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17 December

Take Care of Your Mental Health This Holiday Season

The Merry and Not So Merry Side of the Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing. While this time of year usually involves plenty of celebration, comforting family time, copious amounts of food, and all things cozy, it’s also filled with a decent amount of stress for many people.

At a time when it’s easy to deprioritize our health to get through the long list of to-dos before the end of the year, we must take care of not only our physical but also mental health, especially with the added mental stress of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Rates of anxiety and depression are higher than ever before

Mental health disorders have been one of the top health-related burdens long before COVID-19 ever existed. The onset of a global pandemic didn’t help matters with nearly 4 times more US adults reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to before the pandemic.

One benefit of the pandemic: it spotlighted digital mental healthcare

COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders catalyzed the development and popularization of digital healthcare (e.g., virtual doctor’s visits, online COVID-19 screenings, etc.), transforming it from what most people thought was a convenient or alternative form of healthcare to a necessary one. In fact, digital mental healthcare has been one of the “hottest” areas of investment. Mental health was the top-most funded clinical indication, receiving $1.5 billion in funding in the first half of 2020.

Mental health apps focus on much more than just meditation and mindfulness

These mental health companies aren’t all the same – some focus on facilitating mental wellness through meditation, mindfulness, and/or good-quality sleep while others focus on facilitating peer-to-peer connections by creating online communities where people can share their experiences and get support from others

The sheer abundance of mental health-related apps can get overwhelming, but resources like ONE MIND PsyberGuide, which provides expert reviews on mental health-related apps, can help people find the right tools for their needs and can be a great way to explore a variety of options in one place.

What’s most important is finding what works best for you and knowing all the options available

These digital tools and resources may be modern and innovative, but they may not be for everyone. Sometimes all it takes to ease our minds is a simple phone call with friends or family, a cozy date with your couch and favorite book, or a walk around the neighborhood. Whatever your “happy place” may be, make sure you go there often and take care of yourself (and others) this holiday season.

Stephanie Lee About the Author

Stephanie Lee is a Clinical Research Associate at AbelsonTaylor with an enduring passion for healthcare. She has a background in biomedical engineering and experiences as a researcher, product manager, and data analyst. Outside of all the science, she likes to exercise her creativity through writing, painting, photography, and design. Like AT, she loves working at the intersection of science and art. She’s also an advocate for mental health and hopes she can help bring awareness and education to those around her.