Winter is here, and it’s the season to be melancholy, right? No, it doesn’t have to be. A few sober activities are all the help you need to beat the winter chills. The season can and will be jolly if you take steps to prevent the winter blues from getting to you.
For those in addiction recovery, it is normal to find the winter slash holiday season more challenging than other people. We understand that you are putting your all into your recovery, and you’re trying your best to avoid relapsing.
If you can drag yourself out to do some exercise and get some sunlight, that’s good. It may be all you need to beat the winter chills, or you may need more than that.
In this article, we will take a closer look at what the winter blues are. More importantly, we will provide you with actionable information about the best winter activities for those in addiction recovery.
Are the Winter Blues real? What Are They?
Mother nature doesn’t understand that we have things to do, even in winter. She probably wants us to take time, chill out, and do nothing all day. So through winter, she put in place a system that makes us want to do nothing but sleep in all day. This system includes the snow, the cold, the ice, and everything that makes winter dull.
The winter blues are the effects of the system. They are the things you feel when you don’t follow mother nature’s system. They’re not bad, but they’re not productive either. And if you’re trying to avoid a relapse in winter, you want to avoid the winter blues.
Some of these effects are:
- A varying mixture of poor moods
- Unexplainable fatigue (you feel tired, you don’t know why)
- Persistent drowsiness (can’t keep your eyes open)
- Social isolation (You want to be alone)
Related article: Addiction Treatment: 6 Home Exercises to Get You Through the Winter
Preventing Addiction Relapse: How to Beat the Winter Blues
We believe your addiction recovery is going fine, and you’re getting healthier each day. However, you cannot afford to get complacent.
The winter season can be trying for you, and you may find yourself staring at relapse in the face. You need to learn how to maintain sobriety during the holiday season if you want to beat the chills.
To that end, here are some sober activities to beat the winter chills:
Get some sun
Sunlight gives life to plants through photosynthesis, and it also gives humans an abundance of Vitamin D. That’s not all; ever notice how happy most people are on sunny days? Sunlight often raises the mood and creates the perfect atmosphere for some fun.
During winter, there’s usually not enough sunlight to penetrate your apartment. You need to make deliberate efforts and step out to get it. But we promise you it will be worth it. When you make the effort, you’ll be getting a dose of sunlight plus some outdoor time as well.
You don’t have to do much, dress up, go out into the sun and spend some time in it. By the time you step back into your apartment, you’ll feel much better, and any cravings you have will most likely be gone. This is a sober and non-strenuous activity that can help you to beat the winter chills. Make sure you try it.
Read or listen to motivational books
Motivational books will spur you towards achieving your goals. We call them motivational books because they encourage you to not give up on your goals. Do not underestimate how far these books can push you towards achieving your goals.
Your main goal now is to beat the winter chills and make through the cold without relapsing. With that in mind, find a motivational book that fits your goal and bury yourself in it. Don’t just read — try to practice the things you learn from the book.
If you’re too busy to read words, listen to audiobooks. Reading motivational books is a sober activity that can help you beat the winter chills. It can also become a hobby that will help you in other areas of your life. Read books, not just as a sober activity for the winter but also as a hobby for life.
Do light exercise
During your treatment for your addiction, your therapist will encourage you to exercise regularly. Exercise is vital for any recovery journey. Regular exercise will help you feel good — when you feel good, it’ll be easier to get over your addiction.
When you exercise, you will enjoy the following benefits:
- Mood improvement
- Less fatigue
- You feel awake and alive.
- You also want to spend more time around people.
The exercise doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Do something light that will get your motor running and your mood happy.
Spend more time around loved ones
There’s a reason you call them your loved ones. You love them, and they also love you back. It shouldn’t be that hard to hang out and spend quality time with them. Spending time around these people should make you happy and improve your mood.
Life without loved ones will be lonely and loneliness is a significant trigger of addiction relapse. Avoid it as much as possible by moving closer to and spending time with your loved ones.
When you meditate, you feed, exercise, and strengthen your mind. Your mind is an integral part of your being, and it has the most influence on everything you do. Therefore, a strong mind creates a strong character. With a strong mind and a strong character, you will beat the winter blues.
Keep a diary/journal and write in it daily
It works for everyone, and it will work for you if you’re diligent. It’s straightforward, pick a new book and in big, bold letters, write “MY DAILY ACHIEVEMENTS LOG”. Then input a summary of your daily activities, including how you beat the winter chills that day.
Knowing that you have to write a report of your activities keeps you accountable to yourself. It also gives you a sense of victory at the end of the day as you input your achievements for the day.
Learn to cook and eat healthy food
Winter is not the time of the year to consume junk and other unhealthy food choices. There’s no time of the year that’s appropriate for the consumption of unhealthy food. However, all of the parties and festivities mean that junk food is readily available.
Take extra care and watch your diet in winter. That’s if you want to stand a chance against the chills. Different food items will have different effects on your brain. In fact, the food you eat can have specific effects on your mood, how you feel, and your strength levels. That’s why you need to eat good food.
Cooking is also an interesting sober activity for the winter. You will learn how to combine various recipes and prepare new dishes. More importantly, you will also have fun doing it.
You wanted to know how to avoid relapse in winter. This is the answer — you need some sober activities to help you beat the winter chills. With the activities we describe above, you should be able to make it through winter without a problem.
The winter blues are sneaky, and they’ll try to get you when you’re not suspecting. You have to be ready for them at all times. Try to incorporate these sober activities into your schedule for this winter.
If you need more support during the holiday season, Inspire Addiction Rehab center in Vancouver is here for you. Our experienced counsellors and therapists can help you form an effective structure to avoid addiction relapse during the holiday season.