Mental Health — we all have it, and now we should strive to be more open and vulnerable about it. 

TheraPieces* is a Slice of Culture monthly column by Mendez, a graduate student pursuing her Master of Social Work in clinical/medical social work.

TheraPieces will explore what mental health is, how to cope with it, ways on improving life with a mental illness, destigmatizing the topic of mental health and how to improve the wellness of it — without any judgments.

With the holidays around the corner and Christmas nearing, a lot of changes begin to happen.

The days are shorter, the weather is getting colder and SAD or seasonal affective disorder is a real thing that affects 2% of the entire population. This year has been pretty brutal, so it’s given us more reason to try to be more hopeful and festive. 

We all know and recognize that the holiday season is a time to be happy, jolly and filled with glee, but not everyone may share the same feelings. 

The holidays can be joyous, but it can also bring a lot of stress and depression. During this time, some people may not have the resources such as a home, food, company or money which can be difficult for those trying to feel the holiday spirit. 

The Holiday blues

There are many people during this time that may have the blues. It could be people you are close with and not even know about it. 

Some people may have it harder than others depending on different factors.

This is a time of giving and receiving, and sharing holiday memories with loved ones. Unfortunately, some people have lost family members, they may not have enough to give or receive and because of Covid-19, a lot of people can’t be together this year. Since traveling is limited, it gets harder to fill the warmth and joy this holiday season. 

That’s why the most important thing to do right now is to be kind to one another. 

Be kind to those around you. You never know what inner battles someone could be going through, especially during these times. Something as simple as a small generous gesture while staying safe could lift someone’s spirits.

Beating the Blues

If you or someone you know is going through seasonal depression or just holiday blues, there are a couple of things you can do:

Check up on a friend – Video/call 
Visit your local Salvation Army/holiday assistance programs
Sending gifts could spark joy 
Cooking/sharing a meal with family or friends
Watching holiday specials
Writing a letter /sending a small thoughtful gift to a loved one (or even someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile)

It’s usually the simplest things that matter most to people. If you are thinking of someone you want to reach out to, this is the sign to just do it. The check-in could be helpful for both you and the person receiving the call or text.

Happy Holidays ❤️

If you want a specific topic related to mental health covered, Daniella Mendez may be reached at

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