In recovery, it is essential to practice ways to connect with how you’re feeling and connect to the people in your life that support you. However, amid a year governed by a pandemic – now entering winter, you might be feeling exhausted or less motivated to keep up with your daily practices, including connecting with others. Understand that while you are likely to feel less motivated at different times in your recovery, it’s when you start becoming bored and isolated that you need to then reach out to your friends, family, support groups, and healthcare professionals for help.
Associating winter with being bored is not always a red flag, nor does it mean your recovery is in jeopardy. Winter comes with colder weather and shorter amounts of daylight. Naturally, it feels as though there is less to do and more time to sit idly. While most can agree that winter months can be more boring, sitting idly for extended periods can become damaging to your recovery. Understand that shifting your perceptions and perspective about winter can allow you to see how much there is to do. After all, life and recovery don’t go into hibernation, and many people thrive in winter and express that it is their favorite season.
Boredom is Subjective
Feelings of boredom are subjective. Saying that winter is boring would be to assume that it is boring for everybody, and this perspective only stands to influence negative opinions and reservations you have about winter. Most interpret boredom based on how engaged they are in activities. So, try to remember times where you were completely engaged and passionate about something. What were you doing? Are these activities associated with warmer months? Are they associated with friends and family? The point is, your reality revolves around what you are doing; therefore, not only is boredom subjective but finding activities for which you can immerse yourself in the winter might help you avoid winter boredom.
Quality of Activities
How do you improve activities at the moment when your strongest feelings stem from boredom? The first approach might be to mind your external and internal needs. These include considering a healthy balance that provides ways to stimulate your mental and physical needs while maintaining healthy practices essential to your recovery. The goal is to not only find activities you can be more passionate about but to bring balance.
Staying dynamic also helps combat boredom. Spending too much time in the same area can keep you from achieving flow. However, changes don’t need to be big to make an impact. Adding a plant, flowers, or even different pillows on your couch can shift your mood and enthusiasm about your environment, thus helping with your flow. You can also rearrange rooms or find a new area to work, exercise or meditate. These changes could help resolve the surging feelings of boredom. Working on a home project like rearranging or painting promotes creativity and activity in of itself, so if you have meant to repair or remodel that room in your house or apartment, winter might be the perfect time to do so.
Boredom Loves Company (In a Good Way)
When you talk to others during winter, you are sure to share some common ground when expressing how cold or dark it is. Staying in touch with friends, family, peers from support, and health professionals is essential not only to recovery but combating boredom. Knowing others are sharing the same feelings as you is not only reassuring but a good indicator that maybe it’s time you pull together to work together.
Instead of complaining about winter, try to ask more substantial questions to those you’re visiting with. What are you looking forward to today? Is there anything you need help with? These kinds of questions help provoke curiosity and engagement in both you and whomever you are speaking to. Showing that you are interested in others and what they have to say also maintains intimacy. While the pandemic might prevent you from seeing them in person, you can offer them feedback on projects they might be working on at home. You might also pursue other opportunities like starting a podcast with your friend about the passion you each share for a niche hobby.
Just because it is winter, it is cold, and there is a pandemic does not mean that you need to live in sweats or curl up in a ball on your couch. Much like working on home projects, challenge yourself in other areas as well. Try a new mediation practice, meet the goal of doing 300 push-ups a day, or cook that Eggplant Parmesan just how your mother cooks it. Whatever it is, try to take the opportunity to challenge yourself with new goals and hobbies. You might discover that you are quite the cook, and once the pandemic ends, you can plan a summer party and cook for all your friends and family.
Don’t limit yourself to things that fall into your comfort zone. Much of growth in life and recovery comes from challenging yourself. Just because it’s winter and it’s cold does not mean that there aren’t awesome activities you can engage in, even while safely navigating the pandemic. Activities can include camping, ice fishing, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or building a snow fort and other snow sculptures. You can even sit outside on a frigid winter day bundled up with a thermos of cocoa or coffee. Remember, winter has a personality too, so try getting to know it a little better, and you might fall in love with an activity that you can look forward to for years to come.
Boredom and isolation are never good things to experience in life, especially in recovery. If you feel your negative thoughts and behaviors are beginning to interfere with your recovery, it is time to reach out for help today. Taking the time to talk with professionals and friends from support groups can help incite ideas and set goals you can pursue this winter. While winter has a reputation for being long and lazy, this could not be further from the truth. At True Recovery, we work to discover the treatments and therapies to meet your individual needs. We believe that good treatment and therapy provide you with the tools to meet the challenges you face in recovery to sustain lasting sobriety. With 24/7 admissions and refined telehealth services, there is never a wrong time to reach out. To learn more, reach out to True Recovery today by calling us at (866) 399-6528.