10 Tips for Managing Stress in Addiction Recovery
Recognizing Signs of Stress
Stress can present as thoughts and feelings before becoming behaviors, and physical symptoms. Recognizing the signs of stress is the first step in finding a stress management style that fits you. Stressful thoughts typically begin as simple worry; but when thinking becomes focused and repetitive on stressors such as bills, job troubles, or relationship problems, your feelings can quickly change from worried to overwhelmed and frustrated. The biggest problem with these feelings is that they are nonproductive and self-defeating; they can quickly lead to counterproductive behaviors and increased stress, all of which can take a physical toll on the body. Nonproductive behaviors related to stress include procrastination, rumination, and indecisiveness; counterproductive behaviors include avoidance, termination of efforts and, for those new to recovery: relapse. The physical effects of stress vary widely between people, some experience headaches, neck and shoulder pain, difficulty sleeping, and changes in eating habits. Recovering addicts need to manage stress from its earliest presentation to avoid the dangerous possibility of relapse, the risk of which increases significantly when stress interferes with sleep and nutrition or when the body is in other stress-related discomforts.
Where to Begin
- Prepare for stress before it hits.
- Create an organized, daily routine and weekly routines.
- Practice daily mindfulness meditation.
- Integrate exercise and fresh air into your daily routine
- Eat nutritiously and sleep restoratively.
What to Do During High-Stress Times
Remember that bit about recognizing what you do not have control over? The next half of our list of stress-management tips is dedicated to those high-stress times that inevitably occur. You may not have control over the event, but you do have control over how you react to it.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Avoid isolating.
- Talk the problem through with a close friend, family member, or sponsor.
- Establish a problem-solving approach.
- Avoid procrastination.
Stress-management takes practice. With each small obstacle that is overcome with proper stress management techniques, the confidence in your own ability to manage life’s unexpected moments will grow. Take a deep breath, remember that recovery is a time of renewal, and when you are renewing yourself from the inside out, expect some stressful times. What you can’t do, is let stress overwhelm you and set you on a course for relapse.To learn more visit: www.akuatreamentprograms.com