Webinars and Events for December
Be sure to check out this month’s webinars
from your health plans, wellbeing vendor partners, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
In December, you can:
- Get help managing holiday stress and seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Create an exercise program that fits your health and fitness goals
- Build resilience and improve job satisfaction while taking care of your health
... plus check out an on-demand webinar that can help you get better sleep!
Get a better night’s sleep
If you feel tired but can’t fall asleep at night, you’re not alone. Nearly one-third of U.S. adults sleep less than seven hours per night.
In addition to feeling groggy, there are health risks that come with lack of sleep. Your body produces stress hormones that increase inflammation. This can lead to chronic health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
If you struggle to get enough shuteye, try these tips to train yourself to sleep better:
- Stick to a schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (including on weekends). This makes for regular sleep rhythms. Over time, your brain will learn when it’s time to get sleepy.
- Create a restful environment. Keep your room cool, dark, and quiet. Avoid light-emitting screens before bedtime. You can also use blackout curtains, earplugs, weighted blankets, and/or white noise to help you fall asleep.
- Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Avoid eating big meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Limit the use of nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. All of these can interfere with a good night’s sleep.
- Get physical activity. Physical activity promotes better sleep at night. But avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
- Go outside. Exposure to sunlight helps you go to sleep when it gets darker.
- Manage your worries. Do your best to resolve your worries before bedtime. Get organized, keep a journal, prioritize, and/or meditate to keep your racing thoughts at bay. Need more ideas? The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help. Its library of resources and certified counselors can offer other ways to manage your anxiety.
- Get out of bed to reset yourself. If you wake up during the night, get up. Do a quiet activity, keep the lights low, and avoid looking at a lighted screen. If you routinely lie awake in bed, it can become a habit that leads to insomnia.
- Plan a “hard stop” before bedtime. Don’t postpone sleep to catch up on social media or watch another TV episode. You may not get enough sleep, which makes the next day more stressful. Plan a hard stop and head for bed whether or not everything is crossed off your to-do list.
If your sleep problems worsen or persist over the long term, talk with your doctor about other solutions.
Get the right care at the right place
You can save time and money on medical care by avoiding the emergency room when possible and finding care elsewhere. There are several options. On average, you’ll pay much less and spend less time in the waiting room.
Here are some helpful guidelines to consider when deciding your best option for care. Each situation is unique, so use your best judgment.
The following services are in order of least expensive to most expensive.*
Use it for: A common, nonemergency medical issue that can be diagnosed by phone or online
Examples: Colds and allergies, flu, cough, ear infections, pink eye, experiencing stress and would like to connect with an expert for support
Average cost: Less than the cost of an office visit*
How to find care: Schedule a virtual care visit through your provider or search for telehealth/virtual visits on your medical plan provider’s website
Use it for: A condition that doesn’t need immediate attention and can wait until the next day
Examples: Sore throat, fever, routine exam, screening, checkup, prescription refill
Average cost: More than the cost of a virtual/telehealth visit*
How to find care: Call your regular doctor or search for an in-network provider on your medical plan’s website
Use it for: A condition that needs immediate care but is not life- or limb-threatening, and when your doctor’s office isn’t open
Examples: Broken bone, severe sprain or strain, cut requiring stitches, anxiety attack
Average cost: More than the cost of an office visit*
How to find care: Search for urgent care clinics near you through your medical plan provider’s website
Use it for: A life-threatening or potentially crippling condition that needs immediate attention
Examples: Sudden weakness, dizziness or loss of consciousness, uncontrollable bleeding, chest pain, difficulty breathing
Average cost: More expensive than a virtual visit, office visit, or urgent care visit*
How to find care: Call 911, or search online for the nearest hospital. Tip: Save valuable time. Search online for in-network hospitals today so you will know where to go if you ever need it
*Note: Your actual cost depends on your choice of carrier and medical plan, whether your doctor is in-network, whether you’ve met the deductible, and/or whether you’ve met the out-of-pocket maximum.
Keep in mind that when you select a less expensive care option, it saves you and OEBB money. When OEBB saves money, it helps keep costs lower for all members.