Ways to Cope with Seasonal Changes

As the summer is drawing to an end, have you noticed your mood sinking into a negative tailspin? Or feeling more sluggish, unmotivated, and unhappy? For anyone one who has a drug or alcohol addition, seasonal changes can have a direct impact on their recovery.

With most who have a substance abuse disorder, the hardest part in their recovery is dealing with triggers. Changes in the weather can leave us feeling unbalanced, unable to control, or associate it with an unpleasant memory.

Entering into summer can bring the urge to go out and have drinks with old friends, and as the fall ushers in, it can leave us feeling unambitious and depressed. The holidays can also bring their own difficulties of family hardships and harsh memories.

It is important in your active recovery to help boost your mood during these rainy, cold months. Here are five ways to cope with seasonal changes.

  1. Drink more water. It is normal to increase energy drink consumption to try to keep your energy up, but they are loaded with sugar, which actually bogs you down. Try drinking a few glasses of water throughout the day to give yourself proper hydration and minimize sugar intake.
  2. Go for a walk or visit the gym. Getting the circulation going increases endorphins, invigorates your energy levels and improves your physical and mental state.
  3. Eat well. It is normal to be drawn to comfort food and heavy carbohydrates during the cooler months, but try to eat well-balanced meals that include fresh fruits and vegetables. This fuels your body and uplifts your outlook.
  4. Remember HALT. When you start to feel hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, take extra care of yourself.
  5. Be prepared. It’s no surprise, these cooler months come every year, so be pro-active and have healthy coping mechanisms in place. Have your sponsor on speed-dial, reach out to friends and stay involved in a recovery community. We are stronger and happier together!

Be prepared to handle your emotions and moods no matter what season it is. Recognize your triggers, be pro-active, and don’t be afraid to reach out.