Have you found yourself falling victim to the Winter Blues? Are you feeling less energetic than usual? Are you depressed, anxious, or agitated and don’t know why?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a very real depression that affects many every year. It is closely linked to the change of seasons as an example of the impact of our environment on our day-to-day situations.
- Weather conditions may prompt us to stay indoors,
- The early fall of nighttime might be making us tired and less energetic,
- The excitement and joy around Christmas time has worn off with financial repercussions becoming a sometimes bitter reality, and
- We may already be disappointing ourselves with failed new years’ resolutions.
Effects of seasonal depression may include:
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
- Weight gain
- Tiredness or low energy
Remember that it’s normal to feel sad sometimes but if you have begun to notice an ongoing change in your demeanour and lack of motivation to do activities you usually enjoy, consider turning to a doctor or someone you trust to reach out for help.
There are a variety of resources readily available to help you understand and even cope with mental health problems:
- Ottawa Public Health has a series of videos to assist you or a loved one to #haveTHATtalk about serious mental health challenges. There are a collection of videos grouped into categories for parents, for the workplace, and for everyone.
- #BellLetsTalk Day takes place on January 31st and is a great opportunity for people to share stories regarding their own mental health challenges and to reach out to let others know that they are there to listen should someone they know be in need. Additionally, for every applicable text, call, tweet, and social media video view sent on January 31st, Bell will donate 5 cents toward mental health initiatives in Canada.
- If you are in crisis, you can also always reach out to 613-238-3311 for the Ottawa Distress Centre or 1-833-456-4566 for Crisis Services Canada where someone will be happy to speak with you.
- The Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) is also available to support community members who are affected by SAD with a fulsome counseling services team, available by appointment or through Crisis Walk-in hours. Appointments are available Monday to Friday during the day and Wednesday evenings. The WOCRC is located at 2 MacNeil Court and can be reached by phone at 613-591-3686 or email at email@example.com
Mental health is important. Remember to care for your mental health regularly. While it is sometimes hard to remember, you’re never alone; the world is a better place with you in it; and there are always people around you who are happy to listen and help you through challenging times. Consider reaching out to those you love to let them know you are there for them should they ever need even if they may not be showing signs of struggle. Thank you for all you do to keep our community strong, Stittsville.