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Winter Coping Skills

By Michael Leotis

As the seasons change once again,  it appears that we do too. The winter time is full of food,  holidays,  and shopping. However,the winter can also being gloomy dark days and inclement weather.  For some of us,  the holidays can act as a negative trigger as well. I know they were a struggle to get though in my personal recovery. As time went by and I was able to get a grasp on my wellness.  I learned several positive coping skills that helped change what winter meant to me. 

To start,  turn on some lights in your home and open the blinds.  Light and brightness can really change our mood and help those who are affected by the gloomy conditions.  Another great thing to do is to put on some upbeat music or really anything that tickles your fancy musically at the moment.  Remember to keep it positive and stay away from music that can make you too emotional or sad. 

Another great skill is to find a hobby that you can do regardless of the weather.  Perhaps playing cards,  drawing,  or crocheting.  The great thing is that it’s up to you! Make your positive coping skill specific to your needs and personality.  For example,  I love board games, so I would organize weekly games with friends or family.  I would also find games that I could play by Myself as well when friends or family weren’t available.  Games such as Solitaire, Yahtzee, or crossword puzzles helped pass the time.  Another tip is to balance the time you spend in front of the television. TV, movies, and video games are great fun but too much time on the couch can be detrimental to our wellness. 

It is also important to start a daily routine.  When you wake up in the morning, get a shower, make your bed, and have breakfast. Pray or mediate if that works for You.  Remember this is about you.  Make your routine simple and fun. Also,  don’t forget to get out of the house every now and again.  Whether it’s going to the store for milk or getting together with a friend.  

The one thing I hope we can get from these tips is to be ACTIVE! A body in motion stays in motion. Keep that in mind.  Maybe what works for me, won’t work for you.  Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and try new things.  There are always a million reasons not to do something,  but if we take action then we can achieve recovery.  Have a happy and healthy New Year and go and get the wellness you deserve!