Chronic illnesses don’t fade into the background during a pandemic. In some cases, the stress can adversely affect individuals with underlying conditions or compromised immune systems.
Ranging from hypertension and asthma to diabetes and heart disease, chronic illnesses are conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention, limit your daily living, or both. Ailments like the common cold and seasonal flu can cause setbacks that last weeks for those with chronic illnesses.
Management is key to living with a chronic condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6 in 10 adults in the United States have a chronic disease, while 4 in 10 have two or more. Chronic illnesses are the leading cause of death and disability, and are the leading drivers of the United States’ $3.5 trillion in annual healthcare costs.
Throw in COVID-19 and managing that same illness has become more challenging. With social distancing and stay-at-home orders, it’s become challenging for those with chronic illnesses to manage them as they did before. Preventing the spread of the coronavirus is crucial, but there are other steps that those with chronic illnesses can take to keep their condition in check.
- Perform 20-30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days per week
- Stay hydrated
- Schedule times to take prescription medications
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables
- Monitor medical supplies
- Stay in communication with healthcare providers
- Try meditation
- Schedule time to relax and unwind
Despite more time at home, this pandemic doesn’t automatically mean less stress. Home has now become the site for remote work, homeschool, the gym, virtual social gatherings, and other activities normally performed outside of the home. Be sure to get enough sleep, and avoid drinking too much alcohol.
Tools like NexGen EAP can help people successfully manage their lives during this pandemic. From wellness coaching and concierge services to telehealth services and short-term counseling, NexGen EAP is a tool to help you thrive during this pandemic and successfully transition back to the office or workforce. To learn more about NexGen EAP and how it can improve your organization, contact us today.