Stress is one of the main reasons why people tend to struggle in recovery, especially in the earlier periods. One of the most common sources of stress is at the workplace. Research shows that nearly 83% of workers in the U.S. struggle with job-related stress. During addiction recovery, job stress can end up pushing someone off the track. Working certain jobs in addiction recovery can be the source of major stress, which can escalate to a full-blown relapse in some cases.
Whether a person is dealing with addiction or is fresh into recovery, it is crucial to know how to manage stress levels when it comes to the workplace. It can be easy to let work-related matters get the best of us. Luckily, there are several tips and techniques a person can use to cope with these stresses. Managing stress and jobs in addiction recovery is an important part of the journey towards long-term sobriety.
How Stress Affects Addiction Recovery
Stress comes in many forms and varies greatly from person to person. Stress can come from various sources and can cause both physical and mental effects on a person. Low energy, insomnia, headaches, and high blood pressure are all potential effects of constant stress. When it comes to jobs in addiction recovery, there are many specific incidents or aspects of a job that can cause stress.
There are many aspects of a job that can end up causing tension and stress in a person’s life. Common stresses in a job setting include some of the following:
- Longer hours
- Job insecurity
- Changed deadlines
- Organization changes
- Overworked or heavy workload
- Troubles with their boss or co-worker
For those with jobs in addiction recovery, these stressful situations can end up causing several negative emotions. These negative feelings can end up festering inside a person which can be all that’s needed for someone to return to old habits. Practicing healthy coping mechanisms for stress can make all the difference in staying sober during recovery. Job stress can be a terrible situation for recovering addicts but knowing how to manage stress in a healthy way is one of the keys to success.
Coping Strategies for People Working Jobs While in Addiction Recovery
While we may not be able to control what happens around us, we can control how we react and cope with stress in the workplace. There are a lot of different stressors that can appear in the workplace on a daily basis. Luckily these tips can help a person cope with them effectively without turning towards old habits.
Whether you work from home or at the office, it’s important to set clear boundaries between your work life and your home life. It can be easy to let work-life overcome your home life but with discipline and personalized rules, you can keep them separate. A few tips include shutting off notifications when you are off the clock or limiting the number of times you check your email.
When you get off work you should try to focus on yourself and things that help you relax. Take a bath, meditate, and focus on the things that matter in your life (that aren’t work-related). Setting boundaries can be an effective way to manage stressors of jobs in addiction recovery.
Take Some Time Off
Sometimes, jobs in addiction recovery can be grueling and stressful positions. A common problem is that many workers feel overworked and overwhelmed at times. While it’s important to work hard and get your tasks done, your mental health shouldn’t take a back seat in the process. Don’t be afraid to take some time off, even if for a day or two. This can give you a much-needed break and can help you step away from all the stresses at work.
When we work day in and day out, work’s stresses can take a toll on a person’s life. At the end of the day, it’s important to have time to ourselves (especially since some jobs in addiction recovery require long hours and harsh workloads). Take a step back and take a few days off to collect yourself or go on a vacation.
Recognize and Keep Track of Your Stressors
It’s important to take a step back and try to recognize the specific sources of stress in your daily work life. Is there a specific colleague that may be causing you stress or is there a specific part of your job that frustrates you? There are many different sources and elements of jobs in addiction recovery that can be factors for stress.
Recognizing these specific stressors and working to avoid them is crucial in staying mentally healthy during work. Working around these stressors while keeping an eye on your personal goals and health is important to the whole picture. It takes practice and a routine to create a healthy and relaxing environment in your workplace. Recognize any potential stressors and work towards removing them if you can.
Talk to Your Boss or Higher Ups
If there are certain avoidable aspects of your job that are causing you stress, you may want to speak with your boss or higher management. While there may not be an immediate solution for the problem, simply opening up and being transparent with your boss or HR department can go a long way. If those above you are willing to listen, maybe they can make some changes to help suit you better. Speaking openly and honestly about your stresses can be one step closer to eliminating them from the workplace.
Join a Recovery Meeting or Support Group
One of the best resources after treatment has ended are support groups and recovery meetings. Every week, these groups get together to discuss their journeys and battles during recovery. It is a great way to connect with others in the same boat and realize you aren’t alone. Support groups can be therapeutic and eye-opening in many ways.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), SMART Recovery, and Narcotics Anonymous are just a few of the many support groups available to you. Opening up about your story and own struggles can help you see the bigger picture. There is much more to your recovery journey than meets the eye and there are many people that are in the same situation as you – you are not alone in your journey.
Getting Help for A Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Drinking and using drugs to relieve job stresses only ends up making the situation worse. Practicing healthy habits, avoiding stressors, and being open with your boss is a better option in jobs in addiction recovery. Working hard and providing for yourself and your family is a necessity but it shouldn’t take over your life. If you or a loved one is dealing with drug addiction or an alcohol problem, Free by the Sea is ready to help you.
Fortunately, there are many programs and addiction treatment options available to you and your loved ones. Before finding jobs in addiction recovery, you must take the first step towards sobriety. Drug addiction and alcoholism can impact every part of a person’s life, no matter the age or gender. While each case of addiction is different from the last, what’s most important is that you get personalized treatment for long-term recovery. Free by the Sea offers several effective treatment options, including:
- Detoxification – An essential part of the addiction treatment process that helps purge the body of toxic substances. This helps alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of drug addiction while opening the door for other more specific treatment methods like therapy and medication treatment.
- Inpatient/Residential treatment – Sometimes it is best to stay at a safe and supportive facility like ours. Inpatient treatment allows for the best level of treatment with 24/7 support and around-the-clock help. This is recommended after the detox process has finished.
- Outpatient treatment – Outpatient treatment is best for milder cases of addiction since you do not live in a rehab facility. Instead, you have the flexibility to live at home and attend weekly therapy sessions. This is best for jobs in addiction recovery or other obligations like family or school.
- Therapy Options – Therapy is a vital part of the addiction treatment process and offers individualized care for long-term recovery. After detox, you’re able to meet with qualified therapists to understand and change your behavior and feelings. Opening up about your struggles and sorting through negative thoughts is crucial for all parts of your life.
Don’t Wait; Get Addiction Treatment Help Now!
Jobs can be complicated and stressful at times. Unfortunately, those who have struggled with addiction may be inclined to turn to old habits to relieve this stress. While some jobs in addiction recovery can be stressful and tiring, it’s important to keep an eye on these stressors. Learning to cope with these stresses and cutting some of these stress sources out of your life can be extremely beneficial.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction, look no further than Free by the Sea. We offer quality care for you and your family. Don’t wait until your addiction becomes worse, get help today. Give us a call to learn about the next steps in your journey towards sobriety.
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.