Tips to beat the winter blues
This is the time of year when many Ontarians may notice a shift in mood and find themselves
Research in Ontario suggests that 15 percent of the general population experience these winter
blues, which can include changes in appetite and lethargy. The winter blues differs from
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which affects about two percent of the population and is a
serious form of depression.
People experiencing the winter blues can benefit from:
• Maximizing exposure to sunlight. 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
• Exercise. 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.
• Eating well. Healthy eating has been shown to benefit mental as well as physical health.
Be sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables in daily eating habits
And of course our no appointment necessary walk-in services are open from 9:00am-6:30pm all winter long.
The prevalence of the winter blues highlights the need to make our mental health a priority
throughout the year. However, there’s not enough mental health and addictions resources in the
province. That’s why CMHA Ontario’s Erase the Difference campaign is encouraging people to
sign a petition educating candidates in this year’s provincial election about the need to fund
mental health the same as physical health.
To sign the petition and get more information about the campaign, go to