‘Feel-good hormones’: The holidays and your mental health

Celebrating the holidays this year could give a much-needed boost to your mental health, even if they don’t look like the celebrations of the past.

According to Psychologist Deborah Serani, “When we change our environment and we invite color, lights, sparkle, scents that we may not always have around us during the year; it shifts our feel-good hormones”.

Serani says she found enjoying seasonal pleasures has boosted dopamine and serotonin levels in her patients. Something that is much needed during this stressful year.

“One of the things that COVID and the pandemic have done for us, unfortunately, is made us feel very isolated and disconnected,” commented Serani. “Take time to remember the memento or the ornament or the particular gift that was given at that time”.

For those who already find the holidays to be difficult, remember to take care of yourself first before spreading the holiday cheer to others.

“It may just be filled with memories that aren’t very pleasant. So if you’re somebody who’s like that, just make sure that you empower yourself and stand up for yourself,” advised Serani. “It’s ok to say no to be invited to Zoom or Facetime activities or even in person socially distant festivities. This is about, again, self-care and knowing what it is you need.”

 

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