With the holidays over and the grey winter weather setting in, some Canadians may notice a
shift in mood and energy.
While ‘Blue Monday’ – the third Monday of January – once touted as the most depressing day of
the year, has proven to be a myth, the ‘winter blues’ are all too real. Research in Ontario
suggests that 15 percent of the general population have experienced the winter blues, which
can include changes in appetite and lethargy as the days grow shorter.
The winter blues differs from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which affects about two
percent of the population and is a serious form of depression.
People experiencing the winter blues can benefit from:
- Maximizing exposure to sunlight. Spend more time outdoors during the day and
arrange indoor environments to receive maximum sunlight. Trim tree branches that block
light, for example, and keep curtains open during the day. Move furniture to sit near a
- Exercise. Exercise relieves stress, builds energy and increases mental and physical
well-being. Make a habit of taking a daily noon-hour walk. The activity and increased
exposure to natural light can raise spirits.
- Eating well. Healthy eating has been shown to benefit mental as well as physical health.
Be sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables in daily eating habits.
CMHA Waterloo Wellington offers a number of programs and services including: counselling and treatment, psychiatry, senior’s mental health, children’s services and more. To access services, individuals can call Here 24/7, the front door to the addictions, mental health and crisis services provided by 12 agencies across Waterloo Wellington. All intake, assessment, referral, crisis, waitlist and appointment booking for these important programs is done through Here 24/7. CMHA Waterloo Wellington also offers the Distress Centre, which provides confidential supportive listening to individuals in Waterloo and Wellington.
For more information on mental health and mental illness, visit the CMHA Waterloo Wellington website.