Continuwell nurses and doctors are here to help members manage their health concerns 24/7, even during the holidays. Our providers receive an influx of calls during the holiday season. This time of year can be stressful because people have to deal with a number of social and financial demands on top of their already busy lives. The holidays can also bring back memories of loved ones who are now gone, nostalgia for easier times in their lives, or simply a wish that family members could get along instead of arguing all the time. And when people become ill over the holidays, which they often do, that makes everything they have to do during the holiday season even more challenging.
Stress can wear you down and weaken your immune system. Having someone to speak to during this stressful period can also be helpful in managing all the demands of the holidays. Often times, Continuwell nurses receive calls from people who are overwhelmed, stressed, or just need someone to listen to them. These calls are free for members and they help your staff feel better by having a supportive caretaker who can give them tips on how to manage the stress.
Here are some practical tips from our Continuwell nurses and doctors to help minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays and the winter season.
- Acknowledge your feelings. It is okay to cry or be sad. Many of us have lost loved ones or cannot be with loved ones. Happy feelings cannot be forced just because it is the holiday season, and letting sad feelings out can be cathartic and helpful.
- Reach out to others. If you are feeling lonely, there are often local social or religious events to partake in around this time of year. Volunteering or helping others is an excellent way to lift spirits and make new friends.
- Plan ahead. Many times the problem isn’t loneliness as much as having too much to do. You should carefully organize your time by setting aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends, and other activities. Another suggestion is to write everything down on a calendar and stick as closely as possible to the plan.
- Say no. It is alright to say “no” to holiday activities – even if some family members complain, the world will not end if a certain dinner or event is not attended. Saying yes to everything can quickly lead to becoming overwhelmed.
- Allow for change. Many times, holiday stress comes from trying to repeat or match last year’s festivities (or outdo Aunt Jane’s Christmas party), when perhaps this year it is more appropriate to do something else for the holidays. Families change and grow, and our holiday traditions should too. It is also important to remember that other family members are also feeling holiday stress and are struggling too, so being kind and setting aside differences can go a long way towards creating more enjoyable holiday moments.
- Engage in healthy activities. The holidays are a time to enjoy, but overindulgence only adds to feelings of stress and guilt. Maintain your regular exercise program and eat as healthy as possible, while still enjoying yourself.
- Get professional help. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious. If these feelings last for several weeks or become severe, talk to a doctor or a mental health professional.
The holidays are a wonderful time to connect with loved ones and share in heartwarming traditions. Though holiday stress affects many people, a majority of those surveyed said they loved the extra time spent with family during the holidays. Continuwell nurses are here for members to offer practical solutions to common holiday-related complaints. Our nurses can help make happy holidays possible for those patients who call in while suffering from holiday stress. Cold and flu are also common this time of the year. For those who get sick, Continuwell nurses and doctors can prescribe medication to get your staff healthy and back on their feet faster!
Happy Holidays from Continuwell!