Maintaining Recovery during Long Winter Months

When suffering through long, stormy winters, it is hard to find recreational or uplifting activities to elevate mood. It is a time when the sun does not shine, and the grey weather can get you down. And it is tempting to use alcohol and drugs to lift the spirit and relieve the stress of major storm catastrophes.

Finding healthy ways to maintain abstinence is the best defense against relapse into substance abuse during the winter months. Stress management experts recommend methods such as meditation, elimination of caffeine and sugar from the diet, exercise and deep breathing as coping strategies. Specific to weather, here are ways to maintain abstinence during a challenging winter:

Five Ways to Stay Out Of Winter Gloom

Have fun board games on hand at home for a mood-lifter. Prepare delicious snacks to go with a run at Monopoly or Pick Up Sticks. Pay attention to the natural highs that typically come with the hilarity of board games.

Drink a more traditional warm beverage such as hot apple cider or hot chocolate. Curl up with a book & enjoy the warmth of the fire.

Go to an old-fashioned movie house. There is plenty of traditional fare to enjoy, such as popcorn and a coke, red hots or hot pretzels. Getting out of the house, out of the cold outdoors and into a movie theater can be an exhilarating experience.

Non-addictive flu remedies. Read the labels on medicines and make sure there are no triggers there. Consider hot soup, hot tea and mentholated salve.

Exercise at home. Have some weights and a treadmill somewhere at home since the gym can be hard to get to when snow is piled high or rain is slicking down the highways. Make sure you keep the endorphins pumping by getting daily exercise.

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