You’ve worked hard all year to stay sober and now winter is here and with the change of season comes a change in attitude. If you live in an area that is prone to lots of snow, cold rainy days and cabin fever; staying sober and avoiding relapse during the winter months may be a real challenge. Don’t let old man winter stir you into relapse. We’re sending out an S.O.S. for staying sober during the winter months!
Seasonal Affective Disorder
There is a reason why winter puts you in a funk and it is called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. SAD is a type of depression that is linked to the change in seasons during the late autumn and winter months. Research suggests that the depression is caused by the decrease in exposure to natural light. Symptoms include:
- Depression that lasts all day/everyday
- Decreased energy
- Loss of interest in activities
- Changes in weight/appetite
- Irritability/mood swings
- Difficulty concentration
- Thoughts of suicide
One of the most effective treatments for SAD is increasing your exposure to natural sunlight or by investing in a photo light box.
Statistics show that more people relapse during the winter months than any other time of the year. Increasing your physical activity can actually help to prevent relapse. Although it may be chilly out, bundle up and go for a walk. If an outdoor walk is not an option then invest in an elliptical, treadmill or stationary bike and set it up near a window. Plug in your favorite music and turn up the tunes and get moving.
Identifying Signs of Relapse
The depression that often accompanies the winter blues can lead to impulsive and reckless behavior. Counselors recommend that when the months turn cold, you do not make any severe changes to your daily routine. They also suggest that you should not withdraw from social gatherings with friends and family.
Signs that a relapse may be near include making unproductive choices and decisions that indicate a lack of self-control and feelings of hopelessness and guilt. Some may be tempted to believe that if they could just get high (or drink) once, they would have the clarity they need to get through the winter blues and make it; however these thoughts are deceiving and giving in to them even once puts you on the road to relapse
Do you need help getting back on the recovery track because of relapse? Call Gallus Detox Center at 855-338-6929 today and speak with a caring and understanding admission team member.