5 Coping Strategies for Stress in Recovery - Music City Interventions

5 Coping Strategies for Stress in Recovery

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Sometimes, stress is beneficial, such as when being anxious about a job interview motivates you to prepare firm answers to common questions. In other cases, stress can cause your brain to freeze up when you need to think on your feet. You also might feel so overwhelmed by a stressful situation that you begin to crave drugs or alcohol. Learning how to manage stress in addiction recovery is a big part of what you’ll do in your treatment and after-care program. As you find what works best for you, it helps to remember these five coping strategies for stress that can help keep you sober.

1. Identify the Source When Choosing Coping Strategies for Stress

Life is full of potential stressors that it’s often hard to pinpoint where your cravings come from. Take a look around your environment to identify possible issues increasing your stress levels. While it’s easy to note that a recent loss or argument is causing your stress, there could be less obvious ones.

For instance, you might be feeling tense about an upcoming deadline for a project you’re procrastinating on completing. You also might still be upset about something someone said during a heated moment. Once you identify the source, you can start addressing what could stand in the way of your addiction recovery. Hashing out a relationship issue with the help of your counselor or choosing to start on that project can help you begin to calm down.

2. Make Stress Management in Recovery Fun

People often get stressed out by trying to do everything right in recovery. Trying to eat healthy, work out, and attend your group sessions is essential, but you also want to remember that stress coping strategies can be fun. Try to carve out time to hang out with your sober friends as you engage in a few fun activities. Sure, going to a movie with your sober companion might not solve the conflict you had at work, but it can help you regain a positive perspective that keeps stress from ruining your day.

3. Use Gratitude to Manage Stress in Recovery

Managing stress in recovery can also be as simple as picking up a pen. Gratitude journals give you a place to jot down some positive thoughts that help you remember that things go right more often than wrong. If journaling isn’t your thing, you can choose to focus on a positive thought or quote as you do some deep breathing exercises. The key to handling stress in recovery is finding ways to tip your thinking back to the bright side again when everything feels lost.

4. Remember the Power of Exercise for Managing Stress in Recovery

Stress and relapse are so closely intertwined that it’s essential to find ways to reduce the toxic effect going through a rough patch can have on your body. When you encounter a stressful situation, your body releases stress hormones that can drown out the impact of the good ones that help you relax. Exercising counteracts this effect by stimulating your body to release endorphins, giving you a natural feeling of relaxation. During your recovery, spend time learning what types of movement make you feel best. Even walking can jumpstart the stress recovery response so that you can start feeling better right away.

5. Learn About the Connection Between Your Stress and Relapse Risk

Everyone has a different threshold for stress. What might make one person go running for cover could cause another person to rise to the challenge. One of the things you can work on with your sober coach or companion is learning what triggers the stress response. Then, you can create a plan that includes go-to strategies that you can use when life gets hard. Whether you take a walk on your lunch break at work or pull out your meditation cushion when you get home, the secret to stress management in recovery is figuring out what works best for you.

No matter how hard you try to keep your life moving at a steady pace, you’ll eventually encounter situations that challenge you physically and emotionally. Remember that you don’t have to do everything right during those times. Feeling tense, angry, or even helpless is perfectly natural. The key to preventing these emotions from affecting your recovery is to rely on your coping strategies for stress and be willing to reach out for help if you find yourself struggling. Nothing beats your social support for helping you to make it through a challenging time.

Music City Interentions is always here to offer confidential and professional services that help take the stress out of planning interventions for families who have loved ones affected by addiction. We partner with you and your loved one to achieve the ultimate goal of providing alcohol and drug addiction treatment that is discreet and effective through each step of the recovery journey.