We are smack dab in the middle of winter, and depending on where you live, the weather is probably cold, snowy, and dreary. That can make things exceptionally difficult for people in recovery, who are often looking for things to do when sober . Part of addiction treatment is embracing new activities and hobbies that can distract you from substance abuse and the associated triggers, but inclement weather is often a barrier. There is no concrete data out there that says people relapse more often during winter, but something like Seasonal Depression Disorder (SAD), which occurs as the weather gets colder and less sunny, will make your recovery harder to manage, which can lead to relapse . So, it’s important to have certain activities in mind when bad weather starts to take effect.
Sober Things to do In the Winter
If you are struggling to come up with an idea for a sober winter activity, here are a few healthy things to try.
Practice some new cooking techniques
If your culinary expertise starts and ends with boiling noodles, then it is officially time to develop some new skills. There are lots of online tutorials and cookbooks out there that will not only teach you new recipes but also show you some new methods to kick your cooking game up a notch. If you have ever wanted to create your own sourdough starter or finally figure out what “confit” means, now is the time. Once you have perfected the craft, invite your sober pals over for a dinner party.
Binge a new Netflix show (or two)
There is no lack of digital streaming content out there. Chances are you’re behind on something. If your new sober friends keep telling you that “You have to watch this show” and “You have to watch that show,” why not embrace the cold weather as your opportunity to finally get up to speed. Just curl up on the couch and let Netflix do the rest. We recommend Stranger Things, Mindhunter, Schitt’s Creek, The Good Place, and The Last Dance, a documentary series about Michael Jordan and those legendary Chicago Bulls teams.
Do a jigsaw puzzle
True, they may be time-consuming, but that’s kind of the point. Finishing a large jigsaw puzzle will bring you a unique feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. It might seem like an activity for boring people but focusing on a puzzle – especially one with a lot of pieces – can be a peaceful, calming, and meditative experience. Added bonus: If you select a puzzle with an image of something you enjoy, you can use craft glue to turn the puzzle into a frameable picture – something you can hang in the garage or den.
Try ice skating
A lot of folks have never tried ice skating – maybe they live in a warmer climate, or they were nervous they might fall – so if you find yourself in that category, now’s the time to give it a try. Find a local rink and see if your sober friends want to come along, too. It could be a fun experience for the whole group. You could also schedule some personal lessons if you don’t want to dive into the deep end right away.
Skiing and snowboarding
Like ice skating, not everyone has access to skiing and snowboarding, but if you do, or if you’re up for making the trek to your closest snowy mountain, then it’s a great activity for beginners and experts alike. Being outdoors in the fresh air and getting some physical activity will help you focus on recovery. Look into resort options, as well. Staying on the mountain for a few days gives you a change of scenery and the opportunity to unwind and relax. Check and see if they offer yoga classes or meditation sessions – that way you can stay on top of your mind-body therapy treatments.
Are you having a hard time choosing which winter activity to try? We understand. If you need extra addiction support this time of year, call Miramar Recovery at (949) 691-5036 to schedule a free consultation. Contact us today!