There has been a lot of research on the “winter blues” and a more severe type of depression called seasonal affective disorder.

Winter blues is a general term, not a medical diagnosis. The winter blues are fairly common and usually clear up on their own in a short time. They are often linked to something specific, such as stressful holidays or reminders of absent loved ones.

Seasonal affective disorder is a well-defined clinical diagnosis related to the shortening of daylight hours. It can interfere with daily functioning over time.

Feeling down?

If you’re feeling blue this winter, and if the feelings last for several weeks, talk to a healthcare provider. Signs you could benefit from emotional health support.

Helpful Resources

  • Calm app: Employees who are members of the MVCC Professional Association are eligible for a premium subscription to the Calm app as a free benefit for all NYSUT in-service and retiree members. Calm is a self-guided digital app to help manage day-to-day stress. The premium subscription provides unlimited access to the full library of content at and in the Calm app, which can be utilized via desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device (iOS or Android). Members also can add up to five dependents (age 16 or older) to receive their own premium Calm subscriptions. Find more information here.
  • Employee Assistance Program: Free confidential help for you and anyone living in your home, and dependents up to age 26. Help with mental health, addiction, personal, legal, financial and career. Call 1-800-252-4555, or visit for more information.
  • Telemedicine: Telemedicine is good for the mind as well as the body. In addition to medical doctors, you can also consult with a psychiatrist, licensed therapist, or social worker from the privacy of your own home. The service varies from plan to plan:
  • Wellframe App: Free to all Excellus BlueCross BlueShield members, the Wellframe App gives you instant access to a dedicated care manager, dietitians, nurses, and other health care professionals to help you meet your health and wellness goals. Learn more.