Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board

CONTACT INFORMATION: Emergency - 703-573-5679 / Detox - 703-502-7000 (24/7)
703-383-8500 TTY 711
8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22031
Daryl Washington
Executive Director

Self-care this holiday season

Photo of person's hands playing pianoWhile holidays can be joyous and cheery for many, they also can evoke strong emotions and memories. The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board’s Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention (WHPP) team reminds you to take time to nurture and care for your mental health and wellness this holiday season, and consider the use of music as a tool. Music is a natural mood booster and research now confirms that music not only influences our moods, but can reduce the negative effects of stress, while helping us focus and manage our emotions.

Listening to music actually changes the way your brain functions. If you’ve ever felt chills while listening to music (and research shows that about 90 percent of us have) then you have experienced this. Music stimulates an ancient reward pathway in the brain, encouraging dopamine to flood part of the forebrain associated with motivation.

Music can help you regulate your mood and improve your mental wellness by:  

  • Reducing the body's response to stress
  • Relieving symptoms of depression
  • Relieving anxiety
  • Improving cognition
  • Improving sleep
  • Increasing intensity and endurance of workouts. 

It’s important to pick out the right music for the right purpose. If you’re feeling down, try to think about what music inspires you. If your thoughts are racing, calming music may help. 

Likewise, classical music or instrumentals have been shown to increase people's ability to focus while working on a difficult task; conversely, putting on exciting music might make cleaning the kitchen more enjoyable and the last few minutes on the treadmill more bearable.

But beware: since music can bring up strong emotions and remind you of certain people or memories, try to avoid music that evokes sad feelings or makes you think of upsetting things. Consider making playlists ahead of time to make sure you always have the right mood-fixer at the tip of your fingers.

If you feel like you might need more support than music, try taking one of the CSB’s free online screenings to see if you have symptoms of a common and treatable mental health disorder. After the screening, you’ll be connected to local resources.

More about CSB services

For information on CSB services, call CSB Entry & Referral at 703-383-8500,TTY 711, or come directly to the Merrifield Center for a screening, Mon. – Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Emergency mental health services are available 24/7 by calling 703-573-5679, TTY 711, or come directly to the Merrifield Center's lower level. The Fairfax Detoxification Center is also available 24/7 at 703-502-7000, TTY 703-322-9080.


Contact Information

Contact for news media inquiries: CSB Communications Team, 703-324-7000.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant