Feeling sad now that Christmas festivities and the excitement of welcoming the New Year are over? Worried about your budget being overspent or having gained weight from one too many cookies over the holiday season?

Or are you dreading going back to work after having had time to relax with friends and family?

You’re not alone!

It’s perfectly common to feel less upbeat than usual during this time of year.

All of these factors topped with the seemingly endless gloomy weather can lead us to feel sad and unmotivated. These factors can have an even bigger hold on our mood on Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year.

While it’s debatable whether Blue Monday is in fact the most depressing day of the year, what we know for sure is that lots of people experience a dip in mood towards the end of fall and in the winter.

For some, shorter days and cold weather can bring about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

In order to prevent SAD or depression from developing or persisting past the winter months, it’s important to be aware of early signs or symptoms of depression and to have healthy coping strategies.

 

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Low mood
  • Changes in sleep and appetite
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Fatigue
  • Diminished concentration
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts

 

A way to beat the winter blues is to engage in regular self-care. If you can’t escape to a beach destination during the winter, you can:

  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy
  • Express gratitude
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Spend quality time with close others
  • Treat yourself to small pleasures (i.e. a cup of warm tea)
  • Get comfortable (i.e. warm blankets)

 

While people tend to be more prone to depression and dips in mood during this time of year, depression can happen at any time. Making your mental health a priority by becoming aware of symptoms and establishing a self-care routine can help keep the depression at bay. If you’re feeling out of sorts and in need of support, don’t hesitate to reach out.