Is Blue Monday really the most depressing day of the year? Not scientifically speaking, no. It was actually a marketing strategy created to encourage people to go on vacation in January.
What is very real, however, is Seasonal Affective Disorder, and so are the “winter blues.”
As days get shorter, darker, and colder, it’s quite common to notice a shift in mood. In Canada, about 5% of the population is affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can involve changes in energy, appetite and overall mood.1
What’s more common in Canada is sometimes known as the “winter blues,” which can be understood as a milder form of SAD. In fact, as many as 15% of people experience the winter blues in Canada.2
While winter is unavoidable in Canada, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to that can help you battle the winter blues and SAD. Some of these strategies include:
- Getting some daylight
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a well-balanced diet
It’s important to note that lifestyle changes aren’t always sufficient to beat the winter blues or SAD, and that you can always reach out for supports and services. Treatments are available to help you cope, such as counselling and light therapy.3
While there are still several weeks left in our cold, Canadian winter, by keeping our mental health top of mind, we can be sure to keep a spring in our step.