This is the time of year when many Ontarians may notice a shift in mood and find themselves lacking energy.
Research in Ontario suggests that 15 percent of the general population experience these winter blues, which can include changes in appetite and lethargy. The winter blues differs from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which affects about 2 percent of the population and is a serious form of depression.
People experiencing the winter blues can benefit from:
- Maximizing exposure to sunlight. Spend more time outdoors during the day and arrange indoor environments to receive maximum sunlight. Trim tree branches that block light, for example, and keep curtains open during the day. Move furniture to sit near a window.
- Exercise. Exercise relieves stress, builds energy and increases mental and physical well-being. Make a habit of taking a daily noon-hour walk. The activity and increased exposure to natural light can raise spirits.
- Eating well. Healthy eating has been shown to benefit mental as well as physical health. Be sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables in daily eating habits.
CMHA offers a range of services to help people living in Windsor-Essex County. We have a variety of programs and services for the most seriously mentally ill along with those dealing with moderate mental illness and addictions.
We will gladly assist any individual seeking information or resources on mental illness and mental health through Information and Referral Services by calling 519-255-7440.
Download our Referral Form. Please use this form to refer an individual/client to CMHA-WECB services. Completed forms can be faxed to 519-971-0058.
The prevalence of the winter blues highlights the need to make our mental health a priority throughout the year. However, there’s not enough mental health and addictions resources in the province. That’s why CMHA Ontario’s Erase the Difference campaign is encouraging people to sign a petition educating candidates in this year’s provincial election about the need to fund mental health the same as physical health.
To sign the petition and get more information about the campaign, go to www.erasethedifference.ca.