Adjusting to life without drugs and alcohol is a big transition for anyone. Many addicts and alcoholics used drugs and alcohol as a way to manage stress. One big challenge in early recovery is how to cope with stress when your go-to previously had been to drink or get high. Here are 10 tips for stress management in early recovery.
Our bodies do it without our thinking to keep us alive. When we experience stress often our autonomic nervous system kicks in resulting in shallow breathing. Try taking a slow deep breath counting to 5 on your inhale. Hold it for a count of three. Count to 7 as you exhale. Repeat that process 10 times. Doing deep breaths can decrease your heart rate, blood pressure, and fast breathing. This is one of the easier ways to manage stress and does not require you to stray too far from your current tasks.
Talk It Out
In early recovery sometimes it is hard to realize feelings are not facts. Speaking out loud to another human being what you are feeling stress about can be helpful. Choosing someone you trust can also give you an opportunity to hear someone’s experience, strength, and hope around how they’ve handled similar stressors. Having an impromptu therapy session with someone you trust can help make you feel better and possibly find a solution to the problem you are facing. Participating in therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy can also be extremely beneficial
Take a Walk
Change your physiology, change your thoughts. Getting fresh air, even if it’s just a walk around the block, can help regulate our nervous system. Sometimes a different perspective is all that is needed. Getting fresh air regularly can help you better manage stress in the long run.
Feeling stressed and thoughts are whirling around in your head? Put pen to paper and write down everything you are stressed or worried about. Journaling can help clarify any feelings you are experiencing and help you work through problems more thoroughly. Journaling can also be beneficial for those trying to process major life changes or traumatic events. This is a popular method in PTSD treatment.
Good sleep is essential for effective stress management and can be a struggle in early recovery. Even if you don’t sleep, giving yourself 10 minutes to be quiet can help. Sleep is the most effective way to calm your nerves from stressful periods.
There are many different ways to meditate. Some people sit quietly and focus on their breath. Some meditate while swimming or walking. Others meditate while drawing or coloring. Find what is meditative to you and add it into your daily life.
In early recovery sometimes we don’t know when we are hungry because we were so used to ignoring our bodies. When you are hungry, eat something. Try a piece of organic fruit if you are craving sweets. When you are stressed you typically are not thinking about what you are eating. Eating healthy can help your body perform better which can help you feel better.
Take It Easy
Many addicts and alcoholics are also perfectionists and very tough on themselves. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Taking a less serious approach to some situations can help you better think through it and maybe realize it is not worth stressing.
Learn More from Oceanfront Recovery Today
Addiction recovery and stress tend to go hand and hand. But that does not have to be the case forever. It is possible to stay cool, calm, and collected as you get your treatment. At Oceanfront Recovery, we offer a number of different treatment therapies to help with your mental health and addiction. Some of these programs include:
- EMDR Therapy Program
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
- Family Therapy Program
Stress is a story that we tell ourselves. If we can change our story, we can change our lives. Oceanfront Recovery Center wants to help you change your story from addiction to recovery. Call 877.279.1777 today for information on our residential treatment programs.