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‘The biggest thing is that you have intention’: How to beat the winter blues

Click to play video: '‘The biggest thing is that you have intention’: How to beat the winter blues' ‘The biggest thing is that you have intention’: How to beat the winter blues
It’s said to be the most depressing day of the year. Today marks the third Monday in January, otherwise known as Blue Monday. But as Erik Bay explains, there are ways to fight off the winter blues – Jan 17, 2022

Mondays get a bad reputation, but it’s even worse for the third Monday in January.

Blue Monday is called the most depressing day of the year, as winter carries on, resolutions may not pan out and, as financial advisor Rick LeBaron knows, Christmas bills come due.

“Maybe their spending got away from them at the end of 2021, maybe they went overboard a little bit and now they’re having a little bit of remorse,” LeBaron said.

LeBaron lists cutting up your credit cards, speaking with someone and creating and sticking to a budget as ways to reduce economic stress.

Click to play video: 'Blue Monday: how to ease the blues this winter' Blue Monday: how to ease the blues this winter
Blue Monday: how to ease the blues this winter – Jan 16, 2022

There are also other methods for beating the blues.

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Helen Schuler Nature Centre resource development coordinator Curtis Goodman recommends getting outside as much as possible.

“Go out with intention, whether it’s a 15-minute walk around your neighbourhood or a half-hour exploration of your favourite park.

“The most important thing is that you have intention and that you try to make it a daily practice and get out with friends and family.”

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

For some, therapy is an option. A new review from University of Lethbridge researchers has found going virtual may not necessarily be a bad thing.

“For adults who are experiencing depression, anxiety and mental distress, taking part in group therapy online with a therapist can be very effective,” lead researcher Dr. Cheryl Currie said.

According to the findings, adults who engaged in eight to 12 hours of live group therapy online showed “significant improvements.”

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

Currie adds having a virtual option has an added benefit, as COVID-19 creates anxiety and makes it harder to gather.

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“Humans, we’re social creatures. We want to be part of a group,” Currie said.

“We want to give support, empathy and feel empathy and support from others.”

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

Whatever the strategy for caring for your mental health, the biggest thing, Goodman says, is getting started.

“There’s so much to see when you’re outside. The nature centre can help put the pieces together and say check out the park at this time of day and you’ll be amazed.”

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