Finding a way to keep the winter blahs at bay

It's February, and I am finding it hard to keep the winter blahs away. The next few months are my least favorite because it seems like we have had winter (especially this year!) forever, and we are still too far away from spring to be thinking about golf or gardening.

So how can we keep the winter blahs at bay? Some suggestions:

• Plan a winter getaway

Whether it's a day at the ski hill, a trip to a different city (both Calgary and Medicine Hat are close enough for a day trip), or an all-out escape to a warm destination (my personal favorite), just thinking about and planning a getaway will give you something to look forward to.

• Register for a class or try something new

There are lots of free or inexpensive events happening at the University or throughout the city. The Galt Museum and Lethbridge Public Library have weekly events, and Lethbridge College offers one-night cooking classes throughout the semester.

• See a play or a musical performance

The U of L Faculty of Fine Arts has plenty of offerings in the next couple of months. Check their schedule at:

• Register for an upcoming run

The Moonlight Run is a fun one to do because your exhilarating evening walk or run is followed up with pizza. Proceeds of the run go to the Lethbridge Food Bank and the Lethbridge Coulee Clean Up program.

• Go for a walk

According to a study by the University of Washington, people who took a brisk outdoor walk for 20 minutes a day showed better moods, higher self-esteem and an improved sense of well-being. Just 15 minutes outside will give you your Vitamin D fix for the day. Vitamin D is linked to boosting moods, creating healthy bones and helps ward off osteoporosis, LDL (or bad) cholesterol and heart disease. Given that February is heart month, it's a great time to start improving heart health!

Suzanne McIntosh is the University of Lethbridge coordinator of wellness programs


February 10th is Winter Walk day here at the University and in Lethbridge. The Wellness Committee will have a table set up over the lunch hour, at the south doors of the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness.

We encourage you to sign up so the University can register the number of walkers participating that day. This can be a start for your training for the Bee Heart Smart contest coming up in only a few short months! Last year there were 82 registered walkers – let's see if we can beat this.


The U of L Risk and Safety Services and Wellness departments have been involved in the Southern AB NAOSH (North American Occupational Safety and Health) week for the past few years and the U of L has historically been a proud supporter of events for this week. The focus for NAOSH week will again be the Steps for Life walk to take place on May 1. All proceeds from the walk support the Threads of Life organization (, a national, registered charitable organization dedicated to supporting families along their journey of healing who have suffered from a workplace fatality, life-altering illness or occupational disease. The organization helps these families protect future generations of Canadian workers.

In 2009, the Southern AB NAOSH Committee raised $7043.67 that was donated to Threads of Life. This year, the committee is hoping to raise $10,000. The U of L is putting the challenge out to departments around campus to enter a team for the Steps of Life walk by registering at:

The walk is a 5km walk around Henderson Lake. The registration fee of $100 per team (of 10 people) includes a barbecue, t-shirts, water bottles and draw prizes. Children are welcome and are free to enter. Visit Suzanne McIntosh in SU020E for a registration package.