NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As hospitals and clinics fill up with patients during flu season, healthcare facilities are being spread thin. New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) officials are not just worried about physical illness, however, they are also reminding people to check on their mental well-being during the holidays.

“Holidays are stressful for almost all of us, so it’s important for us to acknowledge how we feel and get the help we need, before the additional stress creates further mental or medical suffering,” said Acting Department of Health Cabinet Secretary David Scrase M.D., “There are lots of great, simple ways to reduce stress this time of year.” 

The DOH suggests people make sure they’re feeling emotionally okay this season. They offered some tips on how to do so. See the tips below.

  • Acknowledge your feelings: It’s okay to feel stressed and outwardly acknowledge that.
  • Find support: If you need an outlet for support, officials said you could confide in a friend, partner, neighbor, or faith member.
  • Stick to exercising: Holidays are busy, but officials said it’s important to keep exercising to promote stress-relieving activities.
  • Avoid drugs, alcohol: Health officials said drinking or doing drugs can add to stressful situations. If you do drink alcohol, it’s important to have a designated driver.
  • Give back to the community: Volunteering and spending time with your community can reduce stress, health officials said.

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Health officials also provided a list of helplines for those struggling this winter.