Winter is on its way to Canada and is already in full force in several cities. Many provinces have already received intense snowfall this year, as early as September. Canada is known for having some brutal winters, and the weather can give some people the winter blues.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is caused a specific season, typically winter. Many Canadians also refer to SAD as winter or seasonal depression. Although the definitive cause is inconclusive, experts believe it is due to a lack of sunlight.
One Redditor, j_miles, posted onto Reddit in hopes of getting some tips to deal with seasonal depression and the overall awfulness of winter in Vancouver. Many jumped onto the thread and commented their wisdom and there have been over 100 comments since it was posted one day ago on October 24th.
There were a variety of tips offered by other Canadians. Some were more typical like exercising and reading while others were unique nuggets of advice. There were also some hilarious ones thrown in there too.
This Redditor decided to add some lightheartedness to the thread. One commented, "In highschool I had a really tough down period. My mother got me help and not much actually did help. But when my cousin came to live with us for a year he dragged me to workout 3x a week and showed me where to download porn in the early internet days. Maybe it was something else but that did it for me".
Reddit user PicoRascar kept it short and sweet. They wrote, "Tropical vacations" and it received 17 points. When asked what his tropical vacations are like, he answered, "Basically unholy amounts of margaritas over ten gluttonous days of unrestrained debauchery. That's followed by one month of self-loathing in the gym while I deflate my face and love handles,"
One of the popular methods of dealing with seasonal affective disorder is light therapy. Some Redditors recommended using a SAD Lamp. "Costco has SAD lamps for personal use. I think they were 50 dollars. I bought one last month", wrote user Doobiehauser. Another Redditor agreed. "SAD lamps have worked great for me. I got one last year and my mood/energy levels have been almost as good as summer," wrote Redditor froggyyyy.
Another way to get more light into your day that was recommended on Reddit is waking up earlier to catch the daylight. One Reddit user, Doobiehauser, commented "Waking up earlier, around 5am, and going to sleep around 8-9pm. Has worked great for me during the winter months and has alleviated a lot of my SAD symptoms". His comment got 11 points.
Making a furry friend may also be helpful. "I was miserable here after moving from Southern hemisphere, had to skip summer and got two rainy winters in a row. Learned that I absolutely loved skiing, and got into the local mountains. Night skiing to break up the work week too. Having a cat also helps," commented Redditor pixel_light.
Another user recommending hitting up the driving range. "I like going to the local driving range and hitting a few golf balls down range. Plus it’s pretty cheap in the winter and most ranges have outdoor heating," commented Redditor thirtyfourfifty.
If you are battling with seasonal depression or other mental health problems, please reach out to a professional or your family doctor to figure out which treatment options are best for you. You can find out more about SAD and how to handle it on HealthLink BC's website here.