Dr. Holland’s Mental Health Tips

From Isolation to Community

From Isolation to Community

Following the pandemic, many people are finding it difficult to reunite with their social groups. Social isolation and loneliness are associated with behaviors that negatively impact cardiovascular and brain health, such as lower levels of self-reported physical activity, low nutritional intake, and a more sedentary lifestyle. Multiple large studies found significant associations between loneliness and a higher likelihood of smoking and other addictive habits. Taking charge of your mental health to overcome isolation and loneliness will make life worth living again, and it might just save your life.

How to Empower Yourself to Make Positive Change

How to Empower Yourself to Make Positive Change

When we are stressed, when we are tired and overwhelmed, it’s easy to hold our breath without even knowing it. And when we do that, we deprive ourselves of oxygen, which, in turn, limits our ability to think clearly in the moment and do things like problem-solving and affect-regulation.

Caregivers focus on positive emotions to reduce anxiety and depression

Caregivers focus on positive emotions to reduce anxiety and depression

Caring for family members with dementia — which is on the rise in the U.S. — causes significant emotional and physical stress that increases caregivers’ risk of depression, anxiety and death. A method presented in one study for coping with that stress by teaching people how to focus on positive emotions reduced their anxiety and depression after six weeks. It also resulted in better self-reported physical health and positive attitudes toward caregiving.

Caregiver study focuses on the challenges of caring for a partner

Caregiver study focuses on the challenges of caring for a partner

“This study is a reminder to step back and look at what your partner is coping with, to learn about their health conditions, to be conscious of it on a daily basis, and for grown children and clinicians to do the same,” she says. “Having that awareness, and helping one another manage health problems while watching for signs of depression, may help both members of a couple over time.”

Poor sleep and job stress even more toxic than predicted

Poor sleep and job stress even more toxic than predicted

Every job situation will come with varying degrees of stress and frustration that ebb and flow. Burnout, however, is more than that. It is an all-encompassing feeling that you are being pulled in every direction at once and that no matter what you do, you are unable to make progress or move forward. If chronic burnout is left untreated, it can lead to issues with physical and mental health.

Companion Pets Help to Ease Symptoms of Grief

Companion Pets Help to Ease Symptoms of Grief

Researchers found all individuals who lost their spouse experienced higher levels of depression. However, people without a pet experienced more significant increases in depressive symptoms and higher loneliness than those who had pets. In fact, those who had a pet and experienced the death or divorce of their spouse were no lonelier than older adults who didn’t experience one of those events.