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

Former White Rock mayor, MP shares community connections via YouTube

Gordie Hogg aims to highlight those who’ve impacted South Surrey, White Rock

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Wrong-way driver triggers multi-vehicle collision on Highway 99 in South Surrey

Police received multiple reports of vehicle heading north in southbound lanes

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

Most Read

l -->