Winter Blues

Today I re-routed my errands. Instead of just ticking off the to-do list musts, I took a 5 minute wander into the seasonal section at Canadian Tire. Winter blues haven't been the specter this year that they have been in winters past. But this is the season for getting ahead of them, and one of the ways I do that is by thinking about dirt and fertilizer and seeds.

There's something about the scent of earth and the hope that I'll soon have a spade in one hand, and a satchel of seeds in the other. Spring doesn't feel so far off, even as February holds us in a winter grip.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder aren't necessarily one and the same. SAD is a medically acknowledged condition, and sufferers may benefit from treatment.

The Mayo Clinic notes, in most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Less commonly, people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.

Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Fall and winter SAD

Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness or low energy

Spring and summer SAD

Symptoms specific to summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, sometimes called summer depression, may include:

  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Agitation or anxiety

Creative treatments

Light therapy and medications may be effective in treating the winter blues, and SAD.

Canadian Living's online magazine offers some helpful guidance on managing mental health at this time of year. Getting out into the sunshine whenever possible is high on the list. Furthermore, consider taking up a winter sport, or throwing a winter social event. Take on a new project and set goals for yourself. Moreover, give your own mental health some of the attention you may not once the weather shifts and life picks up the pace again.

In addition to these useful self-care tips, consider caring for others. A little generosity of spirit can go a long way. Take care of the caretakers in your life. Check-in with the folks who seem to have it all together. Give! Share your time, your heart, your creativity, your resources. It's easier to shiver through the winter doldrums when offering warmth and support to others.

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Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada

The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada believe that those affected by brain tumours should never go through life alone. Your vehicle donation can help ensure that reality.

The facts

Twenty-seven Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour every day. Here are more facts about brain tumours:
  • 55,000 Canadians are surviving with a brain tumour.
  • Treatment is complicated, and there are over 120 different types of brain tumours.
  • Furthermore, 23.5 new cases of primary brain tumours are estimated per 100,000 population per year. (Data from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario).
  • In the first year after diagnosis, the average patient will make 52 visits to their health care team. This could include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, blood work etc.

What is a brain tumour

  • A brain tumour is a growth of abnormal cells that are either within or around the structure of the brain.
  • Non-malignant tumours account for almost two thirds of all primary brain tumours.
  • The most common type of primary malignant brain tumour is glioblastoma. Moreover, average survival, even with aggressive treatment, is less than one year.
  • Metastatic brain tumours occur at some point in 20-40% of people with cancer. The incidence of metastatic brain tumours is increasing as cancer patients live longer.
  • Brain tumours are the leading cause of solid cancer death in children under the age of 20. Further, they are the third leading cause of solid cancer death in young adults ages 20-39.
  • Because brain tumours are located at the control centre for thought, emotion, and movement, they dramatically affect an individual’s physical and cognitive abilities. In consequence, quality of life is altered.
  • Brain tumours in children are different from those in adults and are often treated differently. 60% of children with brain tumours will survive, however, they are left with long-term side effects.
  • Enhancing the quality of life for people with brain tumours requires access to quality specialty care. Moreover, they may require clinical trials, follow-up care, and rehabilitative services.
  • Accurate data will help researchers understand the disease and improve treatment for those affected. To this end, the Brain Tumour Registry of Canada was launched in May 2019.

Take a look

Close to home

This cause hits close to home. Two of our Donate a Car Canada employees have friends and loved ones who have been afflicted by brain tumours. When a life is lost to sickness like this, the ripple effects continue on in the hearts of those left behind. When a brain tumour is survived, lives continue to be altered by after effects.

This is one of DACC's 800+ Canadian charities. We've made them our charity of the month for February. If you, or someone you care about, are impacted by brain tumour(s), donate your car through our program! Every dollar donated makes a difference.

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Acura RDX, 2020

The 2020 Acura RDX is beloved by reviewers and drivers alike. The ride, the cargo space, and the economy. What's not to love? Well, the non-Android-compatible, not-touch-screen multi-media system. And yet, reviewers agree: utility and performance make the Acura RDX a win for the money.

Car Gurus have their say

"A capable, spacious, luxury cross-over" is George Kennedy's summation of the Acura RDX. While, he notes, it's not that much different from the 2019 model, he has a lot to say about the value and drivability of the RDX.

Trouble spots? He does highlight the Acura's infamous infotainment system. Users seem to weigh-in as having easily adapted with a little time and savvy. On the other hand, reviewers love to pin their criticism to that component.

TFLCar - The Fast Lane's review

TFL loves the Acura, but consider the multimedia system, "a nightmare." From the sounds to the unintuitive radio screen access, this reviewer is super sad about the infotainment and navigation system.

Stay with this video to learn about sport and sport plus modes. The Acura RDX has some fun features to play with!

Honda and Acura vehicle donations

Hondas and Toyotas make for strong donation outcomes. As our decade-plus files show, these makes hold their value well. Furthermore, donated Camrys and Accords bring in some of our highest donation outcomes.

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International Justice Mission

International Justice Mission partners with local authorities in 19 program offices in 11 countries. There they combat slavery, violence against women and children, and other forms of abuse against people who are poor.

Today, more than 40 million people live in slavery.
IJM believes we can end slavery in our lifetime.

The mission

International Justice Mission is facing into our world's most dangerous and dehumanizing human rights violations: slavery, trafficking, and citizenship rights. Cybersex trafficking and land theft. Police abuse of power, as well as sexual violence against children.