Seasonal Depression In Canada Is No Joke — But Here's How I've Learned To Cope

I’m satisfied with the little things.

Seasonal Depression In Canada Is No Joke — But Here's How I've Learned To Cope
Taryn Herlich

This Essay article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

We live in a country with so many wonderful traits, but gosh, these long, gruelling Canadian winters are not one of them.

While those in warmer climates are living for the weekend, we are temporarily living for the summer and surviving like bears in hibernation until winter is done, always in anticipation of when we can live again.

I know some do enjoy winter, but I don’t ski or skate, so my main activity is getting dressed up to go to the grocery store. I even get excited when the mailman knocks on the door until I realize it’s just bills and duct cleaning flyers. Yippee, living large!

I’m grateful to have school, a tutoring job and writing to keep me busy, but my social life in Toronto right now is just weak. Personally, I blame this icy season for that.

Still, what helps me deal with the winter blues is getting dressed up and looking like a normal person. I will put on a full face of makeup to do nothing, but sorry — the sweats or yoga pants stay on.

Once I'm presentable, I’ll go to Shoppers for the fifth time in a row and the security guard will be confused about why this girl is here again. If only he knew I have no life and the makeup aisle is pretty much my second home — maybe, just maybe, I’d get a discount.

Dancing makes me feel like a different person

As the day goes on, I contemplate whether I should work out or not. I could continue to watch a never-ending stream of TikTok’s or I could do something good for myself. So, after much contemplation, I know what I have to do — dance cardio, which I recommend to everyone.

I get dressed in my cute workout attire and put on the most amazing dance workout you will ever find. In minutes, the creators of and8 Fitness transform my mood from a 0 to a 10. Cardio has always been my challenge, but dancing has never felt like a difficult chore. When there’s good music and even better instructors, I know I will always leave feeling like a different, revitalized person.

Now, I still live at home. I just know my parents want to get rid of me, but another coping mechanism is tagging along with them when they run errands. Similar to my beloved Shoppers, the grocery store is another place I can’t get enough of. I love Farm Boy and Costco. What can I say? I’m satisfied with the little things.

What else helps is a change of scenery. That walk in the snowy woods is so important if you’re constantly cooped up at home. It helps to reset your mind. It’s really all about getting outside and forcing yourself to be distracted. I know the act of actually getting out is not easy when you’re dealing with seasonal depression, but just seeing friends — even if it’s for a walk, a drive, you name it — does make a huge difference.

Adrenaline helps improve my mood

When it comes to being at home, I, for one, will never ever get sick of horror movies. I just love feeling scared and I’m not sure why. Either way, adrenaline helps with improving one's mood and we all know horror movies are a great fix for that. Sure, I won’t sleep for the next two weeks, but it’s worth it. Comedy helps too, even if that means watching the same episode of The Office for the hundredth time.

I have also tried the whole online dating thing, which is not for me, but hey, it can be entertaining. To cope, I think to myself, "Why not try to find myself a nice boyfriend? Does that even exist?" Either way, I scroll for fun and it's honestly just a good distraction.

Shopping or even browsing through online stores and looking at summer clothes has helped me quite a bit. I know for myself, I need things to look forward to, and if that means buying summer clothes months in advance, I’ll do it. Really, it’s all about finding those small things that add up and together make seasonal depression or just winter blues so much easier to manage.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the next two hours on TikTok watching facts about Zodiac signs and following some influencer drama because — what else is there to do?

And in case you’re wondering: 32 days till spring.

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