Winter is a season where you might feel cooped up inside. Amid a year where there have already been so many social rules and restrictions due to COVID-19, you might be thinking that winter makes getting outside more challenging. Sharing such sentiments could leave you feeling anxious, stressed, and depressed. Experiencing these feelings negatively influences your recovery, and enduring winter will take some effort. Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor winter adventures to be had that safely comply with the rules and regulations of the pandemic. So, with a little prep and planning, you can seize these outdoor winter opportunities to have a happy and healthy winter.
Go For a Hike
A common belief is that winter is only a time where things curl up and die or hideaway; however, winter has its personality. Hiking is often considered a summer activity, but there is much beauty offered during the winter months. The plants, animals, and sky are each different and unique during winter, and taking the time to appreciate them can be beneficial to your physical and mental wellbeing. Additionally, winter trails usually see fewer people. Though you might worry about planning for a winter hike compared to summer, it does not take that much more to prepare. Keep in mind that days are shorter, so the earlier you start your trek, the better. You’ll want proper footwear and more layers, preferably waterproof and sweat-wicking materials.
Camping is another activity often thought of as a summer season pursuit. However, camping is as much of a warm-weather activity as it is a cold-weather activity. Winter camping comes with more challenges, such as staying warm and dry overnight, but the experience is one of the most rewarding you will ever have. You can set your campsite in more remote areas where you can explore and be alone, or if you are more of a novice, you can reserve campground sites in monitored parks. You can even ditch the tent and rent a cabin if you want to get out in nature. Much like winter hiking, in recovery, taking time to get out in nature and overcome the elements is a terrific way to reflect and sit with your thoughts and build self-confidence.
If camping and hiking aren’t your things and you’re the type that enjoys speed and thrills, then skiing may be right up your alley. Skiing is a fantastic way to spend your time outdoors in the winter. It is a form of exercise that engages the core and lower body muscles, improve flexibility, and boosts mood. If you have never tried skiing or want something a little more budget-friendly, you can take to tubing or sledding, which can be just as fun and rewarding as skiing. If you are worried or not confident in your local ski resort’s rules about the pandemic, you can try cross country skiing. Cross country skiing will allow you to be more on your own, and while it is a different form of skiing, it still offers a great workout and plenty of thrills.
Activities Around the House
You may be more of a homebody, and that’s okay; there are plenty of activities you can engage in during the winter months from the comfort of your home. These activities can incorporate exercise, creativity, and boosting mood, all of which help your recovery. You can begin by looking for a project or hobby. Maybe you like to bird watch in the winter. Have you considered building a bird feeder to attract all the wonderful winter birds? Taking time to make a structure where birds can come to eat helps stimulate your creativity and offers a sense of reward and accomplishment. You can also create your backyard winter oasis, including stringing up some mood lighting and building a fire pit. After taking the time to develop this area, you can then sit back and enjoy a thermos of coffee or cocoa while sitting by the fire.
Painting and Sculpting
Snow is pliable; therefore, if you live in a place where it snows, you have an opportunity for creativity beneath your feet. Building snow and ice sculptures are a great way to get outside while exercising your creative muscles. Like clay and other sculpting mediums, it is up to you what you want to create. Maybe you want to build a traditional snowman, or take it to the next level and try to build your favorite cartoon character. There is even paint that you can apply to snow to help bring a little more life into what you sculpt. And, if you don’t like how your project turns out, you can knock it down or jump through it and have just as much fun doing this.
You can also take up painting. Sitting by a window or outside on your porch with canvas and paints can be both a creative and meditative experience. Drawing inspiration from the winter sights and sounds around, you can help anchor yourself in the present and take in your surroundings. Painting can also lead you into profound contemplative states of self-reflection, helping you work on and release stresses presented by winter and the pandemic.
Winter can be a more challenging season to endure and has been made tougher amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the challenges that winter presents are not an excuse to neglect your needs. Remember that your recovery comes first, and you should always be taking steps toward growing and evolving. You will discover that winter has a lot to offer once you stop looking at only the season’s negative aspects. Additionally, a great winter will make for that much stronger of a spring. Never let the opinions or stigmas that surround something define your recovery because your recovery story is yours to tell. Sometimes in that story, there will be times when you need help. At True Recovery, we meet you wherever you’re at in your recovery because we understand that you will face challenges on the road to recovery. With 24/7 admissions, there is never a wrong time to reach out. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.