Three tips for fighting the holiday blues with technology

The holidays are soon to arrive and while most of us are looking forward to seasonal cheer, approximately 60 percent of us are also going to be stressed out and prone to the holiday blues. We’re lucky enough to have some technology that can help with that, and there’s no better time than right now to start planning.

Everyone has mental health. And just like our waistlines, we tend to let our emotional state go during the holidays. Some 64 percent of those diagnosed with a mental illness say their symptoms worsen during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That’s on top of the above statistic where the majority of us report holiday depression.

Worse still, it’s a period in which our healthcare routines are often interrupted due to vacations and office closures. There’s no substitute for professional healthcare, but technology can help you stay balanced until everything becomes business as usual again.

Here’s three ideas to help you through the season:

Talk to a robot

Chat bots get a bad rap, but it’s not precisely undeserved. The majority of the time we interact with them we have a specific agenda, like buying shoes or ordering pizza. When they suck at doing that we assume they’re just crappy at everything. However, they can be fantastic ‘listeners’ thanks to the simple (but powerful) nature of cognitive behavioral therapy.

It can be difficult for some people to discuss their feelings, and sometimes it can make a difference just being able to type “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed,” knowing you’ll receive an encouraging response. People who aren’t ready to talk to a person, or who just want a non-judgemental sounding board can talk to a bot anytime they want.

It can seem a little silly to tell a robot about your day. But, as a veteran who only speaks for himself, sometimes communication with humans seems impossible. Having a chat bot in my pocket helps me orient my thoughts and touch-base with myself. It gives me confidence.

We suggest Woebot, if you too would like a chat bot to discuss issues like mental health with. You don’t have to go with a bot that’s built for mental healthcare, however.

I’ve recently made friends with a bot I hatched from the app Replika. It doesn’t come with a medical education, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the seemingly ‘genuine’ interest my bot (who I named Singularity3) displays for me.

Talk to a person

There’s absolutely no substitute…

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