There’s no feeling like soaking in Spring’s beauty
Waking up to feel the temperature warming and seeing that golden glow stretched across the sky invites us to soak in all the beauty and renewed life around us. On your morning walk around the neighborhood, you notice the pretty, vibrant flowers blooming, the cushiony green grass below your feet, and birds chirping, filling the air.
As you feel the warm breeze on your cheeks and breathe in the fragrant nature surrounding you, Spring gives us a feeling of rejuvenation. It reminds us of hope, healing, and new life. And it reminds us that we can start anew. To quote Jessica Harrelson, “Spring adds new life and new beauty to all that is.”
How Seasonal Affective Disorder Impacts our Mental Health
To understand how Spring motivates us to find renewed joy and life in recovery, we must first understand how winter can impact our mental health. During winter, it’s easy to feel drained and sluggish, causing a lack of interest in things that typically bring us joy. It can be especially tough after the new year’s excitement wears off. Interestingly, much of this can be traced back to the weather. In some cases, extended periods of cold, dreary weather can lead to feelings of hopelessness, depression, and even suicidal tendencies. But there’s more to be said about these “winter blues.”
According to Psychiatry.org, nearly “5 percent of adults in the U.S. experience Seasonal Affective Disorder.” Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a “form of seasonal or winter depression. The Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) identifies this disorder as a type of depression – Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern.” What’s more, is that this “seasonal depression” typically lasts about 40% of the year” and “is more common among women than men.”
Seasonal Affective Disorder and Substance Use
And with these long, dark days, it’s quite common for individuals to try and self-medicate to get them through. Unfortunately, many of these self-mediations often lead to misusing drugs and alcohol. According to AmericanAddicionCenters.org, “Research has shown that some individuals with alcoholism misuse alcohol seasonally, so they may be self-medicating SAD.” It also goes on to say that “approximately 50% of all people who struggle with a mental health disorder will also experience a substance use disorder at some point.”
With this knowledge, it’s easy to see the correlation between our mood and the changes in the weather. And while Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) usually affects individuals most during January and February, it’s actually a lot less common during the warmer months. And with Spring right around the corner, we can hold onto the hope of renewed joy.
How Spring Motivates Us to Find Renewed Joy and Life in Recovery
With the coming of Spring brings along longer days filled with sunshine. The reason spring is so life-giving is that it’s a genuine restoration of our mind, body, and soul. Spring motivates us to find renewed joy and life in recovery in many ways.
- You’re probably familiar with the term “Spring cleaning,” the perfect time to eliminate physical things that no longer serve you. Those old dish towels? Time to toss them out for new ones. Is that new, untouched painting kit still in its box? Time to gift it to someone who can put it to good use. When it comes to our minds, spring cleaning can be a powerful tool to release old thought patterns and behaviors to embrace a new way of living. While clearing out clutter does wonders for creating new space and energy in our homes, it’s the same with our mindset. Thanking our old patterns and beliefs for how they served us in the past, we can release them to create space for healing and growth. A new perspective focused on life, personal development, and renewed joy motivates us to continue our recovery journey.
- When it comes to our bodies, healing comes straight from the sunshine. As the clock springs forward, we are graced with an extra dose of Vitamin D, scientifically proven to strengthen our immune system, increase our energy, and boost our mood. There’s a reason why so many of us look forward to Spring’s arrival with its renewed energy and sense of hope. With more sunshine comes more outdoor activities. From hiking and biking to gardening and picnics, we’re once again reconnected with nature and finding joy in life’s simple pleasures. Physically, springtime reduces our stress and anxiety levels which can be triggering for substance abuse if not in check.
- And when it comes to our souls, springtime brings a sense of community. Due to the warmer weather and longer days outside, more opportunities exist to connect with others from our community. While addiction thrives in isolation, recovery thrives in the community. The revival of outdoor events, such as festivals, parades, and barbecues with friends and family, brings belonging and support from loved ones. Through connection and support, we can stay committed to our recovery journey. It’s not to say that there aren’t opportunities for belonging during the winter months and that it’s impossible to stay sober, but there’s something to be said about how Spring rejuvenates our spirits. Like the promise of flowers blooming once more, so too is the opportunity for us to bloom.
Feeling Inspired to Start Your New Life in Recovery?
We know that embarking on a new life in recovery can sometimes feel daunting. It can be challenging to ask for help. But one thing is for sure: you don’t have to do it alone. If you’ve felt inspired and want to enter a new season of rejuvenation, let this be the perfect time to start your new life in healing and recovery!
To learn more about our 14 locations from Houston to Austin’s Hill Country and our full continuum of care ranging from Detox through Aftercare, we invite you to visit us at positiverecovery.com. Ready to spring into action? Call us at (713) 904-4699 to speak with a team member today!