5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues in Sobriety

3 seasons down and it’s that time of the year again. The one where we rush from one heat source to the next. The one where we struggle to smoke a cigarette outside because your chest feels ready to cave in at any given moment. The one where a hot cup of joe and sweatpants are your best friend (more so than normal). That time to layer up is now because winter time has arrived.  

Some people enjoy the newness of spring, while others prefer the colors of autumn. When it comes to the dreaded cold season, most could do without it. Aside from the icy roads and freezing temps, this time of the year gives many the winter blues. All of the coldness in itself just makes things a general struggle to get thru as we battle the stresses of life knocking at our door. Nobody wants to shiver their ass off while they sit outside on their lunch break. Nor does anybody want to violently chatter their teeth as they walk their child to school. Winter just has a way of adding a handicap that most could do without.   

That’s life though. We all learn to battle the shot calls of life on life’s terms at some point or another…hopefully. Either that or we wind up 6 feet under prematurely. Everybody copes with their tribulations differently. While some will be downing spirits to stay warm and keep happy, the sober addicts and alcoholics of Ohio will be looking for other methods to fight the winter blues.

Feel the Sober Heat

Upon choosing recovery for the chemically dependent, the idea is to return our sanity while having the weight of alcoholic thinking lifted. This hypnotized way of thinking is a disease that can never be cured but can be silenced if approached correctly. Sometimes the winter blues will bring out the irritability, frustration, and discontent thought to be in cahoots with our alcoholic thinking. For those of us that have decided to get clean, we must realize that a glass of eggnog won’t solve these character defects flailing about anymore. We have to look for sober methods to deal.  

Keeping recovery as the top priority, it’s vital to remember that there is a solution for every discomfort we come across this snow season. Sometimes it can be as simple as just walking away. If something is creating some sort of drug provoked discomfort, remove yourself from the situation. Any addict working is a good program has the power of choice to leave that discomfort behind. It’s a matter of leaving justification behind and choosing not to entertain the obsessive thoughts that the disease of addiction constantly reminds of.

Sobriety Vs. Old Man Winter

As we blow into our hands to keep warm, many of us begin to get this “Eeyore” like feeling. Being too cold can be painful in some ways and absolutely discouraging in others. The key idea behind battling these winter blues is to find safe, proactive ways to get thru them. If the holidays are a bummer, next year try spending your holiday at a local A.A. clubhouse. Might sound lame, but every single person reading this would be shocked to see how holly jolly their day would turn out.    

It’s examples like that that will keep most of us happy and sober through the wintertime. A few other clever methods to beat the winter blues include:

  • Meditating
  • Volunteering
  • Writing in a Journal (even if it’s about disdain for winter)
  • Take Advantage of Seasonal Foods/Beverages
  • Fellowshipping

Of course, some of these may appear easier, and others more enjoyable, but they will all help change the color of those winter blues. The idea is to find that sober comfort lodged within the ice. We don’t have to be forced into sub-zero times because of sub-zero temperatures.

Tis the Season for Excuses

Sometimes beating the winter blues is as simple as calling ourselves out. As addicts, we will search for any excuse we can to rationalize our poor decisions. Playing the tape over and over is sometimes the difference between picking up the bottle or picking up a snowball. Our alcoholic thinking is the sleeping giant in the other room that wants nothing more than to eat us alive like an abominable snowman.

With those winter blues at hand, we start looking for comfort in places we ordinarily wouldn’t. Too many of us begin thinking of all the great moments we had using while quickly forgetting about the immeasurable misery that laid each day’s rotten, not to be forgotten path. We mustn’t forget where we were at the beginning of our journey into recovery. We’ve played the tape out, remembered the awful times, and going out would only be a confirmation of the insanity we are trying to avoid.

The Other Tools

Aside from the basic recovery derived techniques we use to stay sober during the winter blues, there are plenty of other tools we can use. Some of those can be just as simple as exercise. Any form of exercise will release endorphins, get the blood pumping, and quickly put the mind at ease. Turning on some music, making a phone call, or just simply going for a walk will do much of the same. These are all suitable methods for defeating the winter blues. 

Keeping in mind that we are 10% what happens to us and 90%, it’s all about how we handle those melancholy months. If these tools aren’t enough disruption from the beckoning obsession, try to find something else equally distracting. Sometimes anything is better than picking up a drink. God willing, no degree of temperature can ever make us go back to that misery. Learning to push winter back into its seat is the only way we’ll make it to a sober summer.  

The Warmth of Recovery

Sometimes when we are deep in the thick of alcoholism, we get attached to the drama that dictates our every move. We start getting to a point of pitying ourselves and believing we deserve to freeze in these temperatures. Nobody deserves to be enslaved underneath the cold thumb of chemical dependency. Blue is a color that was meant for the sky. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit www.ohioarc.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.

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