But if you've lost your job or seen your income reduced this year, then it's more important than ever to take care of yourself.
Dr. Ashlesha Patel is a women's health expert, and she's here with some helpful advice.
Tips for keeping health a top priority in a difficult economy:
- Don't forgo health insurance: if you're laid off, explore options for extending your plan to maintain regular visits with primary doctors, gynecologists and other specialists--there are government-backed programs that can help you reduce your monthly COBRA payment.
- Don't skip regular prescriptions (i.e., birth control, allergy or asthma meds): maintenance of your daily health regimens is important to preventing larger health issues--ask your doctor about discount vouchers or financial assistance programs; certain pharmacies offer low-cost or no charge prescriptions, too (e.g., Walmart)
- Plan ahead for health needs and special circumstances: make health a factor in planning for vacations or holidays (e.g., New Year's Eve)--make sure you always have a Plan A and a Plan B
- Don't derail your health: Know your "health baseline" and pay attention to any changes--regularly check your own skin for moles, monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight every year to keep track of early indicators for future problems