Beating 'Blue Monday' with a little dog therapy
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Monday, January 21, 2019 5:09PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 21, 2019 6:59PM EST
This weather can certainly turn you blue if you’re outside too long. That's clearly not a good thing.
But neither is feeling blue, which is what this particular day, Blue Monday is all about.
Yes, we Canadians are tough.
“It’s fine,” says a student outside Ottawa’s Algonquin College, as she hustles to get to class, “It’s not cold.”
But even we get to whine on a day like this.
“We have two layers over our bodies,” says another student, “and we're still cold. It's just too cold.”
Add to that the stress of school, a long commute to class and you've got the makings of a Blue Monday.
“It took me 3 hours to bus to school this morning,” says Alyssa Champagne, a nursing student at Algonquin College, “and I had to wait half hour for the bus in -30 weather.”
“Very stressed and very blue,” adds Christina Thongvankham, who is studying to become a personal support worker.
So what better place to go to find “the blues” than among students in the throes of studying, making it a great day to launch the Dog Squad, aimed at helping students deal with a little stress.
“I had to convince myself to get here today,” says student Zoe Lobay-Holmes, “but I knew the dogs were here and I’m here.”
It's no coincidence these canines are here on Blue Monday.
Jane Madigan is the trainer for the Dog Squad, “Dogs do a great job in letting people have a stroke and in those moments, the students feel like today is a good day, I’m glad I came in because I got to stroke a dog.”
Now, true be told, Blue Monday doesn't have much science behind it. It's more of a marketing ploy by a travel agency years ago to get people thinking about fun in the sun. That's not to say people aren't "blue" this time of year.
“If your mood is consistently low,” says Dr. Kerri Ritchie, a psychologist with The Ottawa Hospital, “if you find yourself, say on a scale where zero is you’re feeling your lowest and ten is your best, if you find yourself at a four and below for two weeks, check with your family doctor.”
Orr you can the approach that Bruce and Mary O’Neill are taking; hoping on a plane to Fort Lauderdale.
“I’m ecstatic,” says Bruce, “Our timing is perfect.”
“We're not very sad,” adds Mary, “And we're definitely not blue today.”
If that price tag is too steep, doctors suggest some artificial light to boost your mood. Light therapy lamps are popping up even in some libraries now. And, keep up with the exercise. It's good for the body and the soul.