking in often with those close to you, ensuring they are doing OK, especially when you notice a change in their mood or behavior.

“It can be as simple as a text, a phone call or handwritten note,” added Rai. “Reach out and remind someone you love them, and you are there for them.” 

If you or someone you love is feeling overwhelmed, Riverside and San Bernardino counties encourage use of the local crisis numbers below for help:

(951) 686-HELP (4357) 
1-877-727-4747 and Crisis text line: 741-741.

24-Hour Crisis Line: (760) 365-6558
East Valley: (909) 421-9233
West Valley: (909) 458-9628
High Desert: (760) 956-2345
Morongo Basin: (760) 365-6558
San Bernardino: 1-877-727-4747

988 also offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress no matter where you live in the United States.

For non-emergency support, IEHP Members can also call IEHP Member Services at 1-800-440-IEHP (4347), Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. TTY users should call 1-800-718-4347 and ask to speak with the Behavioral Health department.