It’s the holidays, an amazing time of year for many, but it’s also a difficult time of year for some.
"When people say it’s the happiest time of the year, for a lot of people it’s not the happiest time," explained Dr. Daniel Bober, a psychiatrist and addiction medicine physician. "It’s the most stressful. It brings up a lot of conflicts sometimes within families. It brings up your financial struggles because there you are, you’re running around trying to get gifts for everyone, and then you put COVID on top of that, and it’s really the perfect storm of misery for some people."
So, what can you do to bolster your mental health?
Bober said first and foremost, self-care is essential. Most importantly, he said that includes eating well and sleeping well. He also said exercise is huge, calling it the best natural anti-depressant there is.
Beyond that, Bober recommended writing down a list of things you’re grateful for, and he also said to volunteer, because both of those things will make you feel good.
"I get a lot of questions," Bober added, "should we have a big Christmas gathering? Should I see my family? I have a lot of conflicts with my uncle and my aunt and with my mother who drinks. What should I do? So I think it’s important to maintain the boundaries. I think it’s important to make sure that certain topics that are hot button issues don’t get brought up, just stay away from anything controversial right now, and just try to enjoy being together."
For resources to help combat mental health issues, click here.