BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a great time for many people, but a stressful time for some, and doctors say it is important to manage your stress and keep your health on track.

Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Jaime Gomez, said the holiday season accentuates the stresses of life.

He said he sees more health issues during these times and some are serious.

“I think we see more of everything, especially if it’s serious. Heart attacks, strokes, uncontrolled hypertension, high blood pressure problems,” said Dr. Gomez.

Stressful family gatherings and the pressure of purchasing gifts and finances can make existing conditions worse, according to Dr. Gomez.

“If some people are already experiencing side effects and they’re going into the holiday season, the first thing I tell them is to slow down,” he said.

Dr.Gomez explained that slowing down can have benefits on your health and stressed the importance of having a routine.

“Don’t give up your walking, don’t give up playing with your grandchildren, don’t give up going to church, don’t give up meditating, have a routine. Maybe you can’t afford two hours, almost everybody can afford fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, that’s what I mostly tell patients,” said Dr. Gomez.

Holiday celebrations usually consist of feasts and although some options may not be healthy, Dr. Gomez said it is okay to still enjoy the traditional meals.

“These are foods that may not be so good for you. Go ahead and enjoy them, enjoy them with your family, but as soon as the holidays are done, go back on your diet and of course, we’re talking about people that are not very sick,” he said.

Dr. Gomez said staying healthy through exercise is great, but that it is not necessary to join a gym.

“Do some movement, go for a brisk walk, walk your dog, go to the playground with your grandchildren or with your kids,” he said.

There is a lot of planning and stress during the holidays and Dr. Gomez said it is important to focus on what matters during the holiday season.

 “We’ve had a rough year, we’ve been in a pandemic, people have to heal things, and you can’t heal by going a hundred and ten miles an hour, you do have to slow down,” said Dr. Gomez.