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How to survive a Winnipeg winter without getting too blue

A man using a SAD light. Alison MacKinnon/ Global News

When temperatures get close to -30 C its easy to start feeling down and for some people it can become too much.

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. It begins and ends around the same time every year, typical during late fall or early winter.

READ MORE: How to beat the winter blues, according to a ‘happiness doctor’

Some signs and symptoms of the disorder are:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once liked
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated

On Monday, a panel at The Forks discussed how SAD can affect Manitoban’s during the winter months.

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READ MORE: Seasonal affective disorder: 8 ways to boost your energy this winter

University of Manitoba professor of Kinesiology, Dr. Shaelyn Strachan suggests using simple exercises like going for a walk to get you out of a funk.

“When its so cold and we just want to hibernate and there’s so much to watch on Netflix and its so easy to just get into your sweatpants and stay home we got to challenge ourselves to trust that we will feel better if we stick to getting ourselves out of the house” Strachan said.

Rachel Westman who has SAD often uses something called a SAD light to help combat her depression.

“I typically start adding things into my routine like using the SAD lights and also trying to get outdoors more too so doing cross country skiing, getting outside and walking just really trying to make the most of the winter in Winnipeg.”

Westman says her SAD light is almost like a cup of coffee and makes her feel more energised.

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