Shorter, wintry days and the holiday season bring cheer to many, but melanchoia for some people. Hot chocolate, cozy up next to the fireplace and the warmth of woolen blanket are all some people may need, but for others who struggle with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), mental illnesses or chronic pain, mental anguish and pain only deepens during this time of the year.

Pacific Pain & Wellness Group gathered a few tips to help you cope or feel better this wintry holiday season.

Soak in some morning light 

With shorter wintry days, we get less exposure to sunlight. Although it has not been scientifically proven, it is widely believed that lack of exposure to sunlight contributes to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), lethargy and depression. Catching the morning light while brisk walking outside, opening all the windows and shades at home or at work and sitting next to the bright window can lift your mood.

Stay active 

Avoid doing nothing and curling up under a pile of woolen blanket because this makes you susceptible to thinking about your pain and inactivity also exacerbates chronic pain. Stretching, swimming, brisk walking, low-impact or light excercises help keep your body strong and stimulates the body’s natural healing process.

Find someone to talk to 

Avoid being on your own. Find someone or a group of people you can talk to and share your feelings and thoughts regarding your mental and physical pain. It’s best to choose people or join forums or group therapy so you are surrounded with people who you know can understand how you feel, such as the group therapy at Pacific Pain & Wellness Group where we have members who deal with the same mental pain or chronic pain or have personal experiences with mental health illness or chronic pain. Letting it out, avoiding bottling up your feelings and thoughts and sharing them are therapeutic.

Avoid drinking alcohol 

A lot of people think that alcohol can provide temporary relief from mental pain or chronic pain. What it really does is give you the “buzz” and false sense of wellness. Intoxication can impair your judgement, keep you from doing more positive activities such as exercises, as well as affect your sleep patterns.

While the holidays may offer plenty of moments to indulge yourself with a glass of wine, remember to do so in moderation if you choose to drink. Don’t be embarrassed about passing on a drink and having something healthier, like a glass of orange juice or sparkling water with a lime.

Set realistic goals and expectations 

If you have chronic pain, avoid strenous activities and staying out till late stressing and shopping for gifts or spending too much time fussing over what food to prepare for the family or friends. Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and undertake tasks and activities that are not physically taxing, but still enjoyable and will help keep your mind off your pain.

Seek professional help 

Dealing with depression, other mental health illnesses and chronic pain involves gradual steps over a period of time. Spend as much time with your family and friends. After all, that’s what the holidays are really all about. If you continue to struggle and find it difficult to try any of these tips and are feeling extremely depressed and in pain, see your doctor, psychiatrist or mental health professional for help and treatment. You can also contact Pacific Pain & Wellness Group at 310-437-7399 to schedule a consultation with our pain management physicians and mental health specialists, including neuropsychiatrist and psychologist, headed by Kartik Ananth, MD, a board certified and fellowship trained physician and neuropsychiatrist, have committed to providing treatments to patients with mental health ilnesses. We provide holistic mental health care using innovative and scientifically proven therapeutic modalities. At Pacific Pain & Wellness Group, we are certain that you will be able to achieve the healing and mental health needed to help you get back on track with your life.


If you are or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or chronic pain, contact Pacific Pain & Wellness Group in Torrance at 310-437-7399 or fill out our Contact Form. We provide advanced treatments for mental health ilnesses and chronic pain. We serve the communities of Torrance, South Bay and Westside, Los Angeles.