Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress in Recovery
When you’re in recovery, your old methods of relieving stress – having a drink or using a drug – can no longer be utilized. It’s time to build new, healthier habits that allow you to relax and enjoy yourself while also improving your lifestyle and setting yourself up for future success in your recovery. Below are some tips for healthy stress relief that may seem like common sense, but are oven overlooked and undervalued.
- Do physical activities you actually enjoy. Fitness journeys look different for everyone – but most people will agree that exercise is a great stress reliever. That doesn’t mean you have to go overboard on the treadmill or lift weights at the crack of dawn. Find a routine that works for you, and you’ll be much more likely to stick with it and genuinely enjoy it. When you’re engaged in physical activity, your brain releases endorphins that make you happier. Exercises done daily such as yoga, aerobics, and even simply walking can go a long way towards making you feel better about yourself and your life.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Along with a good exercise regimen, a healthy change in diet will help prevent negative feelings and regret that accompany a junk-food binge. Again, this doesn’t mean you have to go overboard – take small steps to create a greater lifestyle change that you’re more likely to keep up with. When you eat healthier, your mood improves
- Build better sleep habits. “Eight hours a night” isn’t just something your parents made up – science shows that we are more productive, have better memory, and are overall happier when we fit enough sleep into our schedule. Running on less sleep leaves us ill-equipped to handle life’s challenges, which inevitably leads to a buildup of stress.
- Talk it out. Opening up certainly isn’t an easy task, especially for those in recovery who are used to isolating and self-medicating rather than speaking their mind when they’re struggling. In treatment, you discover how important and necessary talking about your feelings can be – don’t lose that ability once you’re in the real world. Continue having discussions with your loved ones and your recovery support network. Don’t keep anything bottled up. Your stress levels will drastically decrease as you get things off your chest and receive verbal support and feedback from those around you.
Remember that being kind to your body, no matter which way you go about it, is the best way to relieve yourself of stress, whether internal or external. When you practice healthy ways of coping with stress, you’re reinforcing those behaviors in ways that make you more likely to keep up with them, though they may seem difficult or tedious at first. As in recovery, stress relief is a constant battle that must be taken seriously and dealt with in healthy ways.
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About Fellowship Hall
For 50 years, Fellowship Hall has been saving lives. We are 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.