With the change of seasons come the change of weather patterns, and this can indeed have an impact on our bodies and even our thoughts. For those who are dealing with past addiction, an extreme seasonal change can cause these individuals to be more susceptible to stress, frequent mood changes, and even drug cravings. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that occurs with the change in seasons, especially in fall and winter.  Professionals from our drug rehab in Chicago explain how the weather affects sobriety, as well as ways to deal with this added stress. Newly sober individuals may have a hard time navigating these winter months, and we are here to help!
Cold months during the year bring about change that affects everyone. Dealing with snow storms and freezing temperatures can heavily alter someone’s mood and bring about added stress. During the wintertime, the days are shorter, provide less sunlight, and people are less likely to leave their homes. This can lead to irritability, depression, and panic attacks, which can all cause a newly sober individual to experience drug cravings. Being stuck at home during a snow storm can create a sense of boredom that can ultimately drive people crazy. Both boredom and stress are main drug triggers that recovering addicts need to be aware of and ultimately avoid.
Individuals may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate from the cold. It’s important to stay on track with your recovery efforts, even when the seasons change. Because the winter months can be jam-packed with holiday celebrations, people may forget to focus on their recovery during this time. Make sure that you are keeping up with sobriety meetings so that you can recognize the skills needed to snap out of the depression or boredom you may feel in extreme weather conditions. It’s also important to surround yourself with supportive individuals who can help you stay on track.