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Tips to shake off the winter blues

As the cold winter days grow shorter, Ontarians may find themselves lacking energy and feeling “blue.”

Winter blues is a term that is commonly used to describe a mild form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or a general feeling of low energy and mood during the winter months. Signs you may be experiencing SAD may include lethargy, irritability, changes in sleep patterns, and a general sense of not feeling your best.

In Ontario, research suggests that 15 per cent of the general population have experienced the winter blues, which is different from SAD. SAD affects about two per cent of the population and is a serious form of depression.

Here are a few tips to help kick the winter blues:

Limit the intake of sugary and processed foods.

Individuals 16 years and older who are experiencing mental health and/or addiction challenges can access free same-day counselling services from our locations in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, and Fort Erie. Other programs and services include Safe Beds short-term crisis non-medical residential program, Real Work specialized employment program, and other community support and residential services.

Remember to make your well-being a top priority. It is especially important during the winter months when the lack of sunlight can impact your mood. If you find that your symptoms are significantly affecting your daily life, contact CMHA Niagara for professional advice on ways to manage and improve your mental health.

For more helpful tips about ways to manage SAD or winter blues check out the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health’s The Winter Blues: A guide for students.

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