Do you happen to feel more tired these days? Maybe more anxious, irritable, and moody? Well, ‘tis the season to be melancholy as the experts say!
In colder climates, our winters often drag into late April and early May, leaving people feeling frustrated and yearning for some sunshine and warm weather. The Canadian Mental Health Association say that one in four people suffer from seasonal blues and 15% of people have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder. These blues typically stem from a sensitivity to the lack of sunshine, which ultimately disrupts our circadian rhythm (our internal body clock). The degree of this sensitivity can predict your severity of the winter blues.
The Canadian Mental Health Association compiled a list of tactics that those experiencing the winter blues can do to get through this last stretch of colder weather.
- Maximize Exposure to Sunlight: Try and step outside during the day when the sun is the brightest. Try a 10-minute walk in the sun, sit on your deck or yard facing the sun, or move some furniture near a window to access some light in your room
- Exercise: Being physically active helps relieve stress and builds energy to increase your mental and physical well-being. Making a habit of taking a daily walk in the sun can help raise spirits.
- Eating Well: Getting an adequate amount of macro and micro nutrients is vital to feel your best. Try adding in lots of fruits and vegetables to your plate when cooking.
Northern Hearts, a non-profit charity looking to increase education and heart-healthy programming is interested in helping others get through this last stretch of winter. They provide tips and information on how to live a healthier lifestyle on their weekly social media posts on Facebook (@NorthernHeartsThunderBay), Instagram (@NorthernHeartsThunderBay), Twitter (@northernhearts8), and LinkedIn (@Northern Hearts Non-Profit Organization).
Northern Hearts asked one of their board members what they do to beat the winter blues. Some advice that arose surrounded the idea of finding an enjoyable winter hobby that you could look forward to each winter season. Whether it be indoors or outdoors, it can be an outside activity such as cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, or skating, but can be an indoor one as well, including fitness challenges to complete and track, mall walking, or joining social fitness classes with friends.
To learn more about beating the winter blues, Northern Hearts has organized a free virtual Talk with Doc webinar to raise awareness of mental well-being. Dr. Mario Nucci, a local physician, will discuss beating the blues and how this may impact your overall health. The talk will be held online over the Zoom platform on April 28th from 7:00 to 8:00pm with a chance for questions at the end. To access the free event, you are required to register here using the link below: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Kq96iAl6TzKkUN2Ig9FT1A and click the link it sends you on the night of the event.
If you have any questions with registering for the event, please contact Kayla Waddington, program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on heart health, please visit: https://northernhearts.org/ or follow Northern Hearts on Facebook and Instagram (@NorthernHeartsThunderBay).
For additional information about winter blues and mental health please visit: https://ontario.cmha.ca/news/tips-to-beat-the-winter-blues/
Submitted by: Kayla Waddington, Program Coordinator, Northern Hearts