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How to handle depression, isolation during holiday season amid pandemic



The holidays can be a difficult time for some and amid the coronavirus pandemic, feelings of depression and isolation can intensify.

Mental health experts want you to know you’re not alone and are encouraging people to reach out for help if they’re struggling.

“Some may experience increased anxiety, loneliness depression during the holidays this year and many have had more loss than others during this time; loss of a loved one, loss of jobs, even loss of life as we know it,” said psychologist, Dr. Rachel Needle.

Dr. Needle says it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and to keep the conversation going about mental health.

“Be sure to identify and acknowledge your emotions during this time, find things that make you happy whether it’s having a dance party by yourself, or on zoom with your friends or going for a walk.”

She says practicing gratitude can also be helpful.

“Gratitude has been shown to improve mental health. I know for many it can be difficult to find things to be grateful for especially right now but make it a point to find, write down or verbally express at least one thing that you’re grateful for each day; this in itself can elevate mood.”

Finally, Dr. Needle says do not hesitate to seek professional help if you’re struggling.

There are also several resources and helplines available, with trained professionals available around the clock.

If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, you can reach out for help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, open 24 hours a day. The number is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

You can also call the 2-1-1 helpline to speak with a highly trained resource specialist, to provide suicide prevention, crisis intervention, information, assessment, and referral to community services for people of all ages


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