You can STOP struggling through winter

There’s a simple reason why nothing you try works

You make a priority of taking care of yourself. You eat healthful foods, read labels, buy organic when you can. You try to squeeze a bit of exercise into your busy day.

You take your vitamins, plus additional Vitamin D, and still, when the calendar rolls around to the fall months, you feel a sense of dread, of worry, that gets worse as winter approaches.

Did anyone teach you about your body clock?

Despite everything you do to take care of yourself, you still struggle with winter. It’s harder to get up in the mornings when your head is foggy and your body feels like lead. You can’t seem to shake that lethargic feeling, even when you take a quick walk at lunchtime, and you hate to drink more coffee or caffeinated sodas. Your normally good mood drops when it gets dark earlier.

And the tiredness. Some nights, it’s all you can do after dinner to get through what needs to get done before bed. You look forward to going to bed as early as you can.

It’s really not your fault

You’ve read about our need for Vitamin D and you’ve increased the dosage you take, but that deep tiredness is still there. You try to get out more in the fall and winter, but the energy boost doesn’t last long.

You’ve tried a couple of other supplements or a tanning session and they help some, but the struggle is still there. You just want to hibernate and you don’t want anyone to know how bad winter feels.

Treating symptoms isn’t enough

Most of the remedies for the winter blues and seasonal depression are piece meal approaches that treat a symptom or two: Take vitamins or supplements. Get outside more. Visit a tanning bed. Cook wholesome foods.

You’ve tried those, right? They sorta help.

Treat the root cause first

Fact: Research shows you’ve got to get bright light at the right time in the morning to switch off your melatonin trigger so your body clock shifts into its daytime rhythm.

Yet, most of the information online tells you light therapy can help but doesn’t explain that you have a short window of time – unique to your body clock – when you need to get light therapy. Miss your window and you’ve missed the kickoff play.

So taking a 30-minute walk on a sunny winter day is a wonderful, healthy activity, but it won’t fix the problem. And taking extra Vitamin D definitely helps, but it’s treating the symptom – light deprivation – not the cause.

All the other home remedies are short-term, warm and fuzzy feel-good tips that may be comforting but don’t address what’s really amiss in the winter – your body clock and circadian rhythms.

Light is the key to the puzzle

To effectively manage the winter blues it helps to see it a larger context — like a puzzle — and not just as a few symptoms. Because of our modern lives we live mostly indoors, leaving us chronically light deprived. That’s the problem.

Successfully beating the winter blues is really about key lifestyle changes – getting more light at the right time – not treating symptoms.

First, you need to determine whether your seasonal rhythm is out of sync and whether you’re a good candidate for light therapy. Second, planning how to adapt light therapy to your morning routine makes this work.

And third, creating a network of support for yourself as you change habits while your energy is at low tide is a critical – and overlooked – part of the puzzle. Once you’ve reset your body clock, you can reliably lean into your support network to help you make other powerful changes in your diet, exercise routine and attitudes about the season.

From misery to solutions

I’m a trained health coach who is also a miserable winter expert from living in summer beautiful but winter gray Michigan. It took me 10 years of research and trial-and-error to figure out the winter blues puzzle and transform my winters as I learned to manage my own Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

I granted myself the title of The Winter Blues Coach because I am passionate about teaching and supporting you as you learn to manage the seasonal blues holistically using light therapy, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.

You can start right now

Check out the New Here? page for a handy guide to how to use this site.

Once you understand the pieces of the winter blues puzzle, hop over to the Bright Light Series of articles, which will help you understand how light therapy helps seasonal depression.

Ready to kick the blues for good?

If you’re serious about changing your winter mood and energy, the two guides – Your 8 Step Plan to Stopping the Winter Blues and the popular Light Therapy Light Guide - will show you how to start feeling better fast and save you hours shopping for a light therapy lamp. You can download both guides immediately for only $27.

To help guide you step-by-step into bringing light therapy into your life, I’ve created The LightDiet: Using Light to Beat the Cloudy Day, Rainy Day, Winter Day Blues home study course. It includes the 104-page Guidebook, the 49-page Workbook, a Quick Start Guide and as bonuses – 26 pages of insurance information, PLUS the Light Therapy Lamp Guide, Your 8 Step Plan to Stopping the Winter Blues guide PLUS membership in the LightBox Cafe, my private, members-only support forum to help you through the winter. You’ll find all the details here.

I also offer one-on-one health coaching if you feel you need additional personal support.

Help is available. What will you do?

Cheers,

Marsha Stopa

P.S. Feel free to contact me at any time with a question.