Did you know that some people consider wintertime, specifically the months of December through March, to be “drinking season”? There are many reasons for this, including the holidays, which naturally provide more gatherings, parties and opportunities for drinking. Another reason is that for many Americans, wintertime means colder weather and limited activities – there’s not as much to do, so it’s more tempting to drink.
This can be a difficult time of year for recovering alcoholics. The temptation to drink may be more apparent because they may be around alcohol more often (holiday parties) or they’re simply bored and find themselves thinking about it more often.
When this time of year rolls around, it’s important that recovering alcoholics make extra efforts to stay alcohol-free. Here are some tips to do so.
- Keep yourself busy.
If boredom triggers the temptation to drink, you need to ditch the boredom by keeping yourself busy. Take up a new hobby or activity, like running, playing basketball, cooking, learning a musical instrument, reading new books, etc. The goal is to distract yourself with activities that will improve your mind and body.
- Take better care of yourself.
You can prevent emotional relapse if you take better care of yourself by getting enough sleep and eating better. It’s easy to relapse when you’re in the midst of a situation that’s mentally or emotionally taxing, but taking better care of yourself can prevent these types of situations.
- Take it one day at a time.
Winter is a long season. For some people, it can feel like it lasts forever. That’s why it’s important to focus on getting through each day alcohol-free, one day at a time. What can you do today, in this moment, to prevent a relapse? Whatever the answer is, focus on that. Thinking too far ahead, and thinking about the vastness of this frigid season, can make it harder to stay motivated.
Winter is a more low-key time of year, so it’s the perfect time to make relaxation a part of your recovery. Set aside a period of time every so often to do something relaxing, like a bubble bath, a massage, a good book with a cozy blanket, or even a pedicure. When you’re tense you may be more likely to turn to alcohol, so relaxing can help prevent this.
- Turn to positive influences.
Are there people in your life who have a strong, positive influence on you? Don’t hesitate to turn to them when needed. Spend quality time with them on a regular basis. These people are the ones who will encourage you and give you the motivation you need to keep going. They are your rock – don’t be afraid to lean on them for support.
Winter may be “drinking season”, but that doesn’t mean you’re bound to drink. You can stay alcohol-free this season, it just takes a little extra willpower. Follow the tips above to keep your alcoholism recovery going, or learn more about Talbott Recovery’s alcoholism treatment program today.