We the North are known to be a resilient people, frequently adapting to changing climates and irregular surroundings. We experience the swift and dramatic change in temperatures, and are unwittingly placed on a seasonal rollercoaster which, for many, becomes an emotional one. For many Canadians workers, weather causes undue stress when taking on a number of day to day tasks, such as selecting appropriate attire, or setting the proper morning alarm to account for the always unpredictable commute time.
After the climax of the holiday season, many Canadians struggle to stay motivated during the month of January naming it the least happy month of the year, as reported by staffing firm Accountemps. So no, the Winter Blues is NOT a myth. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), seasonal depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects as many as 5% of Canadians (on the severe scale), manifesting in symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, and depression. You’re not the only one feeling less productive at work; in fact, more than 56% of respondents surveyed said winter weather has a negative effect on their mood.
The good news is we have a few suggestions to help you embrace these winter months and keep you motivated either through happy hibernation, or active inspiration.
1. Food for the Mind, Body and Soul
There are some great choices for nutrient rich winter ingredients that are sure to make your heart happy. Whip out the slow cooker and try out some warm and tasty stew recipes with anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, and cold-weather foods such as squash (loaded with magnesium and potassium), root veggies like celeriac and sweet potatoes (rich in fiber, vitamins A and C) and cabbage (high in vitamins C and K and folate). Give this Curried Butternut Squash Stew recipe a try!
2. Try a New Activity
Physical activity boosts endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. If hitting the gym doesn’t get you excited anymore, try out a new activity to get your blood pumping. Whether its yoga, spinning class or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, enrolling in a class will make you feel like part of a community and give you something to look forward to. Many gyms even offer trial periods that require no commitments to join!
3. Get Artistic
Tap into your creative side and try out a couple DIYs you pinned on Pinterest. Giving yourself a small project is a great way to invest your time and keep you stimulated while indoors. Create something you can show off and be proud of! Think you can make this cool photo hanging?
4. Gravitate Towards Positive People
Engaging with happy friends and coworkers you see on a regular basis can make your day more enjoyable. Plan pizza lunch Thursdays, or a games night to have something to look forward to each week. Positivity is contagious, so make it a point to surround yourself with good energy.