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

Four staff members at the Okanagan Men’s Centre have tested positive for COVID-19 since Oct. 23, 2020. (Adult and Teen Challenge OMC photo)
Four positive COVID-19 cases at Okanagan Men’s Centre

Those affected are staff and have been in isolation since Oct. 23

Vince Schnabl looks at the view this October from the Gorge, west of Revelstoke. (Photo by Jon Wichett)
There’s 3 times more snow near Revelstoke than usual

According to 54 years of data from Parks Canada for Glacier National Park

Mail in ballot, provincial election 2020. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Mail-in-ballots coming in from Columbia River Revelstoke

In a progress report Elections BC said around 45 per cent of those issued have been returned

Mayor Gary Sulz (centre) cuts the ribbon for the new roundabout. Councillor Jackie Rhind (left) and Councillor Cody Younker (right) are on either side. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke’s newest roundabout opens on Victoria Rd.

The project took approximately six months to complete

Revelstoke Drill Hall as it looked July 19, 1970; current home of Trans-Canada Fitness. (Estelle Dickey/Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 392)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Oct. 29

Local history straight from the newspaper archives

Sooke’s Paul Larouche, aka PioneerPauly on YouTube, uses a metal detector in hopes to find gold flakes along his claim of the Sooke River. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Superintendent of the Kelowna RCMP, Kara Triance. (Capital News file)
Non-violent crime, small population contributes to Kelowna’s crime rate spike, says RCMP

Kelowna RCMP is assuring the public the city is a safe place

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Crime up 31 per cent in Vernon in 2019: Statistics Canada

Increase includes a 45 per cent rise in violent Criminal Code violations

A study by SlotsOnlineCanada notes there is at least 88 hours of top-rated horror movies for Canadians to consume this Halloween. (Unsplash)
Spooks and Chill study reveals Canada’s favourite horror flicks

88 hours of top-rated horror movies can fill COVID-19 Halloween

A Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020 apartment fire in Penticton killed two and displaced dozens more. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Fatal Penticton apartment fire deemed accidental

The blaze gutted an apartment building on Tuesday morning, killing two people and displacing dozens

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

This Photoshopped version of the crosswalks near the entrance to the Salmon Arm Arts Centre on Hudson Avenue show what is proposed to help create safety for and show inclusivity to the LGBTQ2S+ community. (Salmon Arm Arts Centre image)
Tri-rainbow crosswalk and Progress flag requested to help make Salmon Arm safe

Council will consider budget requests to help make city inclusive to LBGTQ2S+ community

Most Read