The holidays. For many, it’s the busiest time of the year.
Between cultural celebrations, family gatherings, and busy end-of-year deadlines, the holidays can make it difficult for many of us to stay adherent to health care regimens. The days are shorter, to-do lists are longer, and some may be doing a lot more travel than usual.
When people are taken out of their usual routine, it increases the risk of distraction, such as forgetting to take medications. To help our members—and you!—stay on track, we’re offering three ways to address these challenges:
Scheduling time for wellness can take many different forms.
If your healthcare regimen is to take your medicine everyday at a certain time, give yourself a window and schedule several reminders! Wellth utilizes a six hour window and multiple reminders to keep members on track—which is especially helpful if you’re holiday shopping and unable to take your medication when that first notification goes off. Allowing yourself some flexibility while sticking to a schedule can keep you on track with forming those healthy habits, and making your regimen work for you!
If you’re traveling over the holidays, recognize that the travel may impact your sleep, eating, or exercise schedule—or throw off your medication routine. Packing your medication in a place that is easy to access in a pinch can be the difference between staying on track, and forgetting until you start to feel good. Additionally, having a contingency plan—like locating a pharmacy near your travel location that can fill your prescription if you loose it, and having your doctor’s number saved in your phone—can also help keep you on track.
Finally, an important part of wellness is prioritizing “you” time, even during the holidays. This can look different for everyone, but it can be valuable time to take a pause, make sure your healthcare regimen is taken care of, and recharge. For example, reading a book before bed while you use your CPAP machine or taking medicine with an afternoon snack and tea are just a couple ways you can incorporate taking time for yourself and your health.
Having positive social support has been shown to reap positive health outcomes.
If you’re lucky enough to spend your holiday with loved ones, partnering with a friend or family member to bring accountability to your care plan makes health a group effort—and increases the likelihood of your adherence. In turn, you may be able to help them stick to their own goals, like daily exercise or drinking enough water!
An incentive structure acts as its own accountability buddy. Everyone has different motivators—whether it’s simply feeling better, having the energy to spend time with loved ones, or a more tangible reward. Wellth uses a combination of motivators, like personalized “high fives'' from loved ones as well as small financial incentives that can help meet holiday needs.
“Last year was tough on everyone and it was nice to have that extra money. I spent it on Christmas presents and birthday presents.”
-Christie C., Wellth Member
Sometimes, we miss one day of our care plan… and feel like we’ve completely fallen off the wagon. The good news? We can always get back up… even if it takes a little help!
And it starts with being kind to yourself.
Society gives a lot of terms for people who stumble on their health journeys. Examples include:
These common sayings can be negative when they cause us to feel shame and discourage us from getting back on track with our goals. So give yourself a break—to err is human, after all—and start again fresh!
Ultimately, maintaining adherence is the key to ensuring that you feel your best. When you feel your best, you’re able to give your best—and be present all season long.