Health Wellness
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Winter can be a bit of a bummer: It’s cold. It’s grey. The days are short, and the shovelling is long. It’s enough to put anyone in a funk. In fact, as many as 25 to 35 percent of Canadians get the winter blues.

For others, it can be more serious than that. Approximately one-fifth of Canadians experience a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder (a.k.a. S.A.D.). Symptoms of S.A.D. can include feelings of hopelessness, lethargy and oversleeping as well as increased appetite and weight gain. Women, as it turns out, are most susceptible.

Experts aren’t completely sure what causes seasonal depression, but most point the finger at the lack of sunlight in the winter months, which can upset your biological clock and wreak havoc on your serotonin levels. Watch the video above for more on how and why winter affects your mood plus tips for beating those blues away. Remember: Always talk to a doctor before pursuing any form of treatment.

(Special thanks to Rose Marie Donovan of Alliance Psychotherapy Services.)

It’s time we started talking openly about our mental health. Join the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day, January 31, and help end the stigma around mental illness. For every text message sent and mobile or long-distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers, Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health initiatives. The same goes for anyone sending a tweet using #BellLetsTalk, watching the Bell Let’s Talk Day video on Instagram or Facebook, or using the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. But talking about it is just the first step: Visit letstalk.bell.ca for more ways you can effect change and build awareness around mental health.