For many, the process of treatment and recovery can cause a great deal of stress. With so much of your life changing at once, it can be difficult to handle all of the transitions while still feeling calm and collected.
In the past, you may have turned to different substances to help manage stress. But, as you move into a sober, healthy life, you’ll need different tools to navigate the situations that come your way. Here is what we recommend:
Streamline Your Activities
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Most of us try to do too much in a day. This leads to overpacked schedules and an impossible list of to-dos. With so much going on, we’re more likely to feel under pressure and stressed out about accomplishing all of our commitments. To avoid this, try cutting out everything except for your absolutely necessary activities. By committing yourself to your recovery activities and decreasing your commitments to everything else, you’ll feel more positive about your ability to reach your goals, stress-free.
Identify Main Causes of Stress
Each of us has different triggers that cause stress. For some, it’s running late, for others, it’s interacting with a confrontational family member. By identifying what your major stressors are, you can take proactive steps to address these issues. For example, you might wake up a few minutes earlier to avoid running late or practice how you’ll interact with the family member who always poses a challenge. When you feel prepared, you’ll be less likely to become stressed out..
Prioritize Your Sleep
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but it is important enough to keep saying. Getting a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to help manage your mood and stress levels. Because sleep allows the body and mind to rest and restore, you will be better able to handle challenging situations that come your way, without feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, when you’re less stressed, you’ll get better sleep, perpetuating a healthy cycle.
Practice Mindful Breathing
Even if you’ve cut out unnecessary tasks, identified your stressors and gotten a good night’s sleep, sometimes stress can still come your way. Whenever you feel this happen, you can practice mindful breathing. Simply find a comfortable seat, sitting up tall. Close your eyes and bring one hand to your low belly. As you inhale through the nose, feel your belly fill up with air. As you exhale through the nose, feel all of the air press out. Repeat this for ten rounds of breath, or until you feel calm once again.
Free By The Sea Can Help Manage Stress
At Free by the Sea, we know how challenging addiction treatment and recovery can be. That is why we are here to help. We have served clients in the Pacific Northwest with our residential and outpatient programs, and we are ready to do the same for you. So if you have questions and are ready to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact us.
Dr. Richard Crabbe joined our team in 2019 as our psychiatrist and medical director. He attended the University of Ghana Medical School where he became a Medical Doctor in 1977. From 1978 through 1984, he was a medical officer in the Ghana Navy and provided a variety of services from general medicine to surgeries. He received his Certificate in General Psychology from the American Board of Psychology and Neurology in 2002.