Child Studying Away From Home? Help Them Study Smart.

Do you have a child studying abroad or out-of-province? Protect your child from unexpected medical costs with Travel Insurance.

Congratulations on your child’s continued education. Taking the leap to study out-of-province is a big one and we want to make sure you feel good knowing your child’s health coverage is not a worry for you or them.

Outside of your province of resident, your health care coverage may fall short. Our Ontario health plan may only cover a small portion of the total medical bills incurred outside of Ontario. For very reasonable rates your can look at your child with Student Travel Insurance.
College

If left unprotected, these out-of-pocket expenses can add up. But with Student Travel Insurance, your child can be covered from unexpected medical expenses in a foreign country or out-of-province at a very reasonable rate.

Our team can help you better understand coverage and rates. Take a moment to connect with us by emailing our team at info@brysoninsurance.ca or call us at 1-800-661-5196

As an aside, if your child is covered under your group health plan, remember to check the policy to see if it covers medical costs for out-of-province studies. If not, contact Bryson Insurance today to learn more about Student Travel Insurance.

While provincial health insurance does move with your child throughout Canada, you may want to take a moment to see how supplemental coverage will give you and your child the peace-of-mind you both deserve.

Child graduating from university in OntarioWill the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) cover unexpected medical expenses that occur out-of-province?

Things like physician visits or hospital charges in the event of an unforeseen sickness is generally covered. But things like dental emergencies, medical transportation back to Ontario, ambulance services, and some prescription drugs may require supplemental coverage.

What is covered by supplemental health coverage is available for Ontario students traveling out-of-province?

There are numerous coverage options available with supplemental health insurance for your child studying out-of-province. We took a moment to highlight some of the more important benefits and ones often overlooked by families sending their children abroad. Many with this coverage today are specifically comforted by some of the travel benefits (bringing your child home or bringing a family member out to be with your child).

Here are some of the coverage benefits.:

  • Hospitalization covers hospital room and board charges.
  • Medical Services covers the cost of treatment by physician or surgeon
  • Diagnostic Services covers the cost of x-rays and other diagnostic testing
  • Out-patient Treatment covers the cost of out-patient emergency room charges
  • Prescription Drugs covers the cost of prescription drugs and medication prescribed in an emergency situation
  • Ambulance Travel covers the cost to use an ambulance and be transported back home to Ontario
  • Family to Bedside brings a family member to your child’s bedside
  • Accidental Dental covers the cost of repair to teeth and relief from pain
  • And more… for a full list connect with us today.

We strongly recommend talking with one of our licensed professionals to see how this peace-of-mind policy would impact you and your family. Email our team at info@brysoninsurance.ca, or call us at 1-800-661-5196

Transport Truck Driving on Highway on Cloudy Day in Ontario Canada

How much does that claim really cost?

Linda Colgan Trucking Insurance Commercial Broker sitting for a profile picture in front of a gray screen in Whitby Ontario with Bryson Insurance brokersIt is surprising how many transportation and fleet companies look at their insurance loss run and identify the figure with the total cost of a loss. This method of cost evaluation is inaccurate on such a magnificent scale. Somewhat parallel to the iceberg theory only 20% is visible. The remaining 80% is quite relevant but goes unnoticed and therefore easily overlooked or overshadowed. Loss frequency thwarts the opportunity to remain competitive. Losses cost far beyond deductibles and increased insurance rates hikes.

True Cost of a Loss

A loss is a number. In many cases it’s a very significant number and can be considered a lightning rod where all factors contributing to the replacement or repair of the vehicle (and the driver) is calculated. There are tangible and intangible factors to ruminate in order to effectively determine the final cost of a loss. Tangible is likely the easiest number to identify. The intangible, such as loss of a customer, is much more challenging to assess. For example, out of service costs, costs to reroute loads, loss of production, inability to commit to deadline (loss of customer) equates to loss of revenue in addition to the time that staff is obligated to sift through the claims process until it’s finalized.

If losses are frequent this promotes opportunity for competitors to hone in on a customer base by offering service (freight will get there intact and on schedule) or more appealing rates. Claims frequency will have an adverse effect on insurance premiums then coupled with the amounts paid out on deductibles and out of pocket expenses this elevates the cost to operate, rendering a distinct disadvantage to remain price competitive.

In order to pay for the losses its takes sheer profit to cover the financial expectation of the loss. Many times on a shoestring budget this equates to borrowing money. Unexpected fees for borrowed money also form part of the claims costs. It is easy to determine how much revenue must be generated in order to pay for a loss. Imagine at a 5% profit margin with a true cost loss of $20,000 and an average income of $100,000 a year, it will take FOUR years to become profitable. Overwhelming to think of but the reality is so evident.

A Risk Management Mindset

Safety and compliance is a mindset that must be adopted. Safety and compliance is not an income generating position however without having a culture within a company (or even as an owner operator) the amount of money that can be lost certainly dictates it cannot be overlooked. It’s a position that may not generate income but certainly contributes to mitigating losses and keeping money in the company.

Linda Colgan has been an Insurance Broker in the transportation industry since 1986 and is Senior Account Executive with Bryson & Associates Insurance Brokers Ltd. Feel free to email Linda at lcolgan@brysoninsurance.ca

This article first appeared in the Ontario Trucking News.

Bryson Bulletin: Mandatory Data Breach Notifications

Wondering: Are we ready for mandatory data breach notifications?Website Hacked Sign Causing Key Data Stolen Requiring Data Breach Notification

While many of the measures introduced by the Digital Privacy Act have been in force since the bill was first enacted, the government has held off on imposing mandatory data breach reporting until the proper regulations were implemented.

Such regulations could be in place as early as this fall, and organizations will want to know what is expected of them in order to remain compliant and avoid costly fines.

Compliance Bulletin – Mandatory Data Breach Notifications:

Cyber Risk Exposure Scorecard

Please reach out to your personal Bryson Insurance representative with questions.

Wondering if we can help you with your business insurance needs? Give our office a call at 1-800-661-5196 or email us at info@brysoninsurance.ca

Work Related Heat-Illness Guide and Prevention Program

 

Industries where staff deal with hot summer conditions (incl. construction, manufacturing, landscaping, and more) can be significantly impacted if that heat leads to people getting sick and needing time off the job site.

One of our goals as your insurance partner is to support your efforts in creating a safer and healthier workplace. The summer is heating up and with that comes an increase in heat-related illnesses. We have compiled the “Heat Illness Guide and Prevention Program” to help companies with staff that work in hot conditions.

Heat-related illnesses cause lower focus and concentration which leads people to function below a normal level of safety. This can lead to mistakes and other job site issues. Being more aware of heat-related illnesses, what causes them, and how to prevent heat-related illnesses from occurring can help reduce overall operating risks.

We hope this report saves you time and provides good insight too.

Click here to download the PDF of the heat illness guide and prevention program.

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Drone Header

Drones: A New Flight for Risk Management

For years, hobbyists have been flying unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones. Mark Basile, Bryson Insurance Business Development Specialist, is much a part of this community. He has flown gliders, fixed wings, stunts, bi-planes, helicopters, and of course the various types of drones.

Mark is even flying cutting-edge first-person-view drone technology. If you are curious about how drones may be utilized in your business operation, reach out to Mark to discuss further. dji drone with digital camera apple cellphone and other component pieces

Businesses have started exploring uses for this technology for their own use. Some commercial examples include:

Many other industries are seeing benefit from the usage as drones as well. Some additional industries include security surveillance, photography and film, architecture and construction, engineering, residential and commercial building inspection, agricultural, mapping and surveying.

Commercial Use in Your Business

Despite the fact that drones are readily available, deploying them for use in your business is not just as simple as buying one off the shelf. To gain full benefit of drone usage it is important to understand the risks associated with commercial drone operations.

Start with the Regulations

The federal government, through Transport Canada, has primary jurisdiction over the commercial use of drones in Canada. While specific regulations have been created to oversee drone usage, certain aspects of the federal Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations are also applicable to commercial drone operation.

In most circumstances, Transport Canada requires businesses to obtain a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) prior to operating a drone.

In 2014, Transport Canada did offer some exemptions for drones weighing less than 2kg and another exemption for drones under 25kg, provided it meets all conditions. For drones between 2.1-25kg, proper notice of the proposed operation will have to be provided to Transport Canada.

Beyond the Aircraft: Physical Loss

For many business operations, the real cost is not the drone but what it is carrying. One of the primary utilizations for drones in today’s world is photography. Businesses in real estate, agriculture, construction and insurance all have interests in photographing the land, and the cameras used can be much more expensive than the drone itself. Filmmaking, 3-D rendering, and other advanced equipment can be even more expensive.

Because the price of drones is coming down in the marketplace, the payload (what it is carrying) often has higher intrinsic value than the drone itself.

Obsolescence: On-Going Support

aerial drone shot of buildings for commercial purposesDrone manufacturing is not regulated or standardized, which means there are many manufacturers in the marketplace. Each manufacturer builds to their own specifications and standard. The risk in this is due to the heightened competition in this growing niche. While many manufacture’s drive innovation while lowering price, the same market forces can drive some of these manufacturers out of business.

An out-of-business drone manufacturer only becomes a concern for your business when seeking replacement parts. A relatively inexpensive motor today can become a total financial loss of aircraft years from now when a replacement part is unavailable.

Casualty and Liability

As with conventional aircrafts, a drone crash could mean a significant casualty claim. Businesses, especially those operating in populated areas, should make sure to have adequate coverage in the event of property damage or injury to a third party.

Transport Canada requires all operators to obtain a minimum of $100,000 third-party liability insurance. We suggest looking at your current business insurance policy as most general liability policies exclude the operation of aircraft from coverage.

Accordingly, drone operators must ensure their specific drone usage is the same as their comprehensive coverage.

Fraud and Theft

While portability, weight, and technology are attractive benefits for drone owners, they are also very attractive for thieves. While some technologies are entering the market to track drone locations, it is far from an industry standard. In other words, in today’s landscape there is almost no chance of recovering a stolen drone.

Broad Use – Multi-Functional Usage

Another benefit of drones is their ability to be used for a variety of tasks and in a variety of environments. It can be easy to want to, one day, use a drone to photograph an event and the next survey a commercial property. drone overlooking niagara falls in ontario canada
This type of flexibility offers a broad number of business opportunities, but each opportunity brings with it a set of risks and exposures that compound on one another and may not be covered under the policy. Businesses will need to think through how they plan on utilizing their drones in order to make sure they are in compliance with Transport Canada and operating within their insurance coverage for commercial use.

Cyber Liabilities

Potentially, the greatest liability comes from cyber risks associated with drone operation. It is possible for a hacker to hijack and take control of a drone in-flight. Once controlled the hacker has the ability to cause serious havoc on populations and property.
While this is possible, what is more likely is the more traditional avenues of cyber loss. Digital information – images, videos, data maps, etc. – is far more lucrative for hackers.

Putting This All Together

New technologies always come with new risks. Protecting your business means taking the time to assess and understand those risks with the purpose of minimizing your liabilities and exposure. To evaluate your business’ needs it is best to discuss with your strategic insurance partner.
Give our team a call at Bryson Insurance today to discuss. You can call 1-800-661-5196 or send us an email.

Ontario Workplace Blitz Schedule Bulletin

Bryson Bulletin: Ontario Workplace Blitz Schedule

Ontario released their workplace inspection blitz schedule which goes from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. Workplaces will not receive any heads up beyond the outline listed in the document. The focus is on industries with a history of increased risks including construction, logistics, mining, among others. To comply companies must adhere to the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) and the Employment Standards Act (ESA).

While a visit from a Ministry of Labour inspector can happen at random, all businesses should ensure that they are properly prepared. They can do this by reviewing the blitz schedule (included in attached PDF below) and by keeping in mind the following tips:

  1. Review specific provisions of the OHSA and the ESA that may apply to the blitz’s area of focus. Businesses need to meet the minimum legal requirements under these regulations in order to pass an inspection.
  2. Review the Ministry of Labour’s material on inspection blitzes.
  3. Discuss compliance strategies with joint health and safety committee representatives.
  4. Make any required documentation available to the inspector. In the event of an inspection, supervisors, managers, and health and safety representatives should be available if the inspector has any questions.

Read the entire Compliance Bulletin here:

Compliance Bulletin – Ontario Announces 2017-18 Workplace Inspection Blitz Schedule

older man painting outside in durham region

The Myth about Aging

written by Tobi McLeod

Aging is a natural part of the life cycle in all living things. In the animal kingdom the elders of the pack or herd have a specific place of respect within the group.

In the human world, the elders are treated very differently from culture to culture. Many cultures highly respect their elders and ensure they are cared for within the family nucleus until their last breath. In Western culture there is a battle going on. The elders themselves are not willing to accept getting older and the important role they play in the future of the younger generations.

We resist and fight against the aging process. We live in denial about aging in the hopes that this isn’t really happening to us. Not me! No way!

Bryson Insurance Mental Health and Wellness Guru Tobi

Bryson’s Commercial Accounting Assistant & Wellness Adviser Tobi McLeod with her doggie Ruggie

 

If we are not suffering from any underlying medical issues we may notice things such as: hair loss for men, new unexplained facial hair for ladies, the new ache you have in your hip or knee, gray hair creeping in, a few more wrinkles, you get the idea.

We have to stop viewing old age as a problem – as if it were an incurable disease. It cannot be ‘solved” by spending billions of dollars on plastic surgery in a vain attempt to mask the visible signs of aging. There are billions being spent annually on research to extend the life span itself, along with more money than ever before spent on nursing homes and retirement homes as a way to isolate those who don’t want to conform and continue in denial about aging.

A new concept of thinking about aging called “Conscious Aging” includes a new way of looking at the experience of aging in its entirety. In ancient cultures there was acceptance that life has a beginning, middle, and an end. The concept of “Conscious Aging” returns us to that way of thinking or belief. To recognize and accept the aging process, a natural part of the life cycle for all creatures on this planet, and discontinue the cultural obsession with the Fountain of Youth and learn to respect the need for wisdom. The goal is to change the view of aging to something that should not be feared, but rather embraced. The societal attitude towards aging is at one of its lowest points in history. Instead of spending billions of dollars to ward off the evil of aging, the money should be spent on finding ways to improve the quality of life of the aging population.

older couple having fun together in durham regionEverything in existence has an expiry date; from the label on the package of food, our clothing gets worn out, our cars only last so many years, to our lives. The only question is: How are you going to expire and what do you want to do until you do?

Most of us live in fear of aging which, ironically, speeds up the aging process. The stress this fear creates actually increases the chance of wrinkles, grey hair, along with a multitude of health problems. It begins to rob our lives of meaning at a time when we should be living our lives to the fullest.

The fear of aging and the denial associated with it has a cost. We go through our lives psychologically and spiritually incomplete. We fear memory loss as one of the things to decline in old age. In the same way our fear of physically aging can increase our physical signs of aging, the same can be said about the fear of memory loss. The more we fear it, the more it can create actual memory decline. It is human nature to fear the unknown. For centuries the fear of the unknown, of what will happen to us after our existence here on Earth, has forced us to focus on the fear and not the actual act of living. The animal kingdom lives in the present moment; humans struggle to even be present at times. older man paints outside in summer in the durham region

We can not alter nature. We invest billions into research on ways to extend life and defy death for as long as possible. Our attempt to add a few more years to the human life span is exhausting, expensive and in the end a meaningless venture. We add stress to our existence by not being able to accept the natural process of aging. Instead of living longer, maybe we are just dying longer.

The best way to combat the aging process would be to start really living your life. Embrace the daily things that occur, enjoy the time spent with family, friends, and co-workers. Do something every day that makes you smile. Go for a walk. Eat everything in moderation. Watch a flock of birds interact. Learn something new to stimulate your memory, read, do crosswords, or take an adult educational class. Your brain is a muscle and it requires exercise too!

We are only here for a short time so get out there and enjoy every moment of it!
Mind yourself and your mental health.

Should I get Term Insurance to replace my Mortgage Insurance?

For many of us, purchasing a home can be one of our biggest life decisions. Often that purchase involves a substantial mortgage and years of debt. Slowly paying down the mortgage creates for many their biggest family asset base. It is why many home owners make the decision to add mortgage insurance to cover remainder mortgage debt owing in the case of death of one of the owners.

Taking proactive steps to care for surviving family members is responsible, caring and Term vs Lifecommendable. Because life is busy, many home owners choose to simply add the mortgage insurance offered by the lending institution. We believe there is a superior alternative that puts you and your family first.

Term insurance is often a better overall solution for you and your family. In this article, we will compare similarities while also contrasting mortgage insurance vs. term insurance.

Ready to get a complimentary quote to see if our insurance package fits your needs better than your current mortgage insurance coverage? Take a minute to get in touch with us at 1-800-661-5196 ext: 4, email your dedicated account manager or send a general email to info@brysoninsurance.ca.

To help illustrate, let’s consider a case study of a family. A married couple, the Smiths, with two children purchase a $1,000,000 home and carry a $500,000 mortgage with a 20-year term. The couple obtains a mortgage at the bank and is offered mortgage insurance that can be blended into their monthly mortgage payment. Before agreeing, they sit with their personal insurance specialist at Bryson to get a quote for term insurance. Premiums come back equal but the couple chooses the term insurance over the mortgage insurance.

Why did they choose individual term insurance to cover the mortgage?

Surprisingly, ease of insurance is actually easier with mortgage insurance. The bank asks a few standard health questions but holds off on doing a medical check until after a claim is made. What does this mean? After death, the mortgage insurance company often conducts an analysis of medical records to determine insurability. And what does that mean? It is possible for the mortgage insurance company to reject payment and instead only return premiums paid in over the life of the policy.

CBC Marketwatch investigated Lender Mortgage Insurance in a segment called “In Denial”

How was obtaining term insurance different? Well, the Smiths were asked health questions from their personal insurance specialist and were required to complete a medical exam before the insurance policy was issued. When approved and delivered, the Smiths could rest with peace of mind knowing they are properly insured.

What else did the Smith family love about their own term policy? Just that, they own the policy and are able to select their own beneficiaries. This is different from lender mortgage insurance which names the lender as the beneficiary. With term insurance the Smiths are in control of their future and are able to name each other as beneficiary (instead of the lending institution).

Why is this important? The surviving spouse can make powerful decisions with the payment received. Maybe paying off the mortgage is the best option but maybe it makes sense to pay down other higher interest debts that are accumulated or other supports the family requires in its time of need.

While these are significant differences, the biggest is getting what you pay for. Warren Buffett’s wisdom: ‘Price is what you pay, value is what you get’ rings true in this discussion. While the premium payments may be similar, the payout can be significantly different. With lender mortgage insurance, the coverage decreases with the remaining balance of the mortgage. With term insurance the premium payment and death benefit remain what was initially agreed to.

The Smiths also knew they would likely be moving within the next few years. They knew this was an opportunity to get proper insurance while they are healthy which helped to keep premiums down and the coverage reliable regardless of who carries their mortgage.

The Bottom Line

To help you make an informed decision, we offer to complete with you an insurance health check. We will evaluate insurance coverage you have in force today and compare it with what is important to you.

Take us up on our offer by getting in touch with us at 1-800-661-5196 ext: 4, email your dedicated account manager or send a general email to info@brysoninsurance.ca.

Why is Water Damage on the Rise?

Water damage is becoming more and more a problem for Canadian homeowners. Insurance companies are also altering how they manage the risk involved with certain types of water damage, specifically damages caused by overland water.

Overland water is classified as water entering a property from the sudden accumulation of water from events like heavy rains, spring run-off and overflow from lakes and winters.

Insurance companies have created an add-on option for most home owners called Overland Water Coverage to protect from this type of damage. Most policies have damage resulting from overland water damage explicitly excluded from the homeowner policy.

This coverage is important and for a few extra dollars a month can provide protection against

a house is surrounded by water which is intensified by snow melting and turning to water causing overland water damage not covered by insurance

significant loss. A recent article in the Toronto Star tells the story of a family that was denied a $2 million water damage claim because it was judged to be from water seepage which was specifically excluded from the policy.

Stories like this highlight the importance of taking the time to talk with your insurance broker about risks your home policy may not be covering you against.

Changing climate conditions is linked to an increase in the occurrence and severity of damage caused by overland water.

Our climate is changing. The average Canadian city is experiencing 20 more days of rain then what occurred in the 1950s.

heavy rain storm causing overland water build-up damage to peoples homesThe severity is also on the rise. The Insurance Bureau of Canada notes that what used to be a 1-in-40 year storm is now more like a 1-in-6 year storm. These storms cause heavier precipitation and flash flooding that is more likely to damage homes and personal belongings.

Depending on the age of your home and the type of basement you have there are things you can do to help protect your home from damage caused by overland water.

We will go deeper into solutions in a following article but a quick overview includes maintaining or adding a sump pump, checking tree root systems, adding backflow valves and removing valuables or other expensive items from basement storage.

The first action to take is to read through your insurance policy to see exactly what is covered. For you, that may be as exciting as reading the phone book. Trust us, knowing what you are covered for is an important responsibility that comes with owning your home.

To take the guess work out and call someone who likes to read insurance policies; your local Bryson Insurance personal insurance specialist! Take a minute to get in touch with us at 1-800-661-5196 ext: 4, email your dedicated account manager or send a general email to info@brysoninsurance.ca.

Feeling the Winter Blues?

Bryson Insurance Mental Health & Wellness Expert Tobi with her dog in Ajax ontario

Bryson’s Commercial Accounting Assistant & Wellness Adviser Tobi McLeod with her doggie Ruggie

written by Tobi McLeod

Many of us feel trapped within the obstacles of our own lives. Each one of us will experience different struggles in our world around us. Some of us struggle with work, family, finances, and each one of us has different coping skills for the changes that come our way.

Change of seasons to some people is a difficult time. Many revere winter as a time of sadness, an ending. However, winter is actually a time of renewal. Winter is a chance for everything to slow down, rest and rejuvenate. Everything in the natural world changes in the winter: animals hibernate, trees are bare of leaves, and bodies of water freeze over.

When spring arrives in a couple of months, we will be fresh and rested, ready to take on new challenges with energy and enthusiasm. The spring is when wildlife comes alive again, birds are singing, plants and trees develop new buds and the blooms begin.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (known as SAD) is defined as late autumn and winter depression associated with the lack of natural daylight. People who suffer from Bipolar Disorder have a tendency to have extreme depression during the winter months. Some may feel hopelessness and worthlessness, have thoughts of suicide, suffer from insomnia and many will turn to alcohol or recreational drugs to help with their symptoms. The use of substances, other than a prescription that is prescribed by your physician, can be highly dangerous. If you are on medications then the interaction can be detrimental. If you are not on any medication, alcohol and recreational drugs can act as a depressant and therefore lower your mood further. It is recommended to avoid alcohol and recreational drugs during episodes of SAD or any other form of depression you may experience throughout the year.

There are two possibilities that can cause SAD; one is related to the lack of serotonin. Serotonin carries signals along the neurotransmitters from the brain to the body systems, mainly between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. As such, many people that experience regular depression and other mood disorders will suffer from digestive disorders as well. Some researchers maintain serotonin is regarded as the chemical responsible for maintaining mood balance.

The other possibility is a lack of melatonin, the hormone that is produced by the pineal gland. A lack of melatonin can have a substantial effect on the circadian rhythms that synchronize the body systems for sleep, blood pressure and boost immune system. Circadian rhythm is the primary function to regulate our day – night cycles. As we age, the amount of melatonin we naturally produce lowers which can lead to diseases that are affected by memory such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

During this time of year, in the middle of winter, many people feel the challenge from the lack of sunshine and short days. For some people it may feel like there are fewer reasons to get up and get things done. This is the season of procrastination.

The lack of serotonin, melatonin or vitamin D from the lack of sunlight can have profound physical and psychological effects on your body and the body systems. These changes may include: feeling tired and sluggish, general lack of energy, weakened immune system, lack of concentration and focus, overeating and weight gain, as well as sleep issues which are normally related to the lack of melatonin being produced and released into the body.
The psychological effects can include the desire to be alone, withdrawing from social activities and general feeling of isolation.

There are many ways to combat against the symptoms of SAD. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year. For mild symptoms, try spending more time outdoors, go tobogganing, skating, for a walk – the fresh air and any sunshine you can absorb (even through a cloud covered sky) will help rejuvenate and energize you. Try the following for other ways to help during this season: leave curtains open to let maximum light come inside, move your favourite chair closer to the window, install a skylight. Another option would be “Light Therapy” which involves sitting near a special fluorescent light box for several minutes each day.

Taking a supplement of Vitamin D (usually in drop format) will help against the symptoms of SAD. Other ideas are to resist the carbohydrate cravings as they are only a temporary booster to your system and you will feel the down effect faster than consuming something with natural components, such as orange juice or a protein like peanut butter or Greek yogurt.

Monitor your diet during the winter months to avoid the ‘high’ of carbohydrates and the winter weight gain. Be aware of your sleep patterns and make sure you are getting adequate sleep nightly. Sleep deprivation is one of the most disruptive to your body and brain functions.

Remember this simple equation: Less SUN = Less VITAMIN D = Less MELATONIN = Less HEALTH

Mind yourself and your mental health.

**Consult with your doctor before starting any new course of therapy or treatment.