Managing Stress

For many, managing stress levels is a daily activity. Juggling family schedules, jobs, pets, school events, finances and household obligations can take a toll. Now, add another component to the mix – recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction.

Stress is a common “trigger” for addictions. If you are stressed, you may over eat or smoke more cigarettes, while some turn to alcohol or drugs to alleviate their worries. For someone in recovery, this can be especially dangerous.

Here are four tips to managing stress while in recovery.

1 – Keep yourself on a schedule. Time management is a huge stressor. Finding times to do the things you need to do and balance them with the things you want to do can be challenging. Each week, create a calendar including the things you need to do, but be sure to factor in meetings and things you want to do. Allow time for yourself that can be used simply to relax, journal, meditate, attend a yoga or exercise class, or take a walk on the beach. Eventually, you will work yourself into a comfortable routine and won’t find your schedule to be as stressful.

2 – Engage in relaxing activities. As mentioned in suggestion number one, journal, meditate, take a yoga or exercise class. Find a sober activity that you find relaxing and do it.

3 – Get plenty of rest. This may sound old school, but one of the most important things you can do is get a full 6-8 hours of sleep. Being well rested helps you focus on your projects and will be a big stress eliminator. Ironically, while stress prevents many from sleeping, one of the best preventative measures for stress is sleep.

4 – Know your stressors and have a plan. This may sound odd, but if you know you have something coming up that is stressful for you, make a plan to deal with this event. For example, you have to give a presentation at work and the idea of this is very stressful for you. Make a plan that will help, such as, have your presentation ready in advance. Present it to friends and co-workers to practice, allowing you time to work out any bugs that could arise during the real presentation.

Related blog: Keeping a journal in recovery is helpful

Pathways provides 28-day and extended care treatment programs for adults with substance use disorders. In addition to engaging clients in the 12-Step process, the program also focuses on setting boundaries, developing coping skills and handling trauma. If you, or someone you know is in need of substance abuse treatment, contact Pathways for more information at 855-349-5988.