Last month in Toronto there were less than 50 hours of daylight (I know you Montrealers are thinking that is normal) but there are usually at least 85…and Montrealers didn’t fare any better. And the fact is, we are only just in the midst of these dog days of winter….

Now, with that in mind you would have to live under a rock to have not heard of the acronym SAD. I’m not trying to be rude, but when you have SAD you literally feel like you are living under a rock!

SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and if you have lived in Canada for any length of time, I would be surprised if you have never been affected by it. However, some suffer far more greatly than others. All joking aside, SAD should be taken very seriously.

When we were younger if you started to feel down in the dumps once the leaves flitted down to the ground the and sky’s turned grey and the landscape simply another shade of grey (nope, not going there…), we used to say that we simply had the winter blues and that you should “get over it”.

Last month was Bell’s LetsTalk campaign and it is a good reminder that Mental Health Issues are real. For those suffering from SAD, and to those of who can be a support, there is more information and help than ever!

Many of the symptoms of SAD are similar to depression: feeling down much of the day, feeling hopeless or worthless, low energy, losing interest in things you usually enjoy, not sleeping well, changes in appetite, difficulty concentrating, irritable…

Don’t panic! We all have some of these symptoms once in a while, but if you can’t seem to shake it and if you, for even one moment, think you’d rather not even bother anymore with this thing called life, PLEASE get help!! There may be a relatively simple fix. Honest! Go to your Doctor, share your symptoms.

Occasionally medication can help as it could be a chemical imbalance. Light therapy can be very helpful as it can increase serotonin, a brain chemical that effects mood or it could simply be that your biological clock is out of whack!

And to help avoid SAD all together, exercise can help! So even if you feel you don’t have the time, head over the Studiotec and stay happy and healthy!

However, if you feel you may be suffering from it, or you know someone that you think may be, do something! Take an online quiz, go to your doctor, get help. Reach out and remember….life is beautiful, that the grey’s will turn to greens and each day is already getting longer!

All the best in great health and happiness!

Agnes Ramsay