April Showers Bring May Flowers, How to Get Through your “Lows”
April Showers Bring May Flowers, How to Get Through your “Lows” (Depression/Anxiety)
When you were in active use, you probably used substances to numb your emotions. In recovery, you must learn how to master coping with these emotions instead of letting them be the master of you. Feelings are a difficult thing for all individuals to manage, but it is known that they are especially difficult for those in recovery.
Substances alter the chemicals in your brain, long after the periods of active use. Establishing an emotional baseline and managing the highs and the lows will be challenging, but not impossible.
Here are FIVE ways to manage your “low” moments while in recovery:
Pick up the Phone and Call…Before You Want To
Most of the time, you probably don’t want to “bother” others with your seemingly small problems. You might be annoyed with your family, angry with a situation at work, or suffering from lower-than-usual self-esteem. It’s easy to convince yourself that situations like these are minor inconveniences that aren’t worth calling your sponsor or friends in recovery about.
What you might not realize is, these situations, if left unaddressed, can build in your mind. As you work to suppress them, the negative emotions surrounding them can compound and become something much bigger than they ever needed to be—bringing you to a low point. Avoid this by being open with others. Call those in your support network when things are good, when things are bad, and when things are boring. You may find that as you begin talking, subconscious feelings come to the surface. Something you say might even help someone else without you realizing it. Call a friend today, before you’re in the low point.
When you’re feeling low, basic tasks can become mountains to move in your mind. Getting out of bed and eating can be difficult in those depressing moments. Even if it is the very last thing you want to do, most of the time spending a small bit of time on personal hygiene (showering, a hot bath, brushing your teeth, a face mask, etc.), preparing a hot meal, and getting your body moving can be the very thing you needed to reset and to get to feeling a bit better.
Small actions of care for the self lead to big emotional changes. Practice repeated routines and actions each day to care for yourself. This might be a 30-minute walk, trying a new recipe, or sitting down with a cup of hot herbal tea in the evening. Do something for you, daily, to increase your feelings of confidence and self-worth.
Stay Spiritually Fit
Your mind can become clouded, especially when you’re feeling down. It can be difficult to think logically or to even think at all in those moments. Don’t forget to turn your problems, no matter how “small” over to your higher power as you understand it.
Meditation, prayer, mindfulness, yoga, and spending time in the sunlight can all be great ways to ground yourself and to combat the feelings of anxiety and depression that take over during “lows.”
Go to a Meeting
This may seem obvious, but don’t talk yourself out of a meeting. Usually, when you want to go the least is when you need to attend one the most. Feeling “low” isn’t just an emotional feeling, it can be physical and all-encompassing lethargy and lack of energy or motivation to do anything. You will always feel better after a meeting, so reach out to a friend in your network and let them know what you’re going through. If you need extra support, ask them to attend with you.
Seek Professional Help
Some “lows” cannot be managed alone. Be sure to be open with your small group, psychiatrist, doctor, and counselors about what you are experiencing. Professionals are trained to handle the emotional distress that you are facing far better than yourself or anyone else. There’s no way to know exactly what is causing your distress without talking with a professional, it may be related to your diet, sleeping habits, or other medical issues. Remember, being honest with those around you is always the best way to begin feeling better.
For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.
About Fellowship Hall
Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.