HolidaysMental Health and Wellness

17 Ways For Bears to Beat Depression and Anxiety

All of us have experienced depression and/or anxiety at some point in our lives, and if you haven’t – well, you’re lying Linda! It’s impossible to get through life without stumbling some of the time, but its how you take care of yourself and get up that matters. Here are some strategies to combat the gruesome twosome of anxiety and depression.


Remember what Elle Woods said: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” So, save your husband/boyfriend/friends this season by working out. But don’t go to one of those gyms that are full of fitness InstaGays who may just be on 36 peptides that they purchased on the black market so that they can look like a Marvel superhero. You’ll risk filling yourself with body dysmorphia, which will only lead to more depression! 

Try going to a yoga studio instead. Yoga is scientifically proven to lower anxiety, improve cognition and cardiovascular health, and helps overcome depression. Also, people are much nicer at the yoga studio. They make eye contact with you and they smile and they like to chat after class, so maybe you’ll get a date or a blow job at least in the parking lot. 

Also, after or before yoga, go hiking in nature! There are countless mental health benefits to being in nature. It’s also a great work out — Just like yoga, you’ll meet like minded people. You might get a date… or at the very least a blow job behind the bushes. 


I know what you’re thinking… “What the fuck! It’s the holidays!” 

Girl, take a chill pill, I did not say cut out sugar completely! But sugar has been scientifically proven to increase depression and anxiety. So, if you want to decrease those things, you just may have to decrease the amount of sugar you consume during the holidays. 

It’s fine if you want to indulge on special occasions, such as Thanksgiving, but just try to be more mindful on other days. Try switching to dark chocolate, which typically has less sugar, or try having some fruits if you’re craving something sweet.


Meditation lowers both anxiety and depression. It’s not complicated — just shut off that damn cell phone, lay on your bed, and tell Alexa to give you a 10 minute guided meditation. Ok, if you don’t have Alexa, then get the stupid cell phone back out,  turn it on, and look up guided meditation on YouTube or Spotify and do a 10 minute meditation. 

Try to do it once a day, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. It reboots your brain just like a computer. All these crazy thoughts like hundreds of browsers open just automatically shut down after just 10 minutes of meditation. Plus, it’s way more effective than a Xanax and it doesn’t mess up your memory because it actually improves your cognitive function.


— Or at least just limit your usage. Social media is pretty much controlled by sociopathic billionaires, and that alone is depressing. Social media has also been linked to anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia, and many other horrible things. 

Try deleting the apps from your phone for a few days. That’s what breaking out of the simulation feels like. Or maybe just move the apps far away from your main screen so you’re not tempted every time you look at your cell phone. 

And — Oh, my God — turn off those stupid notifications! Finding out Stacy liked the picture of that overpriced Starbucks frappuccino you posted on Instagram is not going to give you the validation that you so desperately needed from your parents.


Lies, lies, lies, Liza Minnelli with Z-pack! That’s all much of the news is: Misinformation intended to trigger mass hysteria for ratings. And who is doing the makeup of all these newscasters? Santee Alley Knockoff bronzer realness, much? 

Good Lord, that alone is depressing. Don’t watch the news in the morning! Put on your favorite Madonna, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, or Beyoncé concert and jump around. That’s how you start the day!

Besides, the majority of you younger cubs were smart enough to cancel your cable ten years ago, or never had it to begin with, which really is a blessing.


Whatever it takes, try to get eight hours of sleep every night. Turn off your cell phone at least one hour before bedtime, turn off all the lights, meditate before going to sleep to clear your head, take some melatonin or Valerian tea, and put some lavender in your essential oil diffuser. If you have PTSD, try sleeping with a weighted blanket. You’ll have less nightmares and you won’t wake up in the middle of the night. 

Also, get tested for sleep apnea, as sleep apnea can trigger chronic fatigue and depression. Try sleeping with all the lights turned off and get some blackout shades, or try sleeping with a sleep mask that blocks out all the lights. You will feel more rested in the morning because you’ll spend more time in REM sleep, which is the restorative sleep. 

People who don’t get enough REM sleep are more likely to have chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety. And they also get really bitchy at work and never take responsibility for their mistakes (ask me how I know this). So, give your supervisor a bottle of melatonin wrapped in a red bow for their birthday. 


Yes, I mean an actual dog. Not a millennial who just discovered a new fetish. 

Are you depressed and anxious because you feel alone? Well, you don’t have to feel alone. Go to the shelter and rescue your new best friend. If you’re not ready to take a dog full-time, you can try fostering for a while and see how that works out for you. 

It’s kind of like dating, except you’re not dating a pathological fucking liar who’s pretending to be the exact opposite of what they actually are. (Yeah, “low-drama” my ass! He was more dramatic than Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest, and had more mood swings than Nomi Malone in Showgirls screaming “different places” while splattering ketchup everywhere!)


Girl, stop beating yourself down! Look how far you’ve come. Yes, things are not perfect, but they’re way more perfect than they were 10 years ago. So, give yourself some credit. 

Replace all negative, self-defeating thoughts with positive thoughts. Every time you catch yourself having a negative thought, say a daily affirmation out loud, or say what you want out loud! Let the universe hear what you want so it can give it to you. I lost an office job this way when I jumped on my supervisors desk, opened my arms up to the heavens and screamed “Drop dead already, you fucking self-hating, racist, closeted homo Republican!”. It wasn’t my fault — The LGBT Center pharmacy did not deliver my meds on time that week. 


Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. If you’re afraid to leave your house due to agoraphobia or a severe allergy to other humans, try calling up a friend and ask them how they are doing and offer them emotional support. There is some evidence to suggest that when you help others, it can promote physiological changes in the brain linked to happiness. 


Research has shown that 5-HTP and St. John’s Wort are very effective for treating low-grade depression. You can get them over the counter, but DON’T TAKE THEM TOGETHER AND CHECK DRUG INTERACTIONS! They have no side effects except appetite suppression, which, quite frankly, most of us will want during the holidays because, as I said earlier, sugar might make you jump out the window and scream “It’s all for you, Damien!”

Prescribed antidepressant medications can sometimes have horrible side effects for some people, such as that thing between your legs turning into an eternal lump noodle. And how is that supposed to help your depression? Maybe it’s time to find more natural alternatives.


Speaking of healthier natural alternatives to prescription pills, maybe microdosing is for you. However, you should do your research on this, and make an informed decision. Many studies suggest that microdosing psychedelics has been proven to cure depression, help minimize PTSD symptoms, lower anxiety, improve cholesterol and blood pressure, improve cognition and reverse dementia. Yes, you can actually Google it. There seems to be lots of research out there already showing the benefits, and there’s plenty more to come. 

So, if this is your thing, try microdosing…  Or, what the hell, take a double full dose and go hiking in nature. If you get that blow job behind the bushes, it’s gonna be amazing because — Oh, my God — when you climax on acid, the orgasm sometimes goes on for like ten minutes. It’s like your prostate hit the jackpot!

BONUS TIP: Some say a little “Special K” helps with depression. But, like I said before, do your own research on this. And whatever you choose to do, do it safely. Always use a testing kit, because fentanyl is everywhere! You can get free testing kits from any LGBT Center. 


Make a list of the things that are bothering you and making you depressed. Then make a list of the things you’re going to do to fix the things that are bothering you and making you depressed. 

If you’re going to take some psilocybin or other psychedelics, definitely write down those lists beforehand. By the end of your trip, you will have a lot of answers to your problems. 


Laughter releases endorphins and lowers cortisol which is responsible for anxiety and higher insulin levels. Hang out with a friend that makes you laugh. Watch a TV show or movie that makes you laugh. Listen to a funny podcast. Follow a media personality that makes you laugh (me). Watch your favorite standup comedian. Maybe even try watching older Dave Chapelle standup before he was obsessed with making fun of transgender people. 

Just don’t watch reruns of Friends… or Seinfeld… or any sitcom from the 90s for that matter. None of that shit was really funny in the first place. Kids on TikTok will give you more laughs in 30 seconds than an entire season of Frasier


Can’t afford it? Go to a massage or acupuncture school — many of them charge less than $10. A student will work on you while supervised by a professor.

Still can’t afford it, broke ass? Then have a friend give you a massage in exchange for a rim job. There is no better cure for depression than eating a big, beefy, hairy, juicy peach. Oh! And massage and acupuncture also cures depression and anxiety, and they both also reduce back pain. So, you’ll be able to hold his legs up in the air much longer later that night. 


Girl, you know who I’m talking about. We all have that person in our lives. Could be a friend, an acquaintance, a family member or someone even we’re dating. And every single time you hang out with them, you feel exhausted and depleted afterwards. You feel like an energy vampire sucked the life out of you — because that’s exactly where they are! Energy vampires. 

You do not need that energy in your life. And the good news is that when you cut them out of your life, you free up the space for kinder and less toxic people to come into your life. Well, I guess a lot of people are gonna cut me out this month!


Make a gratitude list before going to bed. Just list all the things you’re grateful for. It could be something as simple as having a roof over your head, having a helpful friend, having a job, or just being able to buy food. 

There is so much to be grateful for! I mean, Ellen DeGeneres is finally gone, and Tyler Oakley’s YouTube channel died. Pretty soon, Facebook and Instagram may be gone, which means the end of all these skinny, blond, privileged influencers. 


If home is a toxic environment, then don’t go home for Thanksgiving or any other holidays.  Homophobic parents and grandparents, and racist aunts and uncles at the dinner table is no fun! 

You’ll end up eating too much pie, and you’ll get a sugar rush. Then you’ll crash, and when you wake up you’ll get onto Grindr looking for some relief and validation because your Republican cousins made you feel like shit again. Then, you’ll realize the closest thing to queer in your town is a closet case, and you’ll end up hooking up with him in his car because he can’t host because he’s married with seven children… and that’s so fucking depressing! 

Stay home! Not your old home, but your new home, with all your smart, queer, talented friends. Stay with them for the holidays! Practice FRIENDSgiving! Spend time with people who will lift you up!

Don’t have any friends? Then go back to number 7 and rescue or foster that pup. Now you have a new best friend! 

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Sam Kalidi

Sam Kalidi was born in a bomb shelter in Beirut where he was raised by his schizophrenic mother. Sam holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Boston University and a Bachelors in Communication Arts from the American University of Paris and has trained at New York's Herbert Berghof studio. Sam is a trilingual voice actor and his work includes several high profile movies and video game series. His on camera work includes The Unit on CBS and Jimmy Kimmel’s live sketches as well as many award winning shorts.