The third Monday in January is known by much of the public as ‘Blue Monday’ or the most depressing day of the year. According to a Sky Travel press release circa 2005, the company calculated it as the most depressing day of the year due to debt, limited exposure to sunlight and the post-Christmas slump. The idea of ‘Blue Monday’ has caught on over the past years.

Mental health professionals are pushing back on the idea of ‘Blue Monday’ as it simplifies and generalizes depression as something that may just come around once a year. Depression is a real issue for Edmontonians, many of whom deal with it as a chronic health issue, not just on ‘Blue Monday.’

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What we can do is use the attention paid to this day as an opportunity to spread a more positive message about maintaining mental wellness throughout the winter months. Many of us want to know how we can stay motivated, active, and engaged at this time of year. Here are some ideas:

  1. Say, Hello, How Are You?
  2. Random acts of kindness. Buy someone a coffee, help shovel your neighbor’s driveway, invite a senior over for a visit.
  3. Continue to help those in need, not only during the holidays, but all year round. You can volunteer your time, donate to your local community agency, or just offer a helping hand to someone who needs it.
  4. Embrace the Winter City Movement! Edmonton isn’t just a bustling vibrant city in the summer, there are many events to take part in throughout the winter months as well. Upcoming events include:
    1. Ice on Whyte Festival
    2. Sip & Slide Sundays
    3. Winter walk day
    4. Swing ‘n’ Skate

These events give you the opportunity to connect with neighbours and friends while getting outside for some outdoor physical activity, which is beneficial to improving mood and energy levels!  For more WinterCity Edmonton events download the Winter Excitement Guide at wintercityedmonton.ca

So let’s start spreading the holiday cheer throughout the year by continuing to show generosity and goodwill to those in need, reconnecting with the people we love and those around us, and staying engaged and active in  our communities!

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