Americans are Five Times More Likely to Experience Increased Stress Levels During the Holidays

A study by the American Psychiatric Association found that Americans are severely stressed around the holidays. Why does it seem like everyone is stressed, anxious, or depressed around the happiest time of the year?

We’ll explore why people say they’re feeling like this during the holiday season, some quick tips for coping, and how your primary care physician (PCP) can help diagnose and treat these issues.


Why Americans were stressed and anxious during the holiday season
Here are a few reasons why people say they stress during the holidays:

  • Stress about finances (gift giving, traveling, etc.)
  • Not being around loved ones or feeling lonely
  • Negative social and family dynamics

Of all the contributing factors, the greatest — accounting for 37 percent of stress — is the financial strain people experience around this time. Expenses such as flights, groceries, and gifts for loved ones can strain finances and leave people feeling like they’ve overspent or embarrassed if they couldn’t afford these items.

Another major factor that plays into holiday financial stress is inflation. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average price of holiday gifts drastically rose in the past few years, with gifts in 2021 costing 6.9 percent more than the previous year. The projected cost for 2022 is set to rise another 3.4 percent.

It’s important to note that these stressors can lead to depression. Sometimes stress, anxiety, and depression all happen at once, and one condition may cause the other to appear or worsen. Balancing these issues is complex, and the first step is acknowledging which condition you’re struggling with and what stressors are causing that struggle.


How do we combat holiday anxiety and stress?
It can depend on the severity, but sometimes you can try a few options to reduce your holiday stress. If you’re still feeling stressed after trying these tips and are experiencing anxiety or depression, you need to take further steps to manage it.

Coping mechanisms to reduce stress:

  • Set realistic expectations and goals for the holiday season.
  • Make time for yourself to relax.
  • Keep track of holiday spending. Overspending could lead to more stress and, in turn, depression.
  • Limit your drinking. Drinking alcohol in excess can exacerbate your anxiety or depression.
  • To combat any loneliness you might experience, try volunteering.


How your primary care physician can help diagnose and treat your stress and anxiety
Are you having trouble coping on your own? The good news is that your primary care physician can diagnose and prescribe medication for anxiety and depression if your issue is more than just typical holiday stress. Depending on the severity, they might refer you to a therapist, as sometimes it is beneficial to combine medication with therapy. But remember, the first step is as simple as contacting your PCP; you don’t need a specialist to get this done.

At Healthcare2U, our Direct Primary Care (DPC) membership is a low-cost, easy-to-use option for people who want access to care but can’t afford the exorbitant cost of health insurance. Our membership also simplifies access to primary medical care, eliminating confusion when navigating healthcare. With our DPC membership, you get access to physicians across the nation, any of which can diagnose your anxiety and depression and recommend methods to help you cope and manage it.

Contact us to learn more about how Healthcare2U’s DPC membership can help you.

Healthcare2U is Now Available on PlanSource’s Partner Marketplace

May 5, 2022 (Austin, TX) – PlanSource, a leading provider of cloud-based benefits administration technology, announced today that 18 new employer benefits providers, Healthcare2U being one of them, have joined the company’s Partner Marketplace—a curated list of best-fit partners designed to maximize HR efficiency, employee engagement and plan participation.

PlanSource currently partners with employer benefit solutions across twenty vendor categories within the Marketplace, including healthcare navigation, mental well-being, disease management, women’s health, pet insurance, identity protection, and more to provide a seamless experience to their customers. These categories address top employee needs, making them valuable options for employers to consider.

Read the full Press Release here: Exponential Growth in Partner Marketplace in Q1

An Affordable Healthcare Alternative for Non-Benefited Employees

Employers are the principal source of health insurance in the United States1, however, most Americans are unable to afford basic health care expenses. Under the traditional fee-for-service model, individuals must meet deductibles or pay expensive copays to see a primary care physician. In addition to employees who can’t afford their health plans’ deductible and copays, there are employees who can’t afford the health plan at all or don’t qualify due to employment status (non-benefited employees). Traditional health offerings leave a large pool of people off the table and those left outside looking in still want access to healthcare coverage.

Part-time employees, 1099 workers, and individuals living in healthcare deserts can benefit from direct primary care (DPC) models. Here, we’ll explore these unique situations and how DPC may be a great alternative for these groups.

Inaccessibility in Rural America

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, rural residents are more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, and stroke than individuals living in urban areas. Due to the distance to medical providers, limited transportation, and limited appointment availabilities, many rural Americans are not able to receive preventive and screening services, urgent care, or timely treatment of illnesses2.

DPC encourages members to build relationships with their board-certified primary care physicians, in-office or virtually. This relationship is critical to a healthy life because frequent visits with primary care providers can result in lower health costs3, fewer hospitalizations4, and early detection of chronic conditions. The virtual component would be especially beneficial to members living in healthcare deserts, as they can access a physician 24/7 from their own homes. Quality primary care is now available without geographic or financial barriers.

Underinsured Retail Workers

Part-time employees often do not qualify for their employer’s health plans, leaving them to find coverage elsewhere or remain uninsured. According to a recent survey, the retail industry has the least number of qualifying employees at 55%5. DPC would be a great alternative to traditional healthcare for the remaining 45% in this industry and the dependents of all.

Since the average hourly pay in retail is $15.356, it is likely that retail workers forego doctor visits, routine screenings, and prescriptions due to associated costs. Another barrier to consider is time and availability as retail hours do not fall within the traditional business hours of 9-5. For a low monthly fee, these workers can enroll in a DPC program for them and their dependents that offers unlimited primary care visits, urgent care visits, and 24/7 virtual care, giving them peace of mind that they have access to a board-certified physician whenever they need one.

Freelance Workforce Continues to Grow

Most people believe that freelance work is sporadic and short-term, however, a report by ADP has found that more than half of 1099 contractors work for the same company for 12 consecutive months7. Even though freelancers are spending longer periods of time with the same company, 1099 workers don’t qualify for most employer health plans.

The report predicts that the freelance workforce will continue to grow. 70% of respondents have said that they are freelancing by choice, and 60% will continue to do so for the next 3 years8. With more companies hiring freelancers in a variety of industries, additional benefits will be crucial to attracting quality 1099 workers. The great benefit for freelancers is that DPC is not only affordable but flexible and portable. Due to its non-insurance membership structure, DPC can be added at any time of the year. Additionally, frequent travelers or those who work odd hours can access a board-certified physician in all 50 states or 24/7 virtual care. By offering DPC, companies can better attract and maintain good working relationships with freelancers, all at a low cost.

An Affordable Alternative

Healthcare2U’s hybrid direct primary care was created to address the issue of inaccessibility to quality primary care, provided by board-certified family care physicians and internists. For a low monthly fee, we offer unlimited in-office, virtual, and urgent care visits. This model encourages members to see a physician regularly, build a relationship with their primary care provider, and potentially detect underlying issues before the onset of a serious illness. Additionally, DPC seamlessly integrates with existing benefit plans already in place, enhancing the employees’ current coverage and providing an alternative for 1099 and part-time employees.

For more information about how DPC can provide quality care for employer groups, contact Healthcare2U.


1, 5 KFF Employer Health Benefits 2021 Survey (

2 US Department of Health and Human Services Rural Action Plan (

3 High-Touch Care Leads to Better Outcomes and Lower Costs in a Senior Population (

4 Investing in Primary Care: A State-Level Analysis (

6 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (

7, 8 ADPRI Illuminating the Shadow Workforce (