CMHA, Muskoka-Parry Sound offers tips to help with the winter blues
While Blue Monday is a myth, studies confirm that Canadians are prone to a downward shift in mood in the winter months. Research suggests that 15 per cent of the general population experience the winter blues, which can include changes in appetite and lethargy through the cold, dark winter months. CMHA, Muskoka-Parry Sound is here to help.
CMHA, Muskoka-Parry Sound offers a wide range of services and groups that can help. Check out the many services and programs our branch offers here .
“January can be a hard time of the year for a lot of people,” said Diane Brown-Demarco, Executive Director of CMHA, Muskoka-Parry Sound. It is important that people take the time to care for their mental health.”
The winter blues differ from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, which affects about two per cent of the population and is a serious form of depression. Symptoms of SAD include weight gain, decreased energy and fatigue.
People experiencing the winter blues can benefit from:
- Spending time in nature. Compared to an urban setting, walking in nature has been shown 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 move furniture to sit near a window. Adding lamps can also help.
- 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. Maintaining a clean diet has been shown to benefit both mental and physical health.
- Practicing daily relaxation techniques. Try deep breathing, yoga or meditation to help manage stress, reduce negative emotions such as anger and fear, and boost feelings of joy and well-being.
For more information on mental health and mental illness, visit the CMHA, Muskoka-Parry Sound program page.