Winter Weather Triggers, are real. The snowy cold days can trigger the romantic notion of snuggling in by a warm fire drinking the evening away, it can trigger the boredom response of being housebound or even the stress trigger of having to cope with kids home from school due to snow for days on end.
Weather triggers happen and here’s some coping tools for your sobriety toolbox.
Dreaming of the perfect winter afternoon evening drinking! Here’s my #1 strategy. Take a piece of paper draw a horizontal line down the page. First Column title the fantasy, second column reality. Take yourself through the evening, what it looks like in the fantasy and the reality do this all the way through to the next morning. Look at the fantasy vs reality.
Stuck inside winter boredom! Ok it’s time to get your ass into gear remember that list you made during good weather of all the things you wanted to get done around your house but it was too nice out. Get to that list! Start a project or take a class, make a vision board, craft, learn to play an instrument, read, catch up on movies, paint a room, sleep, do an at home workout, listen to podcasts, make some meals that you can freeze for easy dinners, plan out your meals for the week, volunteer, go ice skating, check out a different recovery approach ( Smart meeting, refuge recovery, y12sr), start a second income stream, catch up with some old friends that maybe you haven’t seen in a while do to isolation or your drinking, volunteer (food bank always needs help, as does meals on wheels at this time of year, local animal shelters)
Stressed out frazzled, everyone’s at home for too long. This is a big one, and I can’t stress enough the importance of asking for help. Whether it be from your partner, parents, a neighbour so you can have an hour to breathe (even if it’s just to go grocery shopping ON YOUR OWN) . If this isn’t possible, set up a play date with other kids, this can be a good break having other kids in the house. Don’t sweat the small stuff, so what the house may be messier, winter won’t last forever. Breathe
Remember weather triggers are real and to acknowledge these feelings so they aren’t just pushed aside, yes it can be uncomfortable and your skin maybe crawling, but know that drinking never makes it better.