Tips to weather the winter blues

43 per cent of Canadians have experienced or are currently experiencing the winter blues


Canadians have a love-hate relationship with winter and national survey results reveal 43 per cent of Canadians have experienced or are currently experiencing winter blues. The survey, commissioned by The Weather Network, found that from January to March, Canadians are more likely to report feeling tired (54 per cent), lethargic (35 per cent) and depressed (24 per cent) rather than energetic (seven per cent) and happy (19 per cent). To help Canadians combat the winter blues, The Weather Network has partnered with Master Life Coach Bruno LoGreco to provide practical tips to get us to spring.

Canadians who have experienced the winter blues say fewer daylight hours (75 per cent), cold or extreme cold temperatures (72 per cent) and heavy snowfall (25 per cent) are the most common causes.

“In Canada, we take great pride in enjoying all the weather Mother Nature throws our way, but for some the cold, dark days of winter can be tough to deal with,” said Bruno LoGreco, Master Life Coach. “The survey results show that Canadians make a direct connection between cold, snowy weather and feeling blue and, in the coldest parts of the country, this is especially true. However, no matter what type of winter weather you’re experiencing, there are simple ways to feel better.”

More than half (52 per cent) of Canadians are less inclined to socialize, 58 per cent say they are less likely to exercise, 69 per cent sleep more and 71 per cent report a noticeable drop in energy during the winter. LoGreco says it doesn’t have to be that way. He’s helped many clients cope with winter blues and regain feelings of happiness and fulfillment and offers the following tips to help Canadians shake off the winter blues:

• Kick-start the day with physical activity. A regular exercise routine increases energy, mental and physical well-being and releases stress and anxiety. If you want added excitement, change up your exercise routine and challenge yourself. A fun playlist will give you extra bounce!

• A calm mind is a clear mind. Take 10 minutes daily and practice a mindfulness technique. Focus on breathing. Take deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling, slowly, through the mouth.

• Soak up the winter sunlight. Take a walk during break time and take advantage of natural sunlight even if it is cold outside. Keep curtains open and your workspace well lit.

• Express your creativity. You don’t need to be an artist. Creativity could be anything you enjoy doing that is effortless and enjoyable (e.g. cooking and baking, woodworking and home DIY projects, etc.).

• Step away from your work area and take a break during the lunch hour. It’s also a good time to replenish nutrients the brain needs to ensure you remain active and alert during the afternoon without dragging your feet.

Additional survey findings

• Nearly half (49 per cent) of Canadians say the worst part of winter is shoveling snow while 48 per cent dread getting up early to start their car

• Canadians say they combat the winter blues by:

• Staying in and cuddling on the couch (53 per cent)

• Indulging in comfort food (38 per cent)

• Taking a vacation (23 per cent)

• Taking a walk outside (23 per cent)

• Praying for warm weather (19 per cent)

• 81 per cent of Canadians say their mood improves as the weather gets warmer

• 46 per cent have more of an appetite in the winter than summer; higher for women (50 per cent) versus men (42 per cent)