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How to beat the 'Blue Monday' blues

Last Updated Jan 18, 2016 at 6:45 am EDT

Monday is being dubbed the most depressing day of the year.

The third Monday of January is known as Blue Monday, which was initially a term that travel companies started using about a decade ago to promote sunny destinations in the middle of January.

It’s now more than a marketing tool: The term has seeped into popular culture and is used as a reminder to maintain good, mental and emotional health in the dead of winter

Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, studied Blue Monday and found a few reasons for the phenomenon. The glow of Christmas has faded, yet you’re still paying for the festivities; New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside; and yes, the weather is terrible.

“It’s after the holidays, there’s nothing much going on for a little while and there’s little sunlight,” North Toronto Sleep Clinic’s James Sayegh explained.

Nicole McCance, a psychologist in Toronto, has a few strategies to deal with mental health issues this time of year, including getting sleep and staying social.

“The winter feels really long,” McCance said, so do a mental health check.

“Ask yourself, how am I feeling today?” Look for warning signs early, like lack of motivation and difficulty sleeping. Listen to her tips in the video above or click here to view it.

One Toronto café is offering its customers a complimentary dose of “sunshine” to beat the Blue Monday blues.

The Brioche Dorée Café, on King Street West at Bathurst Street, is offering light therapy on Monday.

When is it Blue Monday and when is it something more? Check out the signs and symptoms of depression at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.