5 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

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The days are really short. I wake up before the sun and by the time 5pm rolls around, it is dark again. Many people experience sadness, melancholy or winter blues because they do not get enough sunlight. Some people experience SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, a mood disorder in which people with normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter.

There are many different treatments for classic (winter-based) seasonal affective disorder, including light therapy with sunlight or bright lights, antidepressant medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, ionized-air administration, and carefully-timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin.

However, today I am just going to give you five fun tips to pick up your mood.

1. Call a friend and meet for a walk and a warm drink. Make a point to keep the conversation away from the weather.

2. If you like to cook, challenge yourself to create an energizing meal. A quinoa salad with colorful vegetables and wild salmon will provide an energy punch to your day.

3. Give yourself something to look forward to – whether it’s a pedicure, a sporting event, or a weekend trip. Having that date circled on your calendar can get you through some of the dreary days ahead.

4. Bundle up and enjoy some good old Canadian-styled winter fun. Go snowshoeing, build a snowman, go ice skating or sledding. Remind yourself how much you used to look forward to this season.

5. Get up and move. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you choose. It all helps to keep the endorphins, also known as the feel-good hormones, pumping.

If you are feeling depressed and nothing seems to help, please contact your doctor or health professional.

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February 2023