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Battling winter blues, depression and SAD after the holidays

Kick the blues on ‘Blue Monday’ that is supposedly the most depressing day of the year

Have you been feeling a little blue?

It’s Blue Monday, a day that is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Just day after the super blood wolf moon, the sun still shines in Kelowna but winter continues to loom over the Okanagan Valley.

The Canadian Mental Health Association in Kelowna says that this time of year it is common for people to feel depressed or feel a little more down because of the post-holiday blues.

“This time of year it’s common for people to feel low moods or depressed. We have darker skies, greyer weather and we may not be able to be in our regular routines,” said Jessica Samuels, communications manager at CMHA Kelowna.

This time of year people may experience Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) a kind of depression that begins in fall as the days grow shorter and lasts through the winter. However some people may experience SAD during spring and summer. The CMHA cites that it is unclear what causes SAD but that in winter it may be caused by a lack of sunlight.

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Samuels says that it’s important for family and friends to watch each other to see if they are exhibiting any symptoms of depression or SAD.

“If they are feeling more tired or lethargic than usual and wanting to stay in bed more days in a row than usual, they don’t have as much motivation and are not getting joy out of normal activities and engaging with others. If they know what’s going on is not normal for you it’s a good idea to check in with a family doctor or talk with someone you know or get some help,” said Samuels.

RELATED: People with mental illness twice as likely to be victims of violence: study

To battle depression or SAD Samuels recommends getting back into a normal routine, see friends and connect, create goals that are realistic and celebrate small successes and goals.

Those experiencing SAD or depression can seek services at the CMHA or youth can access services at Foundry Kelowna in the afternoons. In case of emergency call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE.

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sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

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