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  • Writer's pictureJesse Liu

Mental Health During the Holidays

Happy Holidays and welcome back to my blog! I hope this is a joyful time of the year for you and your family and loved ones.

I just wanted to take the time to write about mental health during the holiday season because it is currently the holiday season, which should be a happy time for us all. Spending time with family and loved ones is great, but the holiday season simultaneously occurs with the onset of seasonal depression. Stress can even occur during the holidays as well, as counterintuitive as it sounds. In addition, there are also individuals who are not as fortunate as others to have loved ones to celebrate the holidays with. Therefore, I find it imperative to discuss how to manage one’s mental health during the holiday season with the presence of seasonal depression, stress, or the lack of having loved ones to celebrate the holidays with.

Treating or mitigating seasonal depression, which occurs with the lack of sunlight during the winter that generates chemicals in the brain that makes us feel better, is a multi-fold process. The first is to get frequent exercise, which releases endorphins, which are neuro-transmitters from the brain that make you feel good. Another important treatment technique is to simply treat your body well, by eating and sleeping well. Next, being social improves depression as a whole, and is extremely essential during the onset of seasonal depression; you want to be around others, especially your friends and family who make you happy. If these measures do not help curb or mitigate your seasonal depression, please consult a therapist or a psychiatrist who can either guide you to purchase a therapy lamp or maybe even prescribe medication.

If you’re stressed for any reason during the holidays, appearing stressed out will not help the mood of your family members or loved ones around you. Here are some strategies I present to help you de-stress yourself, which are listed below:

  1. Always take 5 to 10 deep breaths immediately if you find yourself stressed. Doing so will help lower your heart rate and naturally calm you down. If that doesn’t work, then try another one to two more sets of 5 to 10 deep breaths.

  2. Yoga or meditation is another effective technique that I recommend to reduce stress. Accompanying yoga or meditation with deep, relaxing music only helps to naturally accelerate the de-stressing process

  3. Going outside for a walk and getting fresh air also naturally helps you to reduce stress.

  4. Art or animal therapy, if affordable, can reduce and ease tensions, therefore reducing stress.

For all those reading this blog who do not have other people to celebrate the holidays with, please know that you are not alone, and that there is nothing that you did wrong. Don’t blame yourself. Please call someone like a friend, or even feel free to reach out to me via email ( if you’d like to discuss your mental health during this time. And please do something during the holidays that you like to do for fun. Treat yourself to a nice meal, if possible. Enjoy a hobby that you normally do for leisure. Reading books or watching television or movies are good ideas to keep in mind..

Furthermore, the holiday season should also be a time during which we take advantage of the time we have off from work and school and reflect upon our mental health. We need some time off to give ourselves a break from stressful situations. We should also try to take the time to make New Year mental health resolutions to ensure that our mental health is the best that it can be for the next year. Take the time to think about what went well and wrong regarding your mental health the past year, and try to make positive adjustments for the next year.

As we approach the holiday season and the end of the year, I just wanted to say again, Happy Holidays! I hope this is a great time for all of you. Please also be proactive about your mental health during this time. Thank you for reading my blog. If you need anything during holiday season break, my email is listed above. Also, please do not hesitate to reach out to me about potential other blog topics you’d like me to write about.

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I've been living with bipolar disorder since 2018 and I'm trying to overcome it by helping others with mental health issues/conditions!

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