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Blue Monday
by Regional Health Authority, 1/16/2015 12:21:43 PM

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Blue Monday

January can be a “gloomy” time of the year. The frigid weather along with less daylight can make one feel sluggish, irritable and contribute to social isolation. If you experience mental health problems, you need to take extra care of your health and wellbeing in extreme cold weather. Although there are many reasons why someone may feel particularly "down" in January, each year much of the media becomes fixated on a specific day in late January as one of the most depressing of the year. It has become recognized by many as Blue Monday.

 True clinical depression (as opposed to a post-Christmas slump) is a far more complex condition, affected by many factors both internal and external, which can strike at any time of year. However, the annual seasonal equation of debt, lack of motivation, cold weather and other arbitrary variables can be a reason to step up and try to make a difference in how you or someone else might be feeling.

Here are a few tips to help beat the winter blues!

1)      Rejuvenate yourself! Make an effort to eat well and exercise. This will help your body and mind fight negative energy and thoughts.

2)      Embrace gratitude – try to focus on the positive, after all it is a new year!

3)      Treat yourself - so that you feel better about leaving the holidays behind, give yourself something to look forward to! Plan a weekend getaway, try a new sport or take on a new hobby.

4)      Open the blinds! Try to allow natural sunlight into your home. If it is too cold to venture outside, sit by the window and allow your body to absorb some much-needed Vitamin D. 

5)      Enjoy the outdoors - adopt a winter sport. Obviously, you are a lot more likely to get outdoors if there are things you enjoy doing, even when the weather is chilly.

6)      Get out there-on sunny winter days, take walks outdoors. Even if winter light does not have midsummer intensity, a dose of real sun is far more effective than indoor bulbs.

7)      Join a gym -while research shows that exercise helps relieve depression, it is hard to get motivated in the winter. If you join a health club and set up a regular time to go, you are more likely to get the exercise you need to boost your mood.

8)      Down a mood booster-take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains vitamin B6, thiamin, and folic acid. Studies have shown that all of these B vitamins can benefit mood.

9)      Stay off sugar -don’t overdo cookies, candy, and other sugary foods. Refined sugar may give you an initial lift, but afterward your energy plummets and so does your mood. Opt for protein-dense meals that can help increase alertness. Have an egg-white omelet for breakfast or a chicken breast sandwich for lunch.

10)   Be intuitive – focus on how you feel. Gauge whether the feelings you are experiencing are temporary or something more than that. Seek help when it is affecting your work, relationships, and day-to-day living. To open the conversation on mental health problems and the reality of themit is okay to talk about feeling blue or even the experience of true depression. Asking for help is a step in the right direction.

 

 If you are in crisis please contact 1-888-379-7699, if under 18 please contact 1-866-403-5459. If you need to access Mental Health Services please contact Intake at 1-855-222-6011.

 

 

Submitted by:

Kristina Lindsay

Registered Psychiatric Nurse

Prairie Mountain Health


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