January 23, 2024 – The Canadian Mental Health Association says almost 18% of Canadians will experience some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during their life.

As winter settles in, William Osler Health System’s Dr. Razi Sayeed, an expert in mental health and addictions, is offering five practical tips to keep your mental well-being in check. Dr. Sayeed, the Corporate Chief and Medical Director of Mental Health and Addictions at Osler, has been a vital part of the hospital’s Department of Psychiatry since 2009.

  1. Get Outside and Be Active: Embrace the winter wonderland! Despite shorter days, step outside for a mood-boosting dose of daylight. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a scenic hike, or even trying your hand at snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, being active outdoors helps elevate serotonin, the brain’s “feel-good” hormone.
    Check out some fun outdoor options that Brampton has to offer here or some indoor Brampton Sports Leagues here.
  2. Eat Well: Nurture your body and mind by maintaining a balanced diet. Research indicates that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, and moderate portions of lean meats and dairy is crucial for mental health. Feed your body right for a positive impact on your overall well-being.
    Learn about some nutritional myths busted by Osler here.
  3. Good Sleep Habits: Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Establish a regular sleep routine, minimize electronic use in the bedroom, and create a tranquil sleeping environment. Quality sleep is linked to lower mental health risks, ensuring you wake up refreshed and ready to face the day.
  4. Make Connections and Socialize: Strengthen your mental health through meaningful connections. Regular socializing offers emotional support and the chance to provide it to others. Reach out to family and friends, engage in heartfelt conversations, and cultivate relationships that contribute to your overall well-being.
  5. Start a New Hobby: Shake off the winter blues by igniting your creativity. Dr. Sayeed suggests starting a new hobby to divert your focus from daily stresses. Whether it’s a creative or educational pursuit, a new hobby can be a refreshing outlet to rejuvenate your spirit.

Dr. Sayeed’s expert advice emphasizes the importance of proactive mental health care during the winter season. By incorporating these practical tips into your daily routine, you can create a resilient foundation for a happier and healthier winter.