According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), seasonal effective disorder (SAD) is a kind of depression that appears during certain times of the year, usually beginning in fall when the days get shorter and lasts through the winter.However, it is not always selective to this time. In addition, CMHA states that two to three per cent of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime, and another 15 per cent will experience a milder form of SAD that leaves them feeling only slightly depressed.
Awareness of these statistics is important because I think we don’t put enough importance on how the changes of the season,amount of sun time we receive each day, and the varying cycles of temperature affects us.
I’m certainly not a proactive bundle of joy when it’s minus 30 out. However, being aware of that allows me to make choices to help compensate that.
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep habits are a few of the options CMHA suggests to treat SAD and other forms of depression.
However, living in a small community (where the winter weather is like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow) has its challenges in staying active. Not everyone can afford equipment to participate in the myriad of winter sports available in theNorth.
Regardless of these obstacles, if you know where to look, there are a lot of accessible activities in Houston to fight seasonal depression.
Claude Parish Memorial Arena has free public skating on most weekends. And every Tuesday after 6 p.m. the Houston LeisureFacility has Toonie Tuesday. Two dollars to work out at the gym, swim laps, or soak in the hot tub to relax all your muscles before bed.
If you have your own pair of snowshoes, the Houston Mountain Bike Association invites the public to use their trails, free of membership fees. And the Morice Mountain Ski club recently just held a free moonlit ski for cross country skiers.
If you aren’t one to get outside, the Houston Public Library has an adult book club, and Reistma’s Home Hardware holds card tournaments.
Want more? Keep tabs on the community calendar in the Houston Today or check out our Facebook page. We frequently post events and promotions happening in our community so you don’t miss out.