It can be tough to maintain addiction recovery through winter. For those in the addiction recovery stage, this period can be incredibly difficult. They often experience “winter blues,” which is a mild affective disorder that comes with winter. Some people go through stages of drowsiness, irritability, withdrawal from people around them.
When you are going through addiction recovery, seasonal effects can be acute. If you do not take the right steps to maintain addiction recovery through winter, you may relapse. Relapsing involves going back to using the substance you are recovering from.
It is necessary to seek support and the right tips to deal with addiction recovery during winter. If you already make it to the addiction recovery stage, you should not let winter drag you back.
With the winter season in Vancouver around the corner, we have decided to put up a list of effective tips for the season. This is the comprehensive guide to maintaining addiction recovery during the winter months.
Top 8 Tips To Maintain Addiction Recovery Through Winter
The best way to beat addiction is to stay one step ahead of it. When winter comes, if you are not keeping yourself busy, the period may come with addiction triggers. Not to worry, the tips below will help you side-step these triggers.
Prioritize Your Diet
What you eat is one of the things that will determine how you react to relapse triggers. Watching your diet can be a tricky thing, as you may have to choose what to eat and whatnot. However, to enhance your health this period, you have to assess what you take in.
You may want to start eating foods with a high level of carbs. This includes tuna, fatty salmon, and trout. It is also healthy to increase the omega-3s you consume. You can complement this by taking a supplement to support the omega you consume.
Good food and an adequate diet will help your overall health. Staying healthy in the winter will help you through the tough times. It will give you the physical strength necessary to battle an addiction.
One thing you may want to do this period is to get enough sunlight. It is possible that you may not get adequate sunlight if you live in an area with dense clouds. Even if there is sunlight, you may be busy with stuff that prevents you from benefiting from the light.
To maintain your addiction recovery, you need to enjoy the sunlight. The use of the sun, referred to as phototherapy, helps with emotional disorders. The process triggers the release of serotonin, which lightens you up.
This is unlike keeping yourself inside your home, which often triggers melatonin that increases the possibility of drowsiness and depression. You want to stay upbeat all through the winter season.
Physical exercises are proven ways to keep your mind in shape and shake off all forms of anxiety. If you can develop a regular exercise framework, it will help. Aerobic exercises provide excellent benefits to your body.
You can schedule your physical exercises when the sunlight is out. Exercising under the sunlight doubles the mood-boosting result you get. Other activities you can engage in include meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and others.
Spice Your Space Up
Changing the face of your room and environment is one thing that can help you during this period. Irrespective of whether you live alone, you can fix up your home or place. Rearrange your furniture, bring in a new one where necessary, and introduce new colours into your room.
You can also go on a cleaning spree and clean up every nook and cranny of your room. You do not have to wait till spring to do spring cleaning. Clean and lighten up your environment. This will help your mind remain settled and on-track for long-term sobriety.
One of the tips to maintain addiction recovery during winter is to keep your mind occupied. Volunteering can help you achieve this.
Through volunteering, you can take your mind off of depressive thoughts. Volunteering provides the opportunity to be engaged in something that interests you. It won’t stress you out as you can take a break whenever you want. It’s an avenue to ease off tension while doing something for your community.
Various organizations make use of volunteers for their programs during winter. Join an organization near you to get over this period.
Get Some Rest
To maintain addiction recovery during winter, there’s a need to occupy your time. However, there’s also a need to rest.
Addiction often upsets the sleeping schedule of substance users. You may have been sleeping all day but staying awake all night when you were still an addict. This is not a reflection of a good rest. During addiction treatment in Vancouver, most people pick up new, improved sleeping habits. There’s a need to build upon this.
To maintain addiction recovery through winter, you need to prioritize enough rest. Get at least 8 hours of sleep in the night, and you will realize the difference. Good rest tends to increase your energy levels and significantly improve your mental alertness. It also puts you in a better mood, which is what you need this period.
Get Sober Friends
When you get to the addiction recovery stage, your mindset should be on the same level as your body. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to make friends with the same mindset. This is one sobriety tip you should hold dear.
During winter, things can be challenging. You do not want to continue relating to the same set of people you used to abuse substances with. Even if they say they support you, being in the same environment may influence you to relapse, considering that winter is a vulnerable moment for you.
So, find sober friends and find new activities to do. Move on from your past friends who still use. Align your mindset with that of sober friends.
Identify Your Goals
Avoid addiction relapse during winter by following through with your goals. One of the best sobriety tips is to keep yourself productive. You can do this by identifying your goals in life and developing ways to pursue them.
When you pursue your goals, you are generally more alert. This helps to put you in the right mood for all other tips telling you how to stay sober in winter. With this tip, you can begin to get along with your family and friends better.
What happens If I Relapse?
Sobriety tips can only be of help if you also have a strong will to not relapse. However, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a relapse. So, when you fail to maintain addiction recovery through winter, you may relapse. What happens when you relapse?
The first thing to do is to determine the level of the relapse. If it was a one-time event and you remain committed to getting help, you may not have to reach out to an addiction treatment centre near you.
However, if you get back to abusing the substance continuously, you may have to seek more comprehensive addiction treatment in Vancouver. This will require you to get back into an inpatient addiction recovery program.
When you make it to the addiction recovery stage, you have come a long way. Although winter can prove challenging, it should not have to cost you all your commitments and efforts to recover your life. These sobriety tips will help you survive winter and maintain your addiction recovery.
Getting your life back can be a painstaking process. With these tips, you can keep your focus on your life and avoid all forms of distraction.
Or you can seek professional help. Here at Addiction Healing Centre, we can provide you with the tools to go through winter without a relapse. Whether via an inpatient program or outpatient support, we’ve got you covered. Speak to any one of our addiction counselors today!