As the seasons change from winter to spring here in west Michigan, I find myself having the same conversation with the fellow recovering people and individuals I work with. It always ends with me saying, “There is a reason you feel so good.” Seasonal changes can affect us in many ways: emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Spring is a time for renewal, transformation, growth and the signs of new life all around us. Spring is when nature sheds the old and welcomes the new. Similarly, seeking help for addiction, is a new beginning, where we encourage our bodies to rejuvenate and transform. Finding recovery has a way of improving our health and vitality, cleaning our bodies of impurities and making us feel brand new.
SPRINGTIME AND RECOVERY
There are so many beautiful parallels between springtime and recovery. Sobriety in the spring tends to increase our awareness and appreciation for the things we used to take for granted. Having a fresh outlook on the world gives a new and improved perspective on life in recovery. While those feelings are fresh, it is a good idea to implement some practices that will through spring, summer and beyond – living a happy, healthy and transformative life in recovery.
SPRING CLEANING IDEAS FOR ALL YOUR SPACES:
• Physical Space – Keep in mind that clutter zaps emotional energy. Maintaining a space that is clean and tidy helps to promote mental and emotional clarity. Carve out a space designated for downtime, where you can go to unwind, pray, meditate, read inspiring books, journal or just have some quiet time.
• Mental Space – You can de-clutter your mind too. Make a list of all the things you want to omit from your new life and begin to downsize. Being chronically over-committed or having unhealthy relationships, for example, are distractions to your recovery. This mental clutter could potentially jeopardize your sobriety.
• Outdoors Space – As winter weather comes to an end and spring brings warmth and newfound beauty to your surroundings, it’s time to take a walk or spend time outdoors. Get a dose of Vitamin D. Play the five senses game: allow yourself to take in all five of your senses mindfully. Smell, touch, taste, see and listen – to all that surrounds you. This exercise can change the way you perceive the world.
• Grateful Space – Remember to be grateful every day (for some, it is the fact the ice has melted…). Make a “Gratitude List” and focus on it regularly. It doesn’t matter if you practice having an “attitude for gratitude” in the morning or at night. As Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” The dictionary defines “spring” as: the season after winter and before summer; a move or jump suddenly or rapidly upward or forward; originate or arise from; or a resilient device. As a newly sober person goes forward into our newfound recovery, all four definitions fit like a glove.
Recovery Allies of West Michigan – Director of Resource Relationships