Relapse is a condition you don’t want to fall into while you are recovering. However, even we though we don’t want it, this situation occurs frequently, especially during winter. Hence, the need for home exercises to get you through winter.
Nobody wants to undergo a relapse. However, there’s something about the winter season that makes it extra challenging for those in addiction recovery. The conditions of the season and other peculiarities make it so.
For one it’s terribly cold. Furthermore, winter can be pretty lonely and drab. In Canada, the snow makes it extra hard to get out and try some activities. Thankfully, there’s a pretty handy tool that can be useful for your addiction recovery during this period — exercises.
Numerous winter exercises can boost addiction recovery. The best part is they can be done at home. In this article, we will take a closer look at these exercises. However, we need to take a first look at what causes addiction relapse during winter.
What Causes Addiction Relapse in Winter?
If you were struggling with drugs and are now on your way to recovery, you need to prepare for seasonal changes. For instance, when summer draws to a close, you tend to experience mood changes. In this case, winter is fizzling in, and the days become shorter and colder.
The reduction in the degree of sunlight makes everything somewhat moody. The cold outside also makes it challenging to hang out. Hence, it’s easy to fall into depression, exhaustion, and irritation in the home. If you don’t take care, these can lead to relapse, with most people turning to substance abuse to release doses of dopamine for them.
While the latter part of this article explains how to combat relapse in this period, we’ll take a brief look at the conditions that can cause this relapse. One of the common conditions here is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is the form of depression that comes with seasonal changes. You may have also heard of holiday blues, but we’ll come to that later.
SAD is one of the many reasons you need to master home exercises to get you through winter. It is more common as the environment transits to winter. SAD also occurs during spring and early summer, but it is not as prominent in these seasons as it is in winter.
At first, the symptoms of SAD are all mild. As the season progresses, it worsens. Depression hits, in this season, almost every day. You’ll notice a low energy level, coupled with an inability to concentrate. You’ll also see changes in your appetite. You may even lose interest in the activities that once made you gleeful.
More than ever, in this period, you need exercises to help with your addiction recovery. Exercises are vital to maintaining your recovery streak.
Holiday blues, as mentioned above, is also a common cause of relapse during winter. This condition is not yet scientifically adopted as a cause of relapse. However, it’s worth noting. From the name, you can tell it relates to the holidays.
The holidays towards the end of the year all fall to winter. In this season, most offices are closed, and families are expected to gather. You may not know, but this status quo leads many people to what is called the holiday blues.
It happens when you spend the holidays reflecting, sad, lonely, anxious, and depressed. Most people feel these effects because they can’t spend the time with family, rejoicing and celebrating. Most times, this may be beyond your control. You probably can’t help but feel the pressure that comes with expectations.
The season is one of high emotions and demand. This can leave you stressed out in no time. In a bid to find some relief, you may find yourself back in your addiction. Holiday blues are not as intense as clinical depression, but if it persists for too long, it’s headed there.
However, even at its lowest intensity, it can disrupt recovery by causing a relapse. If you ever reach this point, then it becomes imperative to reach out to professionals for addiction treatment in Vancouver.
Great Exercises to Get you Through the Cold Winter
Since you can’t go to the gym, home exercises to get you through winter are the next best thing . As of now, these are the best exercises for the holiday season.
Staying indoors all through the winter season can make you depressed faster than you think. This is especially true if you are the type that likes going out. If you are undergoing recovery from a long-term addiction, you need to go out. It will help if you take strolls that will distract your mind.
You should also take these strolls to public places. You don’t have to come in contact with anyone. You can go to the park. As far as it’s a place where you don’t get to be ‘alone.’ You can also take a stroll with a family member. Taking a walk around the neighborhood will help you relax and decompress.
This is one of the best exercises for the holiday season. The level of alertness and consciousness this activity offers will take your mind off any temptations and possible relapse triggers. Hence, you can always count on it. Go hiking as frequently as you can.
Also, time spent with the different elements of nature will leave you in a good mood. The mountains, the trees, the breeze, they will all leave you happy and motivated.
You don’t need to get out of your home to reap the benefits of yoga. While it works on your body, it also helps your mind meditate. There are different yoga types. However, you should go for the more relaxing ones.
An exercise that doesn’t feel like one? Dancing is your best bet. If you have your family and friends around to do it with, it’s the best feeling ever. You can also invite your friends for a dance session.
If you have a large space in your home and a large family, you should suggest team sports. Getting people together for a game, laughing, and catching fun is a great way to take your mind off any temptations. It is also a chance to meet new people if you are inviting your friends’ friends. You can try out basketball, football, tennis and other indoor games.
Irrespective of your chosen home exercises to get you through winter, you’ll be able to achieve the goal — sobriety through the holidays. Exercises can help you stay in check when your therapist or dedicated support group isn’t there.
Strolling is a great way to release dopamine and put you in a better mood. In the same vein, indoor team sports can help put you in a better overall mood.