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

Surrey RCMP looking to identify Fleetwood robbery suspect

Alleged incident happened in the 15900-block of Fraser Highway, police say

PHOTOS: Sold-out Surrey party raises $1.35M in ‘Celebration of Care’ at hospital

Hollywood-style event attracted close to 700 people to Aria Convention Centre

Naked driver leads Langley, Surrey RCMP on hit and run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Surrey reduces cab business licence fees to match ride-hailing industry

Meantime, Surrey Board of Trade petition asks government to remove ‘archaic’ taxi boundaries

New book rounds up stories about landmark Surrey diner

Springenatic family marks 60 years of Round Up Café ownership

VIDEO: Feds warned agricultural sector near ‘tipping point’ due to blockades

Canadian Federation of Agriculture points to lack of propane and feed due to Coastal GasLink dispute

Fraser Valley couple wins $500K after finding scratch-and-win while moving

Robert Walters and Lois Gueret of Agassiz win half a million from Scrach & Win ticket

Six Wet’suwet’en supporters arrested during blockade of Vancouver port: police

This latest blockade had gone on for nearly 24 hours in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

‘Intemperate, insulting’: B.C. teacher reprimanded for online comments about religion

John William Yetman made the comments in response to a Facebook invitation to Open Mosque Day B.C.

High-risk sex offender, who triggered protests in Fraser Valley, back in court

Chilliwack residents wanted James Conway gone from residential neighbourhood two years ago

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

UPDATE: 14 arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Hospital parking fees needed, but changes to payment system possible, health minister says

B.C. health minister Adrian Dix says hospital parking doesn’t need to be so stressful

Most Read