Pursuing your recovery can be difficult when stressful events are added to the mix. It can feel overwhelming to juggle more than one thing at once. But stressful events in your life do not have to derail your recovery process. So, here are some tips to help you continue your recovery journey more easily.
Remember: This Stressful Event May Be Temporary
No matter what is causing you to stress at this moment, it’s likely to be temporary. Disruption in your life can be unsettling, but your feelings of sadness, fear, or anger will subside. Think about all of the good in your life. Negative feelings are temporary.
Seek a Support System
Reach out to a loved one, a mentor, or a sponsor. If you don’t want to reach out to someone you already know, remember that there are other resources out there. There are people you can connect with who attend meetings and there are also trained professionals like counselors available too. Both provide meetings virtually. You can find these AA and NA meetings online, as well as resources to find a counselor near you.
Create a Routine and Set Goals
You don’t have to plan out your whole day, but having some balance can be helpful to relieve stress and help you focus on your recovery. Recovery is hard without structure. Following a routine can help you schedule time for yourself and your recovery. Here are a few activities you can schedule a time for:
- Getting up or going to bed
- Work hours
- Meal preparation and chores
- Spending time with loved ones, like watching your favorite show, cooking, or even a simple phone call or video chat
- Virtual Meetings
If you can’t exactly follow your routine, don’t blame yourself. Try to stay positive about the activities that you did follow. Set a goal to follow your routine better the next day.
Saving time for yourself can be essential for your mental and physical health. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Make time to meditate for about 10 to 30 minutes: Meditation can help you find a state of relaxation.
- Get some exercise: Go for a walk or hike, or try yoga. Physical activity helps your body produce endorphins, which acts as a natural painkiller and helps reduce stress.
- Disconnect from technology: Turn off your phone, unplug from social media and the TV. Give yourself time to focus your attention on other things that make you happy.
- Practice gratitude: Write down four positive things about yourself or what you are grateful for. Studies have shown that gratitude helps build relationships, improves health, and reduces cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone.
- Deep breathing: Breathing exercising can help trigger neurons in your brain that tell the body to relax. It also improves circulation.
Check Out Virtual Support Groups/Meetings
Meetings and support groups are helpful for many in recovery. You get the opportunity to share your story and hear the stories of others who have similar backgrounds or recovery goals. It may not always be easy to find in-person groups, but virtual AA and NA meetings are available basically at all times.
Explore New Interests
Pursuing a new hobby that has always interested you can help take your mind off of the stressors in life. Pick up a book, start writing, create music, go back to school, try DIY projects, gardening, video games, listening to recovery podcasts, or blogging.
While it may not be easy to pick up on all of these tips, give yourself time and compassion. Try a few of these steps and pick up more later. Remember, your goal is to reduce stress and give yourself time to focus on your recovery. It’s okay to fall down sometimes but try to work toward the future and respect your recovery journey.