Fraser Health encourages people who might feel symptoms of depression to seek help from a mental health professional. (Ryan Melaugh – Flickr)

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

The third Monday in January is commonly known as Blue Monday, allegedly the most depressing day of the year.

So what are the “winter blues” and how can one conquer them?

Janel Casey, the head of psychiatry at Royal Columbian Hospital believes there are multiple factors that play a role in seasonal depression.

“I think the winter is a hard time of year for people because of the lack of sunlight, the shorter days [and] the cold weather,” she explained. “Also, January might be a little bit more difficult time for people coming off the high from Christmas [and] having to go back to work and school.”

READ MORE: Alzheimer’s Awareness Campaign hopes to reduce stigma around dementia

But the “blues” are quite common, she noted.

“Seasonal affective disorder is really a sub-type of depression that has a seasonal pattern,” Casey explained. “The theory of this is that it is caused by the lack of sunlight, and this maybe creates a hormonal imbalance.”

So how can it be treated?

Self care is important, according to Casey. She recommends a balanced diet, and to avoid hibernating at home during the winter.

It is important to maximize sunlight exposure, even if it just means keeping the curtains open during the day, she said.

Also, Casey recommends a type of light therapy for seasonal depression.

“[It’s] a florescent light box and if you sit in front of it for about 30 minutes every morning then it can also prevent and help treat more of a seasonal pattern depression,” she said.

READ MORE: B.C. residents are Canada’s top drinkers, but few know it can cause cancer: Fraser Health

However, people should recognize when they require professional help.

“Seasonal affective disorder, or season depression, is still a type of depression, so for more serious depression you should definitely see a mental health professional… just don’t want people to take it likely, to recognize it can still be a serious form of depression,” she explained.

Those seeking assistance are encouraged to call the Fraser Health Crisis Line at 604-951-8851.

“We really encourage people to get help, year around… we want people to be aware year-round,” Casey concluded.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@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

Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer notes provincial health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

COVID-19: Latest update from City of Parksville

Playgrounds remain closed, bylaw officers to support enforcement of rules

Parksville, RDN moves to Stage 2 watering restrictions as of April 1

‘Snowpack accumulation has been below average’

PQB crime report: Resident provides banking information after email saying they had won lottery

Fraud, theft among 240 complaints received by Oceanside RCMP in one-week period

PQBeat Podcast: Talking cars with Philip Wolf and Peter McCully

Listen: Chat includes best and worst vehicles, dream rides and more

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

COVID-19: List of postponed/cancelled events in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Send your organization’s updates to editor@pqbnews.com

Trudeau promises $82B in economic supports in COVID-19 fight

The money will come through a combination of direct supports for workers and businesses and tax deferrals

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

‘This is no joke’: B.C. woman in Alberta hospital asks people to stay home during COVID-19

‘I want people to start listening to what the doctors are saying. This is no joke, please stay home’

Rest stops barring washroom access to truckers a ‘huge problem’ as COVID-19 spreads

Teamsters Canada says truckers are increasingly being denied warm meals

Canadians asked to wash mailboxes, keep dogs at bay, to ensure safe mail delivery

Four postal workers in Canada have tested positive for COVID-19 infection:

Most Read