Lifestyle November 11, 2022

Surviving Winter Blues


Here in Saskatchewan, winter is a drag, the snow, the ice, and the overall coldness. It is hard to leave your house, and being cozy is the ultimate goal. However, here is a helpful list of fighting off winter blues that can boost your mood and improve your mental health.


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?


Often referred to as seasonal depression, it’s a type of depression related to the change of seasons—mainly in the colder, darker months, like winter. Some symptoms include:


  • Depression
  • Low Energy Levels
  • Mood Changes and Social Problems
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns
  • Changes in Appetite or Weight


If you already experience depression year-round, these symptoms tend to worsen in winter.


What can you do?


There are a few key things you can do to help curb seasonal depression and improve your mental health during the long winter months. Even if seasonal depression doesn’t affect you, the suggestions below will boost anyone’s mood.


Get a Light Therapy Lamp


Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, can be a great way to stave off winter blues. If you are working at a desk or need a few minutes of stress relief, try buying a bright light lamp that imitates natural sunlight. 


There is a proper combination of light therapy based on timing, light intensity, and duration. Consult a doctor or the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you don’t hurt your eyes and have the best results. It is most effective early in the morning for at least 30 minutes—keep a light schedule to have the most impact.




Exercise releases endorphins and is an excellent way to boost energy. Even moving your body 20-30 minutes daily can have tremendous benefits.


Taking up a winter hobby might be nice to get outdoors and get a little fresh air. This season I bought a complete winter gear kit to do winter walks and try snowboarding. If you want to try snowboarding, I recommend Optimist Hill, right in Saskatoon! Walking down the Meewasin trail amongst all the birds and trees is a surefire way to enjoy the outdoors. Having a friend to do these activities with is also a great way to get a chat in and boost your mood. 


Pick one winter activity that you love or at least can tolerate, and try to do it a few times or more this winter season! If you feel like -20C is too cold, prioritize activities on good weather days. Sometimes it can be hard to take advantage of these if you work full-time, but if they fall on a weekend, there’s no better time to get outside!


Prioritize Social Activities


Staying inside all winter sounds like the best course of action but remember to prioritize socialization. The roads might be bad sometimes, but plan fun activities with friends and family when it’s safe. Having a close social group and having connections with various people will enrich your life in ways you can’t imagine. My favourite winter activities with friends are going to a cozy cafe, going to the art gallery, walking outside, and skating at a rink near my house.


Remember to Get Enough Vitamin D


We have already touched on the Light Therapy lamp. Still, real vitamin D is also required to regulate the amount of calcium, Magnesium and phosphate in your body, which is vital for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. The research on vitamin D and your health is limited, but it can’t hurt to try to get more in regularly.


Low sunshine throughout the winter months means less vitamin D from the sun, and luckily there are supplemental vitamins. Food can also be a great source of vitamin D, such as juices, milk alternatives, oily fish, red meat and eggs.


If you can, taking a vacation to a warm climate can be a nice break from winter blues and an excellent way to gain more vitamin D!


Be sure not to let winter halt your life entirely, and try something new this year to keep yourself active and healthy. These tips will hopefully get you out of that slump and encourage you to get out there.


Contact your local REALTOR® to find a wonderful home for those shopping endorphins this winter!


Buying June 17, 2022

Wondering if it’s Time To Buy? Here Are The Signs!

Owning a home is a huge decision, no doubt one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, and not to be taken lightly. When it is all said and done and you have those keys in your hands, buying a new home is rewarding and freeing with all this space that you can make totally your own. Of course we understand the thought of owning a home might be daunting, but don’t let the cons intimidate you too much, outweighing all the fabulous pros! Finally getting out of that rental place and owning the house of your dreams is just steps away. Or, maybe, you’re a homeowner simply considering a change of environment from your current abode? No matter if you’re a prospective first-time homebuyer or otherwise, here are a few signs you might be ready for an upgrade.


You are Tired of Renting and Want to Build Equity

Are you tired of paying for your landlord’s mortgage in rent instead of your own?

Almost everyone starts by way of rental properties as it’s the quickest and easiest way to gain independence. One of renting’s excellent benefits is being able to rely on someone else for maintenance issues and expenses. Extra expenses like condo fees or property taxes aren’t of concern when renting, but renting can be restrictive when it comes to the ability to really make the space your own.

If this rings clear for you, I think it’s time for you to consider buying your first home! If all your ducks are in a row, you are financially stable or had a great promotion. Home ownership is a significant next step in your life.


You Want More Space

Are you outgrowing your current home? 

Perhaps it’s your first home or you want more room for entertaining. If your family or hobbies are growing, it’s time to upscale! Now is the time to invest in those amenities you have longed for, like a new gym, nursery or bonus room. Once you have experienced a home where storage is lacking, you will appreciate having enough space to tuck unwanted items away even more. In this case, appropriate storage and closet space is a must!


You Want Less Space and Fewer Responsibilities

Do you want less space, less cleaning and less work in general?

The last of the kids have moved out, you don’t have enough time to manage such a large home, or it’s increasingly difficult to keep up your house. Downsizing can be a great way to save money, time, and energy as well. Less space also means lower mortgage rates and taxes.


The Upkeep of Your Current Home is Becoming a Burden

Has your house become a money pit over the last few years? 

If parts of your home break down every month or week, now could be an excellent time for a fresh start. Another great option is to replace that furnace or roof for resale value or leave it for the subsequent owners.


Your Commute has Changed

Do you now work from home, or have you changed jobs in the last few years? 

Maybe your house is too far from your workplace or you’re craving that big office space to work from home. Maybe there are great schools or daycares you have your eye on for the kiddos, but they’re feeling like more and more of a hassle to get to. These are perfectly good reasons to consider uprooting your family to be able to commute quickly to your favourite and most used amenities.


Your Neighbourhood is Deteriorating

Has graffiti, crime or feeling unsafe slowly become a problem in your neighbourhood since you moved in?

Now might be the time to move to a safer area. Nothing compares to the feeling of ease with nice pathways to stroll in parks or even walk with a friend at night without worrying.


You Want To Make Your Mark

Are you dreaming of decorating in your style, new appliances or having that butler pantry?

Building a custom home is an attractive option for those looking for a perfect place. It allows you to pick everything from tiles to countertops to paint colour. If this seems just out of reach, purchasing an already existing home might be a good choice. You will still be able to unleash your creativity by painting the walls, buying new furniture or even renovating to make it yours!


The Housing Market is Ideal (A Buyers Market)

Are you asking yourself when you should buy a home?

The answer could be right now–there are diamonds out there! It’s a hot market and sellers are motivated, which means more housing options for you. Plus, new home builders are offering incredible financing options and hassle-free move-in options.


Are you seeing the signs? No matter the need, our team of experienced REALTORS® have our eyes on the market (and the prize–your dream home) and ready to find you the perfect next step!