It's not uncommon to feel a bit of the winter blue during the cold, dark winter months says the Canadian Mental Health Association - Sudbury/ Manitoulin Chapter (CMHA-S/M).
In fact, around 15 per cent of Canadians experience a downward shift in their mood during this time, which can introduce changes in appetite and lethargy.
But they're here to help.
CMHA-S/M provides brief services to individuals seeking support, as well as references to a wide variety of community resources.
“January can be a hard time of the year for a lot of people,” said Emily Zanini of CMHA-S/M. “It’s important that people take the time to care for their mental health.”
Combat the winter blues by:
- Spending time in nature: the experience is said to reduce anger, improve positive affect, and lower blood pressure
- Maximizing exposure to sunlight: arrange indoor environments to receive maximum sunlight, keep curtains open during the day and add artificial lighting as needed
- Exercise: the activity is said to relieve stress, build energy and increase mental and physical well-being
- Eating well: a clean diet has been proven to benefit both mental and physical health
- Practice daily relaxation techniques: deep breathing, yoga or meditation, can help manage stress, reduce negative emotions such as anger and fear, and boost feelings of joy and well-being
The winter blues are not the same as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a serious form of depression affects around two per cent of Canadians every year.
For more information on mental health and mental illness, visit the CMHA-S/M website.