BY: Lori Miles
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Stress can be particularly harmful to those struggling with substance abuse. During Stress Awareness Month, it is essential we focus on ways to cope effectively with the strains of life. Here are 5 suggestions for helping you ward off the impact of stress.
You may have heard the phrase “perception is reality”. How we look at a situation has a tremendous impact on how we feel. For example, if you have a positive outlook on your job, you are more likely to feel good about going to work. Looking at your life in negative terms leads to depressive feelings, which have been associated with relapse behavior. Therefore, if you are feeling down, try to view your situation in more positive terms.
Sleep is one of the major building blocks for physical and mental health. Our ability to deal with problems is severely limited when we are tired. It is recommended that the average adult get six to eight hours of sleep per night. Follow these suggestions for proper sleep hygiene.
The need for social connection is especially important for people in danger of relapse. Connecting with friends and family prevents isolation and allows one to receive the necessary social support. In addition, spending time with loved ones is a positive way to have fun. The most effective way to put yourself in an optimistic mindset is to have a good time.
Exercise is a constructive physical outlet for our problems. It increases endorphins, the natural stress fighters in our body. It also helps with our self-esteem. Who doesn’t feel good about themselves after some physical activity? For those people who have difficulty motivating to exercise, start with some simple walking. Other mind-body pursuits that will aid with coping include meditation and relaxation exercises.
Being organized inoculates you against stress. It is much easier to cope with your difficulties when you feel like you have a handle on your responsibilities. Take 10 minutes and figure out a plan for your day. What needs to be done? What are your priorities? How will you accomplish your daily tasks? Organizing yourself may not defeat stress on its own, but you will almost certainly feel less flustered if have an idea of how to attack your daily routine.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with substance abuse please contact us. With support, treatment, and guidance we can help you or your loved one conquer their addiction.