For some people, the first month of the year brings more than a new calendar page or cold weather, it also brings depression, says Ruzica Jokic an expert on mood disorders.
“Many people in this period of the year become depressed.”
In fact, the third Monday in January is widely known as Blue Monday.
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Known by most as the ‘winter blues’ Jokic says oversleeping and overeating are just some of the symptoms, and one potential cause is the lack of sunlight.
“When you wake up in the dark and go to work and come back home and it’s dark again,” she said.
One way to beat the blues is to take better care of yourself, she said, through exercising and eating well.
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But for some, like Jo Monea, just staying positive is the key.
“You find the rhythm in the moment, you know? You don’t need to have anything big happening in your life to make your day shine.”
While not everyone might be able to make their day shine, Jokic says the importance of sunlight, whether real or reproduced, is undeniable.
“That dawn effect seems to be crucial in resetting the biological clock that goes out of order in the winter months.”
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Light treatment is a type of therapy people can do at home with special lights that help trick your brain into more ‘summery’ thought patterns.
For those who need a little more inspiration, here’s another piece of advice from Monea, who seems to be beating those ‘winter blues’ all on her own: “Feel your feelings, that’s so important, but then it’s so important also to kind of pick yourself back up.”
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