Did you know that Americans are among the most stressed-out people in the entire world? According to a global Gallup poll, is just levels of Americans were significantly higher than the global average.
It is known that a key risk factor in addiction is stress.
If you’re in the process of recovering from a substance abuse disorder, learning how to manage stress in sobriety is absolutely essential to your success.
Let’s take a look at how to maintain sobriety when you’re stressed to ensure that you continue on the path to the healthiest and happiest you.
Spend Time With Yourself Every Day
One of the most important things that you can do when you are staying sober when stressed is make sure that you are staying in touch with yourself. When you are in touch with your deeper thoughts and emotions, you can learn to react more positively and in a healthier manner when stressful situations come up.
Commit to spending up to an hour every morning or every evening doing some journaling, guided meditation, gratitude journaling, or otherwise spending some quality time with yourself.
Use Breathing Techniques
One powerful tool up your sleeve for stress management and sobriety is simply breathing. If you are feeling stressed out or anxious, practicing breathing exercises can help you relax. Your entire body is impacted by the way you breathe, and deep breathing can help to lower the amount of stress in your body.
Incorporate Exercise Into Your Everyday Life
When you are trying to remain sober while stressed, exercise might feel like the last thing you want to do. However, even mild physical workouts can provide incredible stress relief.
Consider making exercise a regular part of your daily routine. This doesn’t have to mean going for a run every morning when you hate running. There are so many different kinds of exercise that there is a good chance that you will find one that you find meaningful and enjoyable.
Consider going for walks in a local park, trying water aerobics, taking dance classes, doing yoga, or getting into bike riding.
Spend Time Outdoors
Another thing that can help you manage your stress level is spending time outside. Even if you live in an urban environment, there is a good chance that there is a local park or conservation area not too far away from where you live. Whether you spend some time sitting by a peaceful brook or really exert yourself hiking a local mountain, getting outside into nature is pretty much always a good idea.
When you spend time in nature, it can help you reconnect with yourself and with the earth. It can help you zoom out and gain a new perspective on your life and your problems. When you regularly incorporate outside time into your weekly schedule, you can lower your general stress level in the long run.
Avoid Stressful Triggers
One key tactic to help you remain sober while stressed is to avoid stressful triggers. Maybe there are certain people in your life that instantly start stressing you out. If that is the case, you should put yourself first and keep your distance.
Other stressful triggers might include having an exhausting work schedule or too much exposure to the news.
Develop and Maintain a Healthy Sleep Routine
Getting high-quality sleep (and enough of it) is essential to our overall well-being. When we sleep, our bodies are able to rest and our brain is able to recharge.
There is a nasty cycle that can unfold in the dance between sleep and stress. When we don’t get enough sleep it can make us feel more stressed, and feeling more stressed can make it more difficult to sleep.
Prioritizing sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health, both mental and physical. Adopt a set bedtime and wake-up time and stick to it, even on the weekends.
Make sure that the room you sleep in is a proper temperature (around 65 degrees). You can also use blackout curtains or an eye mask to ensure you’re sleeping in the dark, and use earplugs or a white noise machine to do away with excess noise.
It’s also a good idea to have a nighttime routine you follow to wind down before bed. Avoid using electronic devices or looking at screens for at least an hour before it’s time to lay down to sleep. Incorporate some healthy and relaxing activities like reading a book, taking a bath, meditating, or writing in your journal.
Find Healthy and Constructive Ways to Vent Stress
When you bottle up your stress, it can lead you to fall back into your old habits. You don’t have to pretend you are ok when you don’t feel that way. Find someone you trust and reach out to them, as venting and having a friendly ear can go along way in dealing with stressful situations.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
You don’t have to go this alone. The admirable goal of remaining sober while stressed is something that can test your strength over and over again.
Consider participating in a support group and keeping in touch with the rehab program you attended. One of your main goals at this point should be building a strong support network of friends and family who are positive influences and that genuinely want the best for you.
These Techniques Can Help You Maintain Sobriety While You’re Stressed
There is no way to completely eliminate the presence of stress in our lives. In fact, in small amounts, stress is a healthy bodily reaction to demands or challenges you’re facing.
The most important thing is to develop strategies in order to maintain sobriety when you’re stressed out that work for you. Whether it’s deep breathing, having a supportive group of friends you can call, or taking up hiking as a hobby, there are a lot of healthy and enjoyable techniques you can practice that reduce your stress levels.
Are you struggling with addiction and ready to get your life back? Contact us today!