Holiday nostalgia could boost mental health amid COVID-19

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 1:35 PM MST
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(CNN) - COVID-19 has made this holiday season unlike any other.

However, all the wonderful things that come with the holidays should not be missed.

Celebrating could help your mental health significantly, experts say.

Psychologist Deborah Serani has found that enjoying seasonal pleasures boosted dopamine and serotonin levels in her patients.

“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 said.

She believes it can also help others 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. Take time to remember the memento or the ornament or the particular gift that was given at that time,” she said.

For those who already find the holidays to be difficult, this year may present an even more stressful scenario.

“It may just be filled with memories that aren’t very pleasant,” she said. “So if you’re somebody who’s like that, just make sure that you empower yourself and stand up for yourself. 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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