It’s the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year, which means many of us will be feeling a little blue.
UBC Psychiatry Professor Raymond Lam says that’s an effect of shorter days, which can trick the hormone-producing parts of our brains.
“Some people find it harder to do that and they have like a form of jet lag, where they have symptoms where their internal clock is not synchronized with the outside environment.”
READ MORE: Winter solstice in five facts
Lam says the symptoms of the seasonal funk vary but can go as far as a form of clinical depression.
“A lot of people notice that they have some issues in terms of their mood, energy, sleep during these short winter days. And it’s on a spectrum of what we consider seasonal depression, and on the far end of the spectrum the most severe people have seasonal affective disorder.”
He says the best way to beat the blues is to get some extra light either through a daytime walk or face time with a light box.
But he adds anyone with serious symptoms should see a doctor.
The good news? After today’s solstice, every day will be a just a little bit longer.