When winter arrives in December, it never fails to usher in air that feels a little cooler, days that seem a little shorter, and a case of the winter blues.
But it’s February now. It’s almost March. Shouldn’t we be on the upside of the winter blues?
In regions with a milder winter, that may be the case. But for others, the winter blues are still in full swing. If you’re experiencing the winter blues, your pre-tax benefits can help.
Get more light
There is a chance that your winter blues are in part related to a lack of sunlight (or vitamin D). Certain vitamins like vitamin D supplements can be purchased with pre-tax funds if a Letter of Medical Necessity is provided.
You could also opt to get a little direct light. Try to find a sunny place to sit during your lunch break. It may sound small, but repeated exposure can help increase your levels of energy (and resilience in winter) over time.
You may also consider soaking up sunshine in a warmer climate. If you have the chance to fly somewhere warm this winter, stay protected with FSA-eligible sunblock.
If you can’t get to the doctor’s office or fund a trip to somewhere sunny, not to worry. Your pre-tax dollars can help you see a doctor through the magic of modern technology.
While the winter blues themselves may not contribute to getting sick more easily, there has been research indicating our immune systems, specifically in our noses, are compromised in the winter.
If you start feeling under the weather, schedule a visit with Doctor on Demand, which can be paid for using pre-tax funds. Your doctor may tell you to take cough medicine and tell you to get some rest…
Getting your zzzs
Good sleep habits can promote good health. This stands true for fighting the winter blues.
While winter can make it harder to wake up, you still want to try to have a regular sleep schedule, from when you go to bed to when you wake up.
If you need a little help falling asleep (and staying asleep) consider supplements like melatonin. In order to purchase this with your pre-tax accounts, you will need an Rx. If you’re going to the doctor’s for a melatonin Rx, it may be an opportunity to ask about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
OTC medication or anti-depressants
If you receive a diagnosis from your primary care physician or specialist that you have SAD, they may prescribe over-the-counter medication for you. If your doctor says that your blues are not seasonal, you may decide to look into anti-depressants.
Both anti-depressants for depression or OTC drugs to combat SAD can be purchased with your pre-tax account funds, as long as the medications are prescribed. Additionally, the visit to the healthcare provider can also be paid through your tax-free benefit accounts.
You will need to submit a claim for reimbursement if you do not have a Beniversal Card to purchase the OTC medicine.
Wrapping it up
Sometimes, no matter how many layers you have on, you still can’t get warm. Beat the cold and the blues by wrapping up with a blanket and some heating wraps. You can also use heating pads to take away the chill and aches of winter.
Your pre-tax accounts can help you beat the winter blues by making sure your internal systems are firing the way they’re supposed to – even if it’s freezing outside.
Do you have other ways you use your accounts to stay healthy and happy in the winter? Share them below!