Miss the sun? You’re not alone

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:43 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The sun has been a rare sight in the north country since December’s blizzard. People are feeling its absence.

“It just seems like there’s unending clouds. Even though we had some warmer weather which was nice because I don’t mind that, but it was never sunny,” said Marcia Kettrick.

Those unending clouds have forced some locals like Kettrick to take a break from the north country. She says she’s tired of walking the mall and she’ll be going to Florida.

“Since I’ve retired, I like to go where I can get a little sunshine. Helps the mood,” she said.

In the past 31 days, the north country had 310 hours of daylight. Data from the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University shows a whopping 88% of those hours were spent under clouds. Only 12% of our daylight gave us sunshine.

“When we’re not out in the sunshine, it seems to make the winter longer,” said Bob Smith.

Gloomy weather can often result in seasonal affective disorder or SAD. It’s a type of depression that some folks seem to be experiencing right now.

“You could become a little depressed and get the poochy lip. Think when is this never going to end? But overall it’s what we make of it as well,” said Smith.

Despite the dreariness, there are some ways to stay in good spirits.

“I cross-country ski. Get outside of with my dog and walk - things like that, you know. I just kind of push through it and know that the sun is coming eventually,” said Katie O’Brien.

According to Samaritan Health’s director of mental health Tina O’Neill, to beat the blues take vitamin D, consider light therapy, and in some cases, get a prescription from your doctor.

Of course, talk with your doctor about how you feel.