Stress seems to be just a part of everyone’s lives now. It is part of who we are and what we do at work or at home. No matter what decisions you made while you were struggling with addiction, stress likely played a key role in it at some point. How you choose to release that stress can make or break your recovery efforts and draw you closer to your goals, or keep you struggling to stay afloat. Today, people push themselves more than ever to succeed, be smarter, be stronger, and be faster or more efficient than their counterparts. Mentally and physically, this is draining. Learn how to navigate stress so you can reserve those important resources for what you need: healing.
Without internal awareness of how you feel each and every day, you are prone to failure at recovery. Your feelings are what either sends you soaring or crashing back down to earth. The easiest way to self-audit is to check in with a mindfulness practice of noticing when and what draws your energy. When you can take action on what pulls energy down, you can find ways to build it back up again. Most drains on your energy will cause you added stress, including:
- A negative mindset
- Negative people
- Thinking too much about the past or future
Try to focus only on the present. All you have is here and now. Hone in on that while you are trying to navigate the challenges you face in recovery with stress.
Get Up and Get Going
Dealing with life can feel overwhelming. The hardest part is facing a long day ahead when you know there are stressors that might trigger you. When you start your day thinking of stress, you are more likely to have a negative reaction to everything coming your way. Assess your energy first thing in the morning and notice how you feel. If you don’t feel well, it might be time to think about ways to mitigate stress first thing in the morning before you head out the door. Some things that can help:
- Track sleep to see if you are getting enough hours (and good sleep)
- Wake up at the same time each morning, with enough space for meditation, quiet reflection or other time to yourself before doing the daily routine
- Get into a habit of doing the same things each morning that set your day up for success
- Stretch and get the blood flowing if you will be sitting a lot or not able to exercise
Know Your Goals
A huge stressor in recovery is feeling stuck, or like you aren’t going where you want to go. If you want to head in the right direction, you have to get yourself on track by knowing your goals. Keep a journal or write down what it is you hope for the day and then see how it aligns with larger goals. Every day, your goal should be recovery, but what you do may vary in meeting that goal. It also helps to have other things in mind like hobbies, family, and other people you look forward to connecting with that can help lower stress throughout the day.
Stress can very quickly derail recovery if you let it. We here at Step in the Right Direction provide the quality care you need to help navigate stress and triggers that may keep you locked into addictive patterns. We teach people how to live a sober life through programs, therapeutic support, and evidence-based therapies. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information about sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.