Like just about everyone who was able, I stayed home all day yesterday.
I never left the comfort of my office once in fact. Even though I’ve been working from home for over 3 years now, when 50 cm of snow falls in 12 hours, it’s a good idea to stay off the roads.
When I was a kid I used to love snow days.
An unplanned day home from school always presented the best kind of fun. Of course, those were the days before high-speed internet and on-line learning and a snow day really did mean a day off. Today’s kids will never now the nervous anticipation of huddling by the radio waiting for the announcement and the pure joy that followed when the DJ said your school was closed.
“Snow Day!” we’d exclaim and quickly suit up for a day of building snow forts, skiing or playing hockey on the frozen pond.
Never mind the fact that 5 minutes before we would have begged our mothers to keep us home because it was far too cold to go outside. A snow day is a rare and precious commodity not to be wasted indoors.
This snow day fell on what has come to be known as Blue Monday.
The third Monday in January has been identified by mental health experts as the most depressing day of the year. The Christmas lights have been put away, the credit card bills have arrived, it’s cold, and spring, in a good year, is still at least 8 weeks away. Not to mention the fact that we are under yet another lock down and will soon enter our 3rd year with COVID-19 lurking around every corner.
With that in mind I wanted to take a few minutes today to send out some encouragement and give you all a few tips that I have recently adopted to help with your mental health.
Winter sucks, and COVID sucks more but we don’t have to be miserable for the next 8 weeks.
1 – Go Outside.
I know it’s cold.
I know trudging through waist high snowdrifts is hard.
But trust me, just 15 minutes per day outside will do wonders to help clear your head and open your mind to new possibilities.
Especially if it’s sunny. There is nothing quite like a bright winter day to boost your spirits.
2 – Take vitamin D, and possibly vitamin B as well.
Related to number one, if you just can’t get outside regularly the next best thing is to boost your mood with vitamin D. It’s known as the sunshine vitamin and is produced by your skin when you are exposed to sunlight.
If you aren’t getting enough sun exposure, and let’s face it most of us aren’t during the winter months, you need to supplement.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to everything from bone loss to diabetes but in my experience its most noticeable effect is on overall mental health.
Vitamin B on the other hand helps convert food to energy.
By supplementing these two vitamins we can simultaneously raise our mood and feel more energetic thus staving off both depression and lethargy. The two great horsemen of the apocalypse when it comes to mental health.
3 – Reach out and Touch Someone.
Okay, I’m dating myself but who here remembers the AT&T Commercials from the 1980s? Here’s a refresher I found on YouTube:
How about those corded phones?
The point is staying connected with people is a great way to stay positive when your mood starts to darken.
One of the most lasting impacts of this pandemic is going to be the damage it has done to social groups. We were already experiencing declining interest in sports leagues and service clubs prior to the pandemic, and I fear many of those organization may never come back. Humans are social creatures, we need to interact with each other, face to face or at least voice to voice. So, pick up the phone or jump on a video app and call somebody.
They’ll be glad you did and the life you most impact may be your own.
Enjoy the sunny cold – Lauren
PS – Remember, spring is just 63 days away! (That sounds closer than 8 weeks right?)
PPS – Canada Life has extended the deadline for their Term Insurance discount (15% off 10-year term, 10% off all other term) to March 5. Reach out today for a quote.
PPPS – The 2021 RRSP deadline is March 1. Don’t wait to make your contribution and save when it comes to income tax time.