FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The holiday season is a time when we often experience the blues. With COVID and the winter doldrums setting in, some of us are prone to panic attacks and depression.

Dr. Johnny Parker, a mental health specialist who works with both individual and group clients — including some professional athletes — says we can proactively prevent ourselves from feeling down.

With Thanksgiving weekend approaching, he says we can follow a set of “mental cues” as a strategy to remain upbeat at times when the emotional landscape may get rocky. It is a wellness program that keeps our spirits high.

“You can do this with your family on Thanksgiving day, so it’s just something to get us moving towards a healthier direction in terms of wellness, emotional, relational, spiritual, mental – that wellness does not happen automatically. It happens intentionally,” said Dr. Parker, principal of The Parker Group, LLC.

Dr. Parker is also busy in the classroom also. When he is not coaching clients in the sports arena or corporate boardroom, he teaches a class in psychology at Johns Hopkins University. More information can be found on his website.