Blue Monday isn’t real, but the Canadian Mental Health Association says seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are. (Unsplash image - Gabriele Diwald)

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

If you find yourself feeling down on Jan. 20, you might be experiencing Blue Monday.

The third Monday of the year is what some also consider the most depressing day of the year, but according to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Blue Monday is a myth.

The CMHA website says the dark day was actually a marketing strategy used to encourage people to go on vacation in January.

However, the national mental health organization says seasonal affective disorder and the “winter blues” are very real.

“As days get shorter, darker and colder, it’s quite common to notice a shift in mood,” the CMHA website says.

READ ALSO: Does the season make you blue? It could be SAD

In Canada, about five per cent of the population is affected by seasonal affective disorder, which can manifest as changes in energy, appetite and overall mood.

The “winter blues” which affect as many as 15 per cent of people in Canada, are considered to be a milder form of seasonal affective disorder. They are a wave of low emotions that accompany the darker, colder days of the winter season.

Those experiencing winter blues might feel the need to sleep longer, eat more comfort food and spend more time alone rather than with friends and family.

While the winter season is unavoidable, lifestyle changes like getting some daylight, exercising regularly and eating a well-balanced diet are recommended to help battle the winter blues.

READ ALSO: Shortened daylight in B.C. can put damper on mental health

Keeping a normal sleep schedule and being kind to yourself by checking in regularly and spending some time on self-care are also helpful.

The CMHA says treatment for seasonal affective disorder can also include light therapy, counselling, medication or a combination of the three.

“Its 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,” the CMHA says. “Treatments are available to help you cope, such as counselling and light therapy.”

Those seeking mental health resources can find some on the province’s website as well as on Island Health’s website.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cook Street Village grocery icon closing, new owners plan major renovation

Louie family has operated Oxford Foods and predecessor for five decades at Cook and Oxford streets

WorkSafeBC investigating death at Victoria Customs House construction site

Prevention officer will ensure all safety issues addressed before work starts again

Three years for serial bank robber who hit Sidney branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Sidney, Abbotsford and Vancouver

PHOTOS: Gallery explores ‘broken promises’ during Japanese Canadian internment in 1940s

‘Broken Promises’ to acknowledge the thousands of Japanese Canadians who faced dispossession

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Most Read