For many, the holiday season is the best time of the year. Still, it can be a busy, stressful time for those navigating conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Almost 20 million American adults experience at least one episode of major depression, and even more Americans suffer from anxiety.
Dr. Basel Batarseh and Dr. Walid Elkhalili at Apex Medical Professionals specialize in treating mental health conditions, including problems like anxiety and depression. Taking care of your mental health this season is a top priority.
Looking after your mental health
Some people like to move from one party or family tradition to the next, but you may feel overwhelmed and want to hide until the season is over. Experts say there’s a happy medium, and by following these steps, you can enjoy this time of year and still protect yourself from the toll it can take.
Good sleep hygiene
The connection between sleep and mental health is cyclical. Mental issues can affect sleep quality, and lack of sleep can affect mental health.
Studies show that reduced sleep duration appears to decrease mood. Sleep loss increases the negative emotional impact of disruptive events while reducing the positive effects of happy or soothing events.
Another study found that people become more impulsive after a period of short sleep and experience less positive effects.
Monitoring and developing a healthy nighttime ritual is a key step toward getting better sleep and improving your mood.
Exercise and movement promote mental health. As temperatures drop, it can become increasingly difficult to force yourself outside, but science shows that physical activity can improve mood in both the short and long term.
You can improve your mental health and reduce depression, anxiety, and negative moods by walking. Taking a walk also boosts self-esteem and lessens symptoms of social withdrawal. Thirty minutes of brisk walking every three days provides the benefits of moderate-intensity exercise. As an alternative, you can do three 10-minute walks each day.
For many people, loneliness was a significant mental health roadblock in 2020 and into 2021. To counteract feelings of isolation, get in touch with friends and family virtually or make telephone calls. Reach out to others; emails, texts, and social media can be very helpful during these times. Or meet up with a friend and go for a walk.
Stay busy. Empty time can pass slowly, so find a new podcast, listen to music, learn a new skill, or start a new hobby. A busy and engaged mind is less likely to be preoccupied with loneliness.
Paying attention to your diet
The holidays are associated with excessive indulgence. But there’s growing evidence that what you eat affects your mood. Healthy food choices like the Mediterranean diet are associated with better mental health than traditional Western foods.
Great options for mood-boosting meals include fruits, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts, and olive oil.
Taking care of yourself
Mental health is a precious asset to care for and protect. For optimal quality of life, mental well-being is just as important as a healthy body.
We provide anxiety and depression treatment at Apex Medical Professionals. We may prescribe medication to alleviate your symptoms by balancing brain chemicals.
Our team might also suggest dietary adjustments. To maintain your mood, you need certain nutrients to synthesize brain chemicals. Even a tiny change in your diet can improve your mood.
If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, call our Fair Lawn, New Jersey, office or request an appointment online.