Advertisement

Psychologists offer advice on fighting the January and COVID-19 blues

Click to play video: 'Could writing love letters help cure the winter blues?' Could writing love letters help cure the winter blues?
WATCH: Monday wasn't just a snow day for many students across Quebec, it's also Blue Monday, considered one of the most depressing days of the year. Global’s Raquel Fletcher spoke with two psychologists on how to cope during these stressful times. One suggested writing love letters could boost your morale. – Jan 17, 2022

Today isn’t just a snow day, it’s Blue Monday, considered one of the most depressing days of the year.

Global News spoke with two psychologists on how to cope during these stressful times.

Read more: Snow day for many Montreal students as storm makes for difficult driving

For many Quebecers, Monday’s snowstorm came at an inopportune time after holidays that were difficult for many families.

“It’s dark, it’s gloomy, it’s cold. That just feels so heavy for so many people emotionally,” said Lisa Brookman, co-director of the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre.

And we’re still living under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. More people than ever, she said, are coming to her clinic.

Story continues below advertisement

“People who never before in their life struggled with sadness or anxiety. People are just having a really hard time adapting and I think one of the biggest things we’re seeing is a lack of hope,” she said.

Read more: Montreal experts advise how to help elderly loved ones through coronavirus pandemic

Clinical psychologist Pierre Faubert said the snowstorm could be good for our morale, if we let it.

“If we have a minimal amount of optimism, then this can be something else to do than talk about the pandemic,” he explained.

“It is a way of breaking the normal pattern — and we need that,” he said.

Read more: Exercise may be the cure for ‘Blue Monday,’ experts say

To fight the January blues, Brookman suggests self-compassion — move your body, even if it’s simple exercises like stretching or meditation, get enough sleep and get enough daylight. Faubert suggests something else on top of that — spending time with your emotions.

“Emotions are messengers,” he said. “They are messengers of the deepest areas of our being. They are messengers of our souls.”

However, too often, he said, we don’t listen to them.

Story continues below advertisement

“Emotions are like little children; they’ll yell and scream until they get what they want,” he said.

He gave a personal example: “I’ve been on my kitchen floor, you know, crying, and having all kinds of emotions and asking myself, ‘What the hell is going on? What is this telling me?’ And eventually, you get out of it,” he said.

“But you get out of it a richer and more compassionate person.”

He explained that tragedy can also inspire moments of creativity. It can be unpleasant at times, Faubert said, but it also builds character.

Click to play video: 'Simple strategies to beat the winter blues' Simple strategies to beat the winter blues
Simple strategies to beat the winter blues – Jan 17, 2022

 

Sponsored content