Addiction recovery can be a stressful time. While all change is overwhelming, sustaining sobriety requires massive changes in lifestyle and behavior.
Previous studies have found that nearly 4 out of 5 Americans are afflicted with daily stressors. Unfortunately, individuals in addiction recovery have to face these normal daily stressors in addition to those specific to their addiction.
These stressors come in many forms, including pleasing family members, ensuring that children are taken care of, paying bills on time and so much more. Often, stress coupled with poor coping skills holds people back in their recovery.
Recognizing the ways that stress can negatively impact sobriety is critical, as this awareness can motivate changed behaviors and improve stress management skills.
If stress continues without appropriate interventions, it’s very possible for a person in recovery to simply drop out of treatment. Scientists have spent much time exploring stress management, and how mental health issues that cause stress can make recovery more difficult for the sufferer.
Research shows that failure to seek support for mental health and gain coping skills often results in the inability to maintain long-term recovery. Letting the stress pile on without finding healthy outlets tends to result in behaviors like emotional numbing, detachment from others, disinterest in activities, increased anger and irritability, greater sleep disturbances and concentration difficulties.
Unfortunately, if gone unchecked, these behaviors can eventually lead to relapse.
Even with the best intentions, those in recovery can fall victim to substance use, yet again, if they don’t take the proper precautions. Relapse is incredibly common in addiction recovery, especially early on.
Seeking out treatment is a great start. However, it must be followed with consistent action committed to a life of sobriety to have a lasting effect.
Failing to take advantage of time spent in treatment to learn and grow in recovery leaves many people worse off than they were, to begin with. Addiction is progressive and each slip brings the sufferer to lower points than the last.
When people are new to sobriety, imagining healthy alternatives for stress management can seem impossible, especially when they’ve relied on drugs and/or alcohol to escape for so long. However, when taken seriously, recovery teaches people how to show up for life and walking through challenges with dignity.
All it takes is the willingness to follow in the footsteps of those who have been walking the sober path for a while.
Unfortunately, in the United States, self-care is often viewed as a luxury. When people are experiencing extreme stress, they often default to skipping meals, smoking cigarettes, sleeping less and pushing themselves harder.
The problem with this is that eventually, everyone reaches a breaking point, making those in recovery much more susceptible to relapse. Peaking stress levels make every little inconvenience feel like the end of the world.
This sense of overwhelm can spill over into all aspects of daily life. And without the proper care given to the mind and nervous system, the result can be quite unmanageable.
Rather than treating ourselves, and/or others poorly because we’re not making healthy decisions, it’s time to identify our needs during times of stress and become willing to practice showing up for them. Our usefulness, to ourselves, others, and the world around us is completely reliant on our ability to care for ourselves.
Culturally, we are taught to suppress and push through stress. As a result, many people ignore what they are feeling and neglect their needs.
At Avalon Malibu, we recognize the importance of learning to cope with stress on the mental, physical and spiritual levels. As such, we value our holistic approach to wellness.
Our programs offer our clients a range of healthy outlets that will support them in working through stress, and other uncomfortable emotions, in a positive way. Our holistic treatment services include:
- Art therapy
- Massage therapy
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Chiropractic services
- And more
Holistic approaches better help us tune into what’s been holding us back by providing us with healthy strategies for moving forward.
Putting Healthy Coping Skills Into Practice
Putting various holistic techniques to practice often allows those in recovery to move forward with a strong foundation in their program. As a result, these individuals will leave treatment with a healthy variety of coping mechanisms to choose from in those moments when stressors pop up.
What may have once driven them to drink and/or use, can then be managed in positive ways that sustain sobriety.
For example, Mindfulness is a holistic practice that helps individuals tune into the present moment. While stress may send someone into an anxious state worrying about their past or future, practicing mindfulness can help them return to the here and now, thus eliminating feelings of panic.
Reinforcing Positive Coping Skills
Enrolling in a treatment program gives individuals the space to learn and practice new ways of coping and managing stress. Being around others that are also recovering from addiction provides accountability and support as you learn to navigate emerging emotions and new experiences.
Over time, and with consistent practice, the use of positive coping skills is reinforced naturally when they experience peace and serenity as a result. Many find themselves reflecting on their growth and progress, simply by noticing how they would have dealt with challenges in the past, compared to the way they are dealing with them presently.
At Avalon Malibu, we are committed to helping our clients learn how to show up for the ups and downs of life without turning to drugs and/or alcohol. Our experienced professionals work hard to create individualized treatment plans that will best serve our clients’ needs and goals.
We believe in the power of stress management an healthy coping to support long term wellness and recovery. Life doesn’t have to be so hard, and there are people here to help. Call us for a consultation today, at 844-857-5992.