Beating the winter blahs

By Sara Dimerman

February blahs. Winter blues. For those of us living in Canada, this time of year can leave even the happiest among us feeling a little on the sad side. It’s not just that we’re sick of having to pull on or zipper up boots, or put on coats, scarves and gloves every time we leave the house. We are also experiencing the accumulative result of too many long dark nights and short gloomy days. The good news is that we are apparently over the bluest day of the year and can now look forward to sunnier days ahead as we spring towards a few more minutes of daylight every day until the time at which we have more light than dark over a 24-hour period.

What else makes us feel so blue? Well, December is typically a month for over spending and over eating and so in January, we are literally and figuratively (pun intended) paying for it. In our excitement to give, most people spend more than what they have put aside when buying holiday gifts and so, credit card debt is at an all time high come January. As the reality of this hits hard, so does the realization that a gift that cost a couple of hundred dollars, will quickly (as a result of interest charges) cost a lot more if not paid off quickly. This can add to our stress and deflated mood. In addition, many people throw caution to the wind during December as they over indulge at parties and get togethers. No wonder that registration at fitness and diet centres is at its peak come Jan. 1st.

Unfortunately, by the end of January, many of us have slid back into old habits. The gym that we were so keen to join is causing us to feel more guilt than pleasure and we’ve given up assigning points for every morsel we consume. So, this is yet another reason to feel down. When we feel that we have not been successful at sticking to our resolutions, we are bound to feel angry or frustrated at ourselves – which sometimes leads to more eating and spending.

For some, not being exposed to enough sunlight can lead to sadness – even depression. If you’re feeling blue and think that this may be a contributing factor, you might consider looking into a special light – the SADelite, distributed by Northern Light Technologies, apparently works wonders.

Other ways to rejuvenate and energize oneself over the next couple of months includes being more active – even if not at the gym. Going for a brisk walk when the weather permits, or even rigorous house cleaning makes our bodies release endorphins which promotes a feeling of well being.

Other ways to feel better include reminding yourself spring is not too far away as you notice winter items on clearance in stores and see spring items take their place; making every effort to appreciate what winter has to offer including skiing, tubing, tobogganing, making snow angels or even enjoying the beauty of a snowflake; cuddling with someone you love in front of a fire place or under a cozy blanket. Or enjoying hot chocolate and marshmallows or a cup of soup together.

If you can afford it, planning a vacation getaway to a warmer climate for a week. Help someone less fortunate by volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating warm coats to people who are living on the streets.

And if all else fails, count down the number of days until spring on your calendar and mark off each day so that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sara Dimerman has been an individual, couple and family therapist for over twenty years. Learn more or listen to advice from Sara and her colleagues by visiting www.helpmesara.com.

Just Posted

Reflecting on the impact of dementia in a loved one

January is Alzheimer Awareness Month

Red Deerians can weigh in on proposed Bighorn Country investment tonight

Telephone town hall takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Vibrant colours highlight newest exhibit at The Hub

‘Chaos to Calm’ by Cathy Fee runs through to the end of March

Neonatal nurse practitioner joins NICU care team

Babies requiring specialized care at Red Deer Hospital have extra set of hands caring for them

The old Greyhound Bus Depot is being demolished

The Red Deer building has been around for decades

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Defending champions Team Scheidegger will fight to keep title

Stettler hosting 2019 Alberta Scotties provincial women’s bonspiel

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Edmonton Police charged 236 people with auto theft in 2018

Police states many of the thefts are crimes of opportunity

Woman’s complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, has been charged with one count of sexual assault

Most Read