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Friday, May 13, 2016

7 Steps to Better Stress Management

We don’t have to tell you that stress is a normal part of life — family conflicts, financial woes, job worries, and health concerns are just a few of the many stressors you’ll likely encounter during your recovery journey. But stress is also the leading cause of relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

Unfortunately, you can’t avoid it, but you can find healthier ways to lower tension so it’s no longer a tipping point into using again. 

How to Manage Stress
Start with these tips to tame daily stressors:
  • Take a walk. Sounds simple enough, right? Exercise can increase those feel-good endorphins, leaving you in a calmer, more positive state of mind.
  • Streamline your day. Taking on too much too soon can quickly lead to stress, especially during the first 90 days of recovery, when you’re most likely to relapse. Try to hone in on the recovery essentials, like 12-step meetings or counseling, and strive to complete one or two tasks per day. It’s also important to go easy on yourself on those inevitable days when nothing goes as planned.
  • Get some shut-eye. A good night’s sleep — aim for seven to eight hours — can improve your mood and ability to cope with stress. That’s because solid slumber helps to restore your body and mind.
  • Write it out. Journaling is a great way to identify the cause of your stress — and then release it by writing down your thoughts and feelings.
  • Hang with others who “get” you. Surrounding yourself with people who are also battling addiction can be a powerful stress reliever. Start by finding a support group in which you feel comfortable talking through your tensions.
  • Find your mantra. A mantra can be nothing more complicated than a saying or expression that gets you through. For example, “I am in control of my life,” or “I am making progress,” or whatever phrase helps you stay calm and focused on your recovery.
  • Escape with entertainment. When you feel tension creeping, take a time-out from daily life and push your stressors aside. Let it all go, and lose yourself and your worries by reading a good book, playing music, baking, or watching TV.
Finding Support at Hope Academy
Stressors inevitably arise as you begin working toward your academic and career goals.  The professionals at Hope Academy sobriety college can teach you to manage these pressures without resorting to substance abuse. In addition to providing a therapeutic environment for recovery, college attendance, and career planning, Hope Academy offers one-on-one coaching opportunities for residents. Call 866-930-4673 now to learn more.
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