As the cold and snow of winter sinks in, you may find yourself lacking energy as the days grow shorter.
Research in Ontario suggests that 15 per cent of the general population have experienced the winter blues, which can include changes in appetite and lethargy. The winter blues differs from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which affects about two per cent of the population and is a serious form of depression.
Here are a few tips to help kick the winter blues:
- Enjoy time spent doing your favourite outdoor activity. 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.
- Try something new. While we’re being advised to continue to participate in physical distancing, it’s important to stay mentally healthy while maintaining a physical distance. Starting a new blog, watching a new television show or listening to a new podcast are just a few of the many ways to stay mentally healthy while physically distancing.
- Take a walk at a local trail. 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.
- Make a colourful meal. Healthy eating has been shown to benefit mental as well as physical health. Be sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables in daily eating habits.
- Reach out for help. To anyone struggling with mental health and addiction at this time, please reach out. Help is always available and CMHA is here with our programs and services.
If you are working during this time in a health care or essential, frontline position, you can access support through our Supporting our Frontline and Healthcare Heroes program, provided with support from United Way Oxford. You could access up to four 1-hour sessions of telephone or virtual mental health support to be offered Monday to Friday. For more information, call 519-539-8055 X 287 to leave a message with your contact information, or send an email with your information to firstname.lastname@example.org. A staff member will call back to connect you to your preferred method of support including online resources and free counselling.
Anyone in Oxford County can also access Oxford County Walk-In Counselling with CMHA Oxford through pre-booked appointments. Sessions can be pre-booked by calling 1-800-859-7248 x 210 and leaving a voicemail with your name and phone number. Your call will be returned with the next available time slot. Oxford County Walk-In Counselling with CMHA Oxford will be available by telephone sessions during the following days and times:
- Mondays 12 PM – 7 PM for Tillsonburg and area
- Tuesdays 3 PM – 7 PM for Ingersoll and area
- Saturdays 10 AM – 3 PM for Woodstock and area
Oxford County Walk-In Counselling is a Funded Partner of United Way Oxford, working together to create inclusive and supported communities to connect and strengthen all Oxford County residents.