10 Ways To Lift Your Spirit in the Winter Months
Recovery is a lifestyle you must adhere to year-round. Different times of year bring different experiences, and you must get through them to stay sober! The winter months may feel difficult or emotional for the first few years you're sober. Today, with the complication of the coronavirus pandemic, life can sometimes feel like a struggle.
Why Is Winter Hard For People in Recovery
Few people feel like winter is their favorite season. If you're like many people, you may find yourself in the doldrums or suffering from seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression brought on by the changing seasons. With less sunlight and colder weather, humans naturally turn into homebodies. In recovery, however, isolation can quickly turn into loneliness or depression.
There are also other reasons that people feel like winter is hard in recovery. Many people also associate the winter months with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years' holidays. Of course, holidays can be challenging times for people in recovery. Sometimes you'll feel quite emotional about the past or even feel triggered by it.
For many reasons, winter can be a challenging time for people in recovery. This winter may even seem a little more difficult due to the ongoing emotional and economic strains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking care of yourself and focusing on your recovery is an integral part of the game plan. Here are some ideas to help you lift your spirit every day.
Spirit-Lifting Activities For Winter
If you live in a warm climate, you won't have to deal with the cold. Yet there are still some effects that you have to cope with during the winter months. Holidays, shorter days in general, and less activity are all things that seasons have in common coast-to-coast.
- Get enough Vitamin D. Most people aren't getting enough in the winter months because it mostly comes from the sun. Try to do something outdoors for at least fifteen minutes a day.
- Get exercise, even if it's incremental. For example, take the stairs more often. Do a lap around the block later on. Walk to the bodega.
- Explore vegetables and fruits. Smoothies have a plethora of ingredients to help boost your body and mind. Try a recipe or two to add more nutrition to your day.
- Spend five minutes being mindful each morning before anything else.
- Do something kind for somebody else. Whether this means checking up on a loved one or cleaning up the kitchen in your group house, just try it. Helping other people feels good.
- Find ways to be more creative in life. Create your own winter-themed masks or make up your own dinner recipes.
- Find ways to reach out to others online. Create an online group focused on a hobby you enjoy.
- Write cards to older people or children who are hospitalized. Focus on spreading happiness to the person you're writing to.
- Help out a housemate with something they're stressed about. Getting outside of yourself is crucial, and you might have a skill you can share, such as helping with a resume or building a website.
- Take 30 minutes doing something you genuinely enjoy. Take a long bath, read Stephen King, or watch tutorials for surfing. As long as it's something you like, and it hurts no one, enjoy yourself.
Consider Sober Living
Have you thought about living in a sober home? Living among other people in recovery can help you have a sense of stability. Learn more about what options are available and how we can help by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Accepting powerlessness isn’t limited to being powerless over your addiction to alcohol and drugs. In recovery, you’ll learn that you are also powerless over other people, places, and things. Right now, in the age of the coronavirus, this is more important to learn than ever.
You can’t always predict what is going to happen in life. Nobody seemed to suspect that something like the COVID-19 pandemic would happen.
If you’re having trouble accepting you're powerless, you’re not alone. There is a lot of pain in the world because of the virus. Many people right now are coping with job loss. Some people are sick or know somebody who has been ill. People have been laid off in massive amounts, too. Job loss can cause money problems, anxiety, and even affect a person’s self-worth. You may feel worried, angry, or afraid of what’s happening in the world.
Acknowledging Your Fears
Many people who have lived with addiction have trouble admitting they’re afraid. When you were using, you probably used your drug of choice to quell your feelings of anxiety or fear.
Suppressing your fears can cause problems. You may act out in anger or find yourself feeling depressed or isolated.
You have fears, but you are powerless over what is going to happen in the world around you tomorrow. Learning to recognize your emotions and name them is essential. You may be afraid of getting sick or losing somebody. If you don't talk about it, the anxiety can stop you in your tracks.
You’ll find that other people have had the same fears and have continued to stay sober despite it all. Ask other people what kind of concerns they have, too. Write down your fears in a journal every morning and try to leave them in the book once you've started the rest of your day.
Taking Life A Day At A Time
You're powerless over what is happening in the world right now. The good news is that what the world is going through won't last forever. With the coronavirus, the medical community and the government seem to make strides on a day-to-day basis. That’s a good direction for everyone else to keep in mind, too. One day at a time can help you keep things in perspective. There's no way to plan for things you can't control.
The economic problems won’t last forever, either. Jobs may change, but they will come back. Nobody knows precisely what the future will bring, but for now, it seems that there are many public officials and private companies that are trying to shape that future.
Focus on what you're doing today for yourself and your recovery. Focus on helping the people you love or are checking in with.
What You DO Have Power Over
Right now, your recovery is more important than ever. Staying sober will help you make better decisions. Choose to connect with people in recovery often. Text, call on the phone, or video chat. If you’re in a city or state with a stay-at-home order, don’t risk your health by breaking the rules. Go to online 12-step meetings, either hosted by your area or the Online AA Intergroup.
Take care of your physical health and mental health. If you take medications, make sure you get refills and take them as you're supposed to. Eat three meals and try to get up on time every day.
If you have lost your job, it may be a while before there are more jobs available. Many people in the service, hospitality, retail, and manufacturing industries have been furloughed. Do what you can to take care of yourself financially. If you are unemployed there are options for you. Check online for unemployment and stimulant packages that you can apply for online. Take some time to look at your options. Everyone needs help sometimes. If you have bills you need to pay, but cannot, call the companies and ask them about your options.
Make sure you have a plan of who to call and where to go if you get sick, and keep in touch with people you care about or are worried about. Take precautions such as wearing a face mask when you're going out. Stay home as much as possible.
If you’re overwhelmed, reach out for help. Call your sponsor or a friend in recovery. Times are tough, and connecting with other people in recovery can help you feel supported. You can help support them, too.
Sober Living Can Help
Sober living situations are an important part of the journey for many people in recovery. People who choose it often say it is an essential bridge between treatment and life out in the world alone. Sober housing has structure and support built into it, and there are fellowship and camaraderie. You’ll be a part of a true community that puts your recovery before everything else. Learn more about your options by calling us 760-216-2077.