Stress piles up with recurring storms in New Brunswick

Many New Brunswickers were burdened by another overnight storm Tuesday — and there is more snow to come on Wednesday.

Southern New Brunswick buried under another fresh pile of snow, with more forcecasted for Wednesday

Many New Brunswickers were digging out after an overnight storm Tuesday coated the southern part of the province with another thick blanket of snow — and there is more to come on Wednesday.

CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell created an unofficial tally of snowfall amounts as of 10 a.m. Wednesday:

  • 16 centimetres of snow in Saint John.
  • 13 centimetres of snow in Moncton.
  • Six centimetres of snow at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown near Fredericton.
  • Trace amounts in Bathurst.

Mitchell says an additional two to 10 centimetres of snow can be expected across New Brunswick Wednesday night, with local amounts near 15 centimetres along the Bay of Fundy coastline.

Drifting snow and poor visibility caused problems for many drivers on their morning commute. In Saint John, a snowplow struck a power pole near Haymarket Square, bringing down wires across City Road during the height of rush hour.

City police also responded to a multi-vehicle accident on Samuel Davis Drive in the north end.

Psychologist recommends exercise and relaxation

Dr. Joan Wright, a clinical psychologist in Fredericton, says the continuing snow storms in the region can have a major effect on some people.

Wright says stress can set in when bad weather exceeds expectations of winter.

"Anytime we have an unmet expectation we're going to have an emotional reaction and that is actually a stress reaction," said Wright.

"Very often, like the snow, the stress keeps piling up inside of us and before we know it … we're avoiding going out, we're avoiding our friends and we'll be getting more depressed and anxious as the time goes on."

Wright says between 70 and 90 per cent of all physician visits are stress-related. And she says referrals to her office have increased by 10 per cent this year over the same period last year.

"We're now understanding more and more through our research that stress underlies just about every condition that we have — physiological and mental," she said.

"Last year was more of a thaw than snow storm after snow storm. Last year people anticipated the birds coming, seeds being planted."

"This year there doesn't seem to be an end in sight."

Wright says it's best to exercise and socialize when you experience stress and depression caused by the winter blues.

However, she says when winter stress builds on top of existing stress, a daily practice of relaxation, such as meditation, can help relieve symptoms.