Stress is something that, as adults, we all have to live with every day, especially those in alcohol or drug addiction recovery. According to the American Psychological Association, thousands of Americans report having a high level of stress, but only 6% actually seek help for stress management by seeing a therapist or counselor. Since stress has been so common for so many years there have been endless studies on it and how you can learn to manage and prevent it from causing damage to your mental and physical well-being, as well as your recovery. Most importantly for relapse prevention, you need to have a plan of action on how to deal with daily stress before it builds up and becomes unmanageable.
When You See Stress Coming
Whether you are new to drug addiction recovery or you are currently participating in a residential drug rehab program, sometimes stress seems to come from out of nowhere. For the times when you can see it from a mile away, try doing a little thing called mindfulness. You’re like, wait, is that even a word? It is and it basically just means paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and cravings without judgement. Instead of blocking them out or pushing them away, acknowledge them. When you notice them and welcome them it gives you time assess and make the appropriate next move.
When You’re Already Stressed
Though almost everyone lives with stress, the symptoms can be life threatening for those in alcohol and drug treatment in that it could lead to a potential relapse. Things like headaches, loss of sleep, upset stomach, or chest pains are commonplace, and they can make your day infinitely harder to get through. When you feel like stress has taken over your life, take a deep breath and step back. Seriously, just take a breath. Take a bath, do some yoga, meditate, or take a walk. Do something that will temporarily remove you from your stress bubble for at least ten minutes and when you return try some more of that mindfulness stuff we talked about above. You can totally get through this!
How to Avoid Getting Over Stressed
Now that we’ve talked about how to manage stress, you might be surprised, but there are also many ways to prevent an escalated stress situation. In addition to eating well and exercising, planning ahead is going to be your secret sauce. Time management is essential, especially for those in the first 90 days of recovery. Life is full of things that need to be done and when you plan ahead, you don’t have to make decisions when you are feeling vulnerable. You will already have your answer.
If you or someone you love needs help with their addiction or recovery, the compassionate recovery addiction specialists at The Discovery House are here to help you find sobriety at our recovery center. Call us today 1 (855) 203-7930 to take the next step toward a meaningful sober life.