Across the country, the first signs of spring are just barely beginning to emerge. Early flowers have begun to blossom, temperatures are getting warmer, and it feels like the coldest months of the year may almost be behind us.
Whether or not you’re in recovery, winter can be a challenging time. Unlike the other seasons, the wet weather and lower temperatures make getting out and about difficult, and spending some quiet time in your nice cozy house can seem much more appealing than braving the elements to gather with loved ones.
But especially with the continued threat of Covid-19 and the social precautions that have come along with it, this winter may have felt more isolating than most. There’s even a name for the depression that comes along with winter weather - SAD, or seasonal affective disorder - which may be causing some to feel even gloomier than usual as we struggle through the last few weeks before spring.
Despite the challenges we have all faced over the past two years, as warmer weather approaches it feels like there is much to be grateful for. With the change of seasons comes the opportunity to recommit to our goals and make this year the best one yet, and the promise of springtime color just around the corner makes this the perfect time to get organized and on track to create or continue healthy habits and prioritize wellness.
We may all still be stuck inside waiting for the cold to recede, but by making the most of the last few weeks of winter, we can emerge into spring and summer healthier and happier than before. Here are a few tips and strategies for doing just that.
In the spring and summer, beautiful weather makes the tasks of list making and goal setting less appealing, and therefore less likely to happen. But while staying inside remains appealing, use this time to evaluate what you want to accomplish over the next few months and outline concrete steps for achieving those goals. Think of it like New Years resolutions, but more realistic and detailed.
For many people in recovery, physical activity can make a huge difference in their mood and outlook, so maybe consider adding a fitness routine to that list. That goal shouldn’t necessarily be to run a marathon in record time - unless that’s feasible for you! - and should instead be built on carving out blocks of time for walks or other activities that help you get moving and will lead to healthier you in the future.
Isolation can make any day feel darker, and for those in recovery, having little or no contact with family or friends can make consistent, positive change difficult to achieve. Whether you live 5 miles or 500 miles away for those nearest and dearest to you, staying in touch and maintaining those relationships doesn’t have to mean leaving your cozy nest. Between Facetime, Zoom, Google Meet and all the platforms in between that have exploded out of necessity during the pandemic, loved ones are always just a click away.
Sporadic contact is less encouraging, however, so this is a great time to build new relationship habits around how you communicate. If trivia night was your friend group’s go-to activity before Covid-19, schedule a weekly or biweekly game and trade off on hosting responsibility. Maybe Sunday night dinner with your extended family was a cherished tradition before health concerns made it a thing of the past. Thanks to technology, even grandparents can join in on a virtual family meal and that tradition can live on in a new form. Whatever you choose, the key, as with any habit, is to be consistent, so plan it out on your calendar, send invites and integrate these vital social connections into your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule.
Even when the activity is something we enjoy, consistency is hard. One of the best ways to maintain healthy habits and keep yourself motivated to be consistent is through regular rewards, and that’s where Oberit comes in. Whether you’re routinely finding time to take that daily walk, have made a phone call with your family a weekly event or are taking any other steps towards greater mindfulness in recovery, Oberit rewards you for doing the things that make you feel better.
With an in-app marketplace that offers discounts on sober-friendly products such as Pricklee Superfruit Water, Raising the Bar alcohol-free cocktail kits, and Noughty alcohol-free sparkling wine, staying consistent and starting new habits with Oberit is enjoyable and motivating. Feeling better is its own reward, but while the temperature is still too cold for comfort, that extra boost can make all the difference and help you stay on track and be your best self through recovery and beyond.
The final days of winter are almost behind us, and as we look towards a warmer and healthier future, these last few weeks are the perfect time to prepare and begin making wellness a priority. Recovery is a long road, but by setting yourself up for success while the world is still frosty, the coming days of spring and summer will be that much brighter and more beneficial in your journey towards a healthier and happier you.
Earn rewards for being your best self.