WHAT TO TRY IF YOU’RE FEELING BLUE ON ‘BLUE MONDAY’

WINNIPEG — Jan. 18 has been labelled the most depressing day of the year, also known as “Blue Monday.”

A combination of cold weather, dark days, holiday debt and low motivation are some of the factors contributing to this.

“I think it originated in a travel industry promotion recommending everybody go south,” the executive director of Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, Tara Brousseau Snider said.

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In Winnipeg, the sun doesn’t rise until about 8:20 a.m. on this day and the average low is -23 °C, often feeling much cooler with the wind chill.

“We’re launching a seasonal affective light program with councillor Gillingham today in the Winnipeg Public Library system,” Snider said.

Anyone who wants a light can go to the Centennial library and the St. James library in Winnipeg to take advantage of the light.

She also pointed out that there aren’t many holidays to look forward to at this time of year, which can contribute to the rising numbers of Manitobans seeking help at the Mood Disorders Association.

“We see a substantial increase… our groups are at capacity at the moment so we are adding more groups,”Snider said. “Right now we have 21 groups during the week here in Winnipeg.”

Many Canadians experience sadness during the winter because of seasonal affective disorder, which can start in the fall when the days start getting shorter.

While it isn’t clear what causes SAD, two to three per cent of Canadians will experience it in their lifetime according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“Be kind to yourself, if you’ve slipped on your New Year’s resolutions, don’t go too hard, try and get outside,” Snider said. “Eat well, sleep well, do all the kind of things that’s important to your mental health.”

If you are feeling blue this winter, Snider suggests you call the Mood Disorders Association at 204-786-0987 or go to their website.