Winter Blues

The “Winter Blues” are a type of Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. The National Institute of Mental Health defines Seasonal Affective Disorder as “a type of depression characterized by its recurrent seasonal pattern, with symptoms lasting about 4 to 5 months per year.”

As the seasons change from Summer to Fall, there are less hours of daylight. Some people may notice a change in their mood and experience symptoms of depression, such as feeling sad or down, having a loss of interest in things they usually enjoy, having less energy and less motivation, having thoughts of self harm or suicide. 

If you’ve been experiencing the Winter Blues, here are some things you can do to help: 

  • Talk to your family doctor or nurse practitioner, as they can determine if medication may be a good option for you. 
  • Talk to a trained mental health professional such as a registered psychotherapist or registered social worker, who can provide psychotherapy and give you strategies to help manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
  • Bundle yourself up in warm clothes and get outside to soak in the sun whenever you can. 
  • Find some activities that you enjoy doing indoors, or that can be done outdoors during the colder months, and do these regularly. Here are just a few ideas: playing board games, building snowmen, cross country skiing, crafting, reading, ice fishing, skating, walking in nature, bird watching, baking and decorating cookies, wood working, etc.  

If you are currently having thoughts of suicide, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency medical facility. 

Learn more: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder 

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