As humans, we’ve all had one of those days. Waking up to a dreary, rainy day can set us off on the “wrong foot.” Many people let the weather “get them down” and use it as an excuse for a bad day. You may decide today's going to be rotten when you see poor weather predicted on the news.
Anticipating a lot of rain, or trudging through snow, can often put us in a bad mood. Some people even say that when they were using alcohol or drugs, they felt triggered to use more often during cold or dreary seasonal weather. Is using because of the weather just another lie that an addicted person tells themselves, or is there more to it?
Does the Weather Make People Use More?
Scientifically, there are no studies that show that weather is a problem that causes people to use more drugs or drink more often. So why do so many people in recovery admit they used more often during the coldest days or rainiest weeks of the year? One thing that we do know is that science reveals that weather can have a huge effect on our moods as humans. This means that even when we approach the day with a positive attitude, poor weather can still send us into a slump.
Most people who are addicted to a substance use it on both cloudy days and sunny days. Addiction is a disease that makes people use a drug despite negative consequences. It will tell you to get high because it's gloomy outside, and to get high because you want to enjoy the sunny weather.
If you struggle with depressive feelings or mental health issues, they can be exacerbated by poor weather. Seasonal weather has such a profound effect on some people that there’s even a mental health disorder describing it. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is one reason people get depressed during the cold winter seasons, when there is less daylight.
Many treatments are out there to help combat SAD. One simple but effective treatment is a light lamp that you can use at the beginning and end of the day, mimicking the sunlight that you’re missing out on during the winter months. Discuss treatment for SAD with a therapist if you believe that you suffer from this syndrome, or you find that your mental health disorders are worse off when there is less sunlight in your daily life.
Does Poor Weather Trigger You?
Addiction is a tricky disease. In recovery, you’ll probably soon realize that you were triggered to use for a variety of reasons, and sometimes no reason at all. After all, most people with a substance use disorder will think up almost any excuse to get high or drunk when they’re in active addiction.
If you associate winter with using alcohol and drugs, it may also be that you’re triggered to use during the holiday season. Many people struggle with emotions and relationships during the holidays, and it makes sense that they increase their drugs use to circumvent these feelings.
Poor weather may make you feel like getting high or drunk, but in recovery, you’ll learn tools to cope with triggering feelings.
Getting Help for Addiction
Many people from all walks of life have reclaimed their lives in recovery. At Present Moments, we’re lucky that our beach climate makes for lots of calm and soothing weather. We want to help you leave your addiction behind, and learn a new way to live. Learn more about how you can start your recovery journey. We can answer any questions you may have, including insurance issues. Please give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.
Many people in recovery, especially from highly addictive drugs, find themselves feeling depressed from time to time. Getting clean doesn’t make life perfect, and as you adjust to life without the use of substances, you may discover new emotions pop up.
One reason that you might feel down when you’re first getting clean and sober, your body is still adjusting. Addiction changes the brain and creates chemical imbalances. These types of damage will heal over time. In the meantime, you’re left to cope with mood swings and sometimes headaches or other symptoms. Long-term recovery means healing your body, mind and spirit. For most, this means learning about self-care, learning to live by spiritual principles, and doing your best to be the person you want to be.
Coping with Depression
If you’re feeling blue, remember that this too shall pass. Here are a few great ways to kick those blue feelings to the curb:
- Take a walk every day. Regular exercise helps get your blood pumping and fills your brain with feel-good endorphins, the chemicals that help regulate your mood. Many people find that regular exercise helps curb stress as well as depressive symptoms. Science also shows that people who exercise regularly are more likely to have normal blood pressure and are less likely to acquire diabetes.
- Do something you truly enjoy. Often people just don’t take time for themselves when they first enter recovery. It’s okay, however, to take some time to do things you enjoy. Play with your dog, read a good book, or binge watch Netflix for a few hours every week.
- Practice self-care. Take the time to be good to yourself. Enjoy a long bath, do some yoga, or spend time in mindfulness meditations at least once a day. Self-care tasks are a great way to reward yourself and help yourself keep going on tough days.
- Share your feelings with others. If you’ve been feeling blue or depressed, let people in your recovery group and support system know what’s going on. They will probably have some experience to share with you.
Feeling down or blue is normal, but if you find yourself feeling depressed for weeks, or you feel like hurting yourself or others, it’s time to get help. Deppression is a real disease and many people discover they were self-medicating when they were drinking or using drugs. A qualified mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can help diagnose clinical depression and help you make a plan for treating it.
Get Help for Addiction
Substance abuse disorder is a disease that needs treatment from qualified healthcare professionals. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, get help. There’s no better time to reclaim your life. Call us at 1-619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help you transform your life.