Now that it’s a few weeks into the new year, how are you feeling? Feelings of fatigue during January are a common new year experience. The post-holiday period always leaves people a bit less energized than usual. After gathering with friends and family to relax and celebrate the passing of another year, New Year’s fatigue is something that many people share.
This year the usual feelings of New Year’s fatigue are weighed down by the added stress of a seemingly endless 2020. Everyone experienced at least a knockdown or two. Most are still trying to process last March or April, much less an entirely new year. The exhausting events and pressure from COVID-19 wore everyone down over time.
If you’re in recovery, you have even more reason to experience New Year’s fatigue. Staying sober through 2020 was an incredible challenge for everyone in recovery. It doesn’t matter how long you have been sober, either. Everyone felt the added pressure, including those with decades away from drinking.
You spent the year dodging temptations to drink left and right. Rates of alcohol use skyrocketed, even among people who don’t usually drink much. There’s never been a better time to recommit to your sobriety and assess your needs for the upcoming year. How can you stick to your recovery needs despite the New Year’s fatigue?
Spend Some Time in Reflection
Are you shocked that it’s already January again? You’re far from alone if you’re sitting here wondering where the last year went. Plenty of people spent the past year in survival mode. It took a lot to keep moving forward despite the constant onslaught of setbacks. Loss of jobs, increased time alone, separation from friends and family; It is no wonder most people shifted into survival mode.
Carve out some time for reflection over the next few days. You won’t know which direction to head in if you don’t look back at where you came from. Acknowledge the many things you managed to make it through last year. Consider where you may have misstepped and what you could have done better. Use your reflection time to decide what you learned and what you need to move forward into the new year.
Create an Action Plan
Taking action is crucial for maintaining your recovery. Sitting idle leaves too much time for the temptation to take hold. After reflecting, you’ll come up with at least a few things you need to do. You’ll uncover areas where you did well and areas that could use some improvement.
Now that it’s been almost 10 months under these new circumstances, you have a better idea of what things may look like. Write out an action plan and determine how you see yourself moving forward this year. Your action plan doesn’t need to be set in stone, though. Adaptability is important but having a framework gives you some direction.
Write Out a To-Do List
Nothing clears your mind out and arranges your action plan better than a to-do list. You can write out short-term lists for the next few days and weeks as well as long-term lists for the upcoming months. It’s easy for things to slip your mind after the holiday fatigue lessens and you shift back into the daily grind. To-do lists keep your plans and goals front and center.
Write out a to-do list and keep it somewhere accessible. Store it on your desk, tuck it into your planner, copy it into the notes app on your phone, or stick it to your fridge. Ticking things off your to-do list as you finish them gives you a sense of accomplishment as well as a visual look at your progress.
Organize Your Living Space
Before you do anything else, organize your living space. This might seem like a silly suggestion but there’s a reason you make your bed every day in addiction treatment. Decluttering your living space helps declutter your mind.
Clean your room, vacuum the house, toss out any old papers or receipts you’ve held onto. Do your laundry, wash the dishes, and dust those neglected corners of your home. Organizing your living space sets you off with a clean slate, especially as you head into the new year.
Evaluate Your Schedule
What does your current schedule look like? Where are you spending most of your time? When are you doing things to help other people? Is your recovery a big priority? Just because you’re spending more time at home doesn’t mean you’re spending it wisely. In fact, you might be wasting more time than you realize.
Evaluate your schedule and look at whether you’re using your time the way you truly want to. Do your actions line up with what you consider to be your priorities? Are you giving enough attention to doing the ongoing work that recovery requires? If you notice your schedule could use an overhaul, the new year is the best time to reconsider where you expend your energy.
Consider Attending Meetings
Do you have a regular meeting schedule? Whether it’s a 12-step program or another recovery support group, meetings are an integral part of a strong recovery plan. If you don’t attend meetings, consider adding at least one or two to your schedule each week.
You may have plenty of supportive people in your life but no one understands addiction the way that others in recovery do. Recovery meetings keep you connected with others who know the difficulty of staying sober during a time like this. Even if the meetings are virtual, it’s better to stay in contact with other people walking the same path as you than to remain isolated during challenging times.
Set One Small Goal for Each Month
This is the time of year where people get caught up in setting lofty goals and creating massive resolutions. Too often they bite off more than they can chew, though, and set unrealistic expectations for themselves. Setting yourself up for failure is a recipe for disaster, especially for people in recovery.
Take a different approach to resolutions this year to relieve some of the stress. Set one small goal for yourself every month. They can be things as little as going for a walk once a week or something bigger like reading a book or two. Set goals that focus on your recovery, too. Maybe it’s creating a consistent meeting schedule or reaching out to someone new.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Extra Help
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Everyone is feeling at least a little bit of that New Year’s fatigue right now. The past year was exhausting for every person in the world; you’re not weak for feeling a bit worn out.
If you feel like your recovery is suffering as you head into the new year, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Or maybe you slipped during the holidays and are having a hard time getting clean and sober again. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if your recovery has taken a back seat.
Sticking to your recovery needs might mean starting sobriety over again. If that’s the case, addiction treatment facilities like Clearview Treatment Programs are here to help. There is a treatment program that fits your needs no matter what they might be. If you’re struggling to get sober as you head into the new year, reach out to learn more today!