Imagine waking up tomorrow and changing nearly every part of your daily routine. This is what it means to be in substance use recovery: you undo old thought patterns and behaviors and replace them with new ones. This is a significant undertaking that requires dedicated skills and recovery tools to be successful.
In recovery, stress, anxiety, fear, and other negative mood states can derail your best efforts if you aren’t prepared. Fortunately, there is an arsenal of coping techniques ready to be deployed to assist you along the way. As you practice these coping skills, they’ll become healthy new habits. Learn more about them below.
How Stress Coping Skills Assist Recovery
It’s impossible to control stress without engaging in intentional actions. These are the purposeful thoughts and behaviors that allow you to de-escalate the effects of a stressful event or mood state. In recovery, accessing these coping methods can make a significant difference in your ability to sustain sobriety.
Stress reduction techniques help modulate stress, and there are many different methods that you can practice to manage your stress daily. These methods work by inducing relaxation and helping to produce a calm, peaceful state of being.
Five Stress-Reducing tips
When considering ways to manage our daily stress levels, it helps to understand wellness from a holistic point of view. Each aspect of our being—mind, body, and spirit—is intrinsically connected. Consider these stress-controlling tips from a holistic perspective:
- Get Good Sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep will set a positive tone for your entire day. Provide your mind and body with the rest it needs by improving your sleep quality. Adhere to a daily sleep routine to help regulate the circadian rhythm, avoid consuming caffeine after 4 pm, and shut down electronic devices an hour before bedtime.
- Plan Your Day. Feeling a lack of control over how we spend our time can be stressful. Reduce anxiety by starting the day with a plan. Create a to-do list or use a time management app to better organize your day and help achieve your goals.
- Get Moving. Getting daily exercise is essential to managing stress levels. Physical exercise causes the production of important brain chemicals, such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These hormones then induce a stress reducing effect, while also improving your mood.
- Nurture Relationships. We always feel more centered and peaceful when all is well in our interpersonal relationships. To deepen these connections, a relationship requires nourishment. Give your special people your most authentic self, and enjoy the many gifts that will flow from making that effort.
- Manage Stress. Be proactive in stress management by engaging in activities that help promote relaxation. Some of these methods include:
- Practicing mindfulness. A type of meditation that involves staying focused on the present moment.
- Journaling. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and concerns in a journal can help prevent ruminating over them.
- Deep breathing. Intentional breathing exercises can swiftly reduce blood pressure and heart rate, which has a calming effect.
- Meditating. Find some quiet time to focus on cultivating a heightened level of awareness.
- Practicing yoga. Yoga can be practiced in many different forms, but each type of yoga shares the common feature of inducing relaxation.
Take control of your recovery by incorporating these stress-reducing wellness tips into your regular routine. Soon these will become healthy lifestyle habits that will help reinforce sobriety and allow you to flourish in recovery.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and is accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle – “everything for recovery” – reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.