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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:

CMHA TVAMHS offers several ways to connect with immediate support, both in person or virtually/over the phone. Our Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Centre in London is open 365 days a year, 24/7. We also have mental health and addiction workers available at both our sites and several hospitals across the Thames Valley region. More information on where and when these supports are available here.

Anyone can also access our 24/7 phone lines for immediate support. Reach Out and 9-8-8 both offer phone and text options.  

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 TVAMHS 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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