Stress can derail even the strongest recovery if you do not have a plan in place to deal with both the expected and the unexpected things life can throw at you. From getting stuck in traffic on your way to work to the death of a loved one, stresses both big and small will happen.
Everyone feels stress, but some people tend to respond to stress by craving substances. Many individuals struggling with addiction use substances to avoid those feelings of stress and anxiety. Managing your stress can be one of many tools you can use to prevent a relapse. These five simple tips can help you manage stress and continue with a strong recovery:
Share your problems: Whether it is talking to a sponsor, a program friend, a therapist, or anyone else, sharing your problems helps relieve stress. Depending on who you are sharing with, you may also receive valuable feedback, insights, and suggestions to help you deal more effectively with problems.
Write it down: Another important tool for recovery is writing. Keeping a journal, writing letters to your Higher Power, or simply writing about a problem can help you gain clarity and insights into what is bothering you. Many addiction and recovery books also offer useful writing prompts to help you with your step work. Writing can be an important part of managing stress during recovery.
Take care of yourself: When you are under stress, it is even more important to get adequate rest, sleep, recreation, exercise, and healthy food. Self-care is important for everyone, but it is even more important for people fighting addiction. Taking care of yourself signals to your subconscious that you are worthy of recovery and that you can relax. Make sure you take time for yourself even when under stress.