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The Winter Jacket for your Brain

Have you ever heard about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? No? Simply put, it’s the sadness, tiredness, fatigue, boredom, and lack of energy that winter months bring into our lives.

It is not difficult to recognize. You can tell when boarding a train or a streetcar and all you see are long faces – all of the joy from the summer months has passed. To be honest, and despite the cold, I prefer to take a stroll.

About two to three per cent of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association in British Columbia. About another 15 per cent will experience a milder form of SAD that leaves them only slightly depressed, but still able to live their life without major disruptions. People with seasonal affective disorder make up about 10 per cent of all depression cases.

We can reverse the effects of SAD by simply getting up from our desks and taking a short walk. Not encouraged enough because it’s winter? Here are 10 tips to start now.

Walking not only warms you up and provides much needed exercise – it also becomes the coziest winter jacket for your brain:

– It boosts you levels of energy
– It helps control anxiety
– It’s like getting a “100% pure extract of creativity” shot (try it and brainstorm after a 20 minutes’ walk)
– It’s a good way to be in touch with your inner self
– It allows you to enjoy the landscape

“I don’t have the time during the week,” or “it’s too cold,” you might say. But there are always ways to find time for a walk, even when you are too busy. Try being adventurous and walking through places you usually don’t visit during other times of the year. You can also join different activities around the city.

We’re not bears who hibernate, so we better get going. Get out and walk! And enjoy the rest of this winter’s weather.



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