In recovery, you quickly learn that stress is still a part of your everyday life. Whether you’re in groups all day, working part or full-time, or returning to school, there can be little things that set you off or frustrate you. Recovery doesn’t make anyone immune to stress. In fact, you might discover you’re more sensitive to it at first. It’s normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed when you’re re-entering the world. What is important is that you learn that there are things you can do to lessen the effect of stress.
Here are five great ways to tackle daily stress:
- Take a break. In fact, it’s healthiest if you take 5 or 10-minute breaks throughout the day if you can. If you can take breaks at your workplace, take a short walk around the building when you can. College classes with intermissions are a chance to sit on a bench and practice deep breathing. If you’re at home and you’re stressed while paying the bills, take a breather. Water the plants outdoors or spend a few minutes sitting and soaking up the sun. Everyone needs a break now and then. Give yourself that precious time to recuperate.
- You don’t have to be a gym rat to benefit from exercise in many ways. Use exercise as a de-stressing tool. It’s been proven to keep blood pressure low and help prevent obesity and heart disease. People who exercise often get better sleep. It’s also an excellent way to release “feel good” chemicals in the brain called endorphins. These chemicals can prevent anxiety and help you better regulate your moods. Listen to uplifting music while you’re moving.
- Do some household chores. Believe it or not, getting things done and making our homes more liveable is a way to de-stress that is often overlooked. For one thing, clutter and dirt in an environment can easily cause stress and depression; looking at things that need to get done is never fun! Instead of staring at a mess, choose to get it done. You’ll be happy you took the initiative, and you’ll also have worked up a sweat.
- Take a long, hot shower. A long, hot shower at the end of a day is a great way to relax. Imagine all of the weight of the stress is with you in that shower, and as you clean yourself, the stress goes down the drain with the dirt. Breathe deeply and take your time.
- Hang out with your support network. Sometimes the best way to get away from our stress is to share it. Go to a 12 step meeting, call your sponsor, or meet up with sober friends at a coffee shop. A burden shared is a burden lessened. You’ll get through this stressful period one day at a time.
Stress is a regular part of life, but the more you cope with it, the less it will get to you. Learning new coping skills and applying them in the “real world” is an essential aspect of recovery. Take care of yourself, and reach out when you need to.
Are you looking for more information on living in a safe, supportive, sober environment? We can help you find out more about your options. Just get in touch at 760-216-2077, and we’ll be happy to discuss living choices with you.