How to Overcome the Winter Blues
After getting sober, the journey isn’t over. In fact, it’s just begun. Living in sobriety is about navigating triggers and life on life’s terms in a new, healthy way. While many are able to avoid certain triggers by changing who they associate with, places and things, what about those who are affected by the season? If you’re struggling with feelings of depression, loneliness and negative thoughts this time of year, you’re not alone.
Is it Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that happens during certain seasons, but it’s most common during the winter months. While there aren’t many scientific studies around Seasonal Affective Disorder, many believe it has to do with the weather and sunlight deficiency. Because of this, there are even special lamps that people buy to help with their Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Sometimes, people get confused with dealing with the difficulties of the holidays. The holidays can be a rough time of year for anyone, and even though the holiday season is now over, you may still be dealing with the residual effects. As you’ve learned in treatment as well as in 12-step programs, your past may still be playing a major role in your current state of mental health. You might be one of the many people out there who still has struggles with family around this time of year, which can lead to symptoms of depression.
It’s important to not self-diagnose when it comes to struggling with depression during this time of year. If you’re feeling depressed, talking to a professional can help you figure out if you’re dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression or something else entirely.
You’re Not Alone
No matter what the cause of your depression may be during this time of year, you must always remember that you’re not alone. In recovery, we pull from the strength and support of others. This is why it’s crucial to continue going to 12-step meetings and staying connected when you’re dealing with this difficult time. One of the major symptoms of depression is a lack of motivation, and this can make you want to stay in bed all day or isolate. This is the worst thing you can do.
One of the key elements of recovery is relying on your support group. They know exactly what you’re going through, and they’ll help you when you’re unable to help yourself. By going to meetings and other events, you’ll hear the experience, strength and hope from others who will show you that this too shall pass, and you can get through this.
It’s also extremely beneficial to stay active. This is one of the main reasons why Enlightened Solutions and Enlightened Café regularly host events. Join 12-step meetings, yoga classes, and much more. Not comfortable with getting involved? It may be helpful to just come down and enjoy some live music at the cafe.
Winter will be over soon, and as long as you put the work in, you’ll come out on the other side of your seasonal affective disorder, stronger and more resilient. By Spring, you’ll see that things get better, and by this time next year, you’ll have solid evidence that you can get through this season as well as all of the seasons to come.
And always remember, if you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call at 833-233-7336.