Stress is a fact of life for so many people nowadays. It’s not limited to those in recovery. However, this time of year is especially stressful for people new to recovery and old-timers alike. How can you use stress in a way that helps you?
Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress happens, but avoiding it may seem impossible when you’re in its grip. For many people, feeling stressed and anxious can be a trigger for drinking or drugging. Stress is no reason to get high, but may not know what to do with an urgent-seeming emotion, or maybe you feel anxiety take over and have trouble taking action. Luckily there are ways to reduce the impact of stress in your life.
While you can’t eliminate stress from your life in recovery, there are ways that you can minimize it. For example, if you know that you have to do something that makes you feel stressed out, you can make plans for the aftermath.
For example, maybe you have a large family gathering that you’re planning to attend, and you’re not sure how you’ll cope with any questions. Talking to your sponsor and preparing your answers to challenging conversations can help you feel prepared. If your Aunt Sally wants to ask you about your recovery in front of people you’re not comfortable with, you can go ahead and tell her you’d love to catch up with her later. Or maybe you’re worried somebody will bring you a drink. If so, prepare to have a way of saying “no” that you’re comfortable.
Identifying your triggers and learning ways to react that are healthy is part of recovery. Nobody is perfect, and that’s true about others in your life, too. Learn to respond with empathy and kindness when possible, but don’t go out of your way to make others happy if something makes you feel uncomfortable.
Coping With Stress Through Self-Care
Self-care is a way that you can handle the stress that life throws at you. There’s no way to eliminate most types of stress that people experience, so coping skills are needed to help you get through your tough times. Many people in recovery use self-care to feel a little better.
Meditation, exercise, relaxation exercises, and even doing something as simple as reading or watching a television program all count as self-care. Take some time for yourself and do something that makes you feel better or re-rejuvenated. There are many types of self-care available, so choose what works for you and leave the rest.
Going to a 12-step meeting or calling your sponsor are essential types of self-care in recovery.
Sober Living By the Sea
Many people new to recovery benefit from living in a sober housing situation. In sober living, there are rules as well as recovery adventures. You’re surrounded by people who are sober, working their 12-step programs, and rebuilding their lives in recovery. To learn more about what our programs offer, call us at 760-216-2077.