As a recovering addict, do you have coping skills to manage stress in sobriety?
Your happy sober life can come crashing down in a matter of seconds if you don’t have healthy ways to deal with being stressed.
Don’t let that happen. Learn how to manage your feelings, situations, and stress so you can keep moving forward to bigger and better things.
Here are 10 Tips To Manage Stress In Sobriety:
Get Your Ass Moving
The more active you are the less stressed you will be. It’s really as simple as that.
Every time you go for a walk, clean the house, go swimming, a bike ride or go to the gym, your body releases chemicals known as endorphins. Endorphins send messages to the brain telling it how good you feel. You honestly will feel a lot better.
It’s a win-win situation. You feel better emotionally and look better physically. Hell, why wouldn’t you exercise?
Often times, you get stressed out when a situation is out of your control and you feel as if you can’t solve the problem.
If that’s the case and you just can’t boss your way in, grab the reigns, and take control. Then, you have to tackle it another way. Make a plan.
Seriously, take the time to regain control by making a plan.
Physically, take a paper and pen, write down what is stressing you out, what has to change, and how to do it. Once you have a plan. Take action and take control.
Write It Down
Writing is super therapeutic. In my opinion one of the best coping skills you have. Especially, when you are stressed out.
Get a piece of paper, write and rant until you get it all out. Every single thing that is causing you stress. Then, you read over it and gain clarity and helpful insight into the situation.
You can use a blank notebook or diary. Below are some of my favs to use.
But wait one second, if you don’t want to spend any money on writing utensils, you can download our FREE addiction recovery journal which actually includes pages for this specific purpose. If you want to see what’s included then click the link or use the form for instant access.
Caffeine and Nicotine
Both of these can make stress worse. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants, but they will increase your stress rather than decrease it.
You may think that lighting up a smoke will calm you down but it actually makes it worse. In the short term and long term. I know this but I still use stress as an excuse to smoke a cigarette.
People trying to quit smoking, for instance, find alternatives such as vaping. Now they can have a vape subscription box so they will always have supplies, which will make it even easier for you to quit smoking.
Fun Fact: Do you know why you feel calmer and less stressed after smoking? It’s actually the fact that when smoking you inhale. Taking in a long deep lung filling breath. This deep breathing is what calms you down. You can do it without filling your lungs with harmful chemicals and smoke. Next time, you are frazzled, try taking in a deep breath like that without smoking and see how good you feel afterward.
Talk to Someone
People are good at hiding their feelings. Recovering addicts are really good at it. But instead of keeping it all in and letting your stress levels skyrocket, talk it out.
If it’s a person that is stressing you out, you might not want to talk to them about it. Just venting to a friend or even your dog can do wonders. You’ll feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.
Laugh Till It Hurts
If you are really stressed out over your current situation, try to get your mind off of it with something funny. This could be watching a comedy, talking to your funny friend, or just looking at hilarious memes on FB.
Nobody can laugh their ass off and immediately go back to being miserable + stressed af.
Get More Sleep
People do not always realize how much damage a lack of sleep can do. It can make you sluggish, moody and tired, as well as affecting the state of your skin and your ability to concentrate.
Get 8 hours every night and it will only take a few days for you to notice the difference. Your brain will be more alert, you will not feel so low and your skin will stop being dry and flaky. It is while you are asleep that your body has the time to repair and heal itself and you should not deprive of that opportunity.
Enough sleep is medically proven to lower your stress levels. Although be careful not to overdo it and sleep your life away, turning stress into depression.
Music is Amazing
Listening to music is a great way to lower stress levels. Did you know that playing an instrument or creating your own music has an even greater effect?
Music soothes your mind and helps it to focus on something other than the fact you are feeling stressed the fuck out.
Don’t even lie. If you listen to one of your favorite, upbeat songs, you feel great no matter what kind of mood you were in before.
You probably read the heading “busy hands” and thought wtf is she talking about now? Let me explain.
Keeping both of your hands busy will keep your mind occupied on other things. It’s sort of like trying to do two things at the same time. You are going to give one of those things more attention than the other. In this case, whatever you are doing with your hands is going to overpower what is going on in your head. Ultimately, causing you to calm down and get much-needed stress relief.
Here are some simple things you can do that will require both hands. It will give you ideas.
- Making some sort of crafts
- Playing with playdough, slime, or something similar
- Quilting or sewing
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Let It All Out
This is for those times that you are stressed about everything. Nothing is going the way you need it to. You don’t know whether to totally meltdown and cry uncontrollably or literally beat the living shit out of something until your knuckles bleed. Or you can do both, cry and hurt something.
So what do you do when your stress levels are this damn bad?
Let it all out. Find something, a punching bag, a pillow, a huge stuffed animal, etc. When I’m like this, I want to be alone and I crank up the music. Usually my favorite angry music. Then, go to town girl.
Just start punching, kicking, screaming, crying, and beat the living daylight out of your punching bag. Do this until you have nothing left in you to let out.
From personal and professional experience, I guarantee this will help you. More importantly, you will gain insight and clarity into the entire stressful situation as well.
In the process of letting the emotions out making you feel this way, you were able to sensibly think of a resolution to the original issue.
Coping Skills To Manage Stress In Sobriety
Did you even realize that all 10 of these tips are actually coping skills? Now you have even more to add to your arsenal of recovery tools.
Being able to cope in a healthy manner when you are stressed af is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT when you are in recovery. One bad day or one wrong mistake can lead to a decision that you regret or a potential relapse. And nobody wants that.
You have worked too damn hard to overcome your past and create a life after addiction. Why would you want to risk losing all that because someone or something is stressing you out?
It’s not worth it and you know it.
Now you have 10 tips to manage stress in sobriety that you can apply to other situations and crazy feelings you experience. Ultimately, staying on track, planning your future, and living a kickass sober life.
Before you go. Do me a HUGE favor and pin the amazing image below to get the sober message out there. Thanks.