Preventing Relapse by Managing Stress
Since 1992, April has been recognized as National Stress Awareness Month. This month, we encourage all of our clients to look for healthy solutions for their stress.
For those living with addiction, stress is one of the most common triggers for relapse, and many people in recovery turn to substances to cope with their feelings. Research supports that people experience an increased craving for these substances in times of stress, especially if the substance or activity was the person's primary coping mechanism.
This month, we’re sharing a few of our favorite ways to unwind during times of stress.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation where you focus on shifting your awareness from a stressful situation to what you're sensing and feeling in the moment. It is essential to approach mindfulness without judgment. Practicing mindfulness can involve breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind.
Try this exercise from Mayo Clinic next time you’re feeling stressed:
Body scan meditation
Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions, or thoughts associated with each part of your body.
Focus on self-care
Self-care is not the same as self-indulgence. While self-indulgence is excessive gratification of what you desire, self-care focuses on nourishing yourself so you can be healthy and productive. Self-care can include everything related to staying physically and emotionally healthy, including hygiene, exercise, and seeking medical care when needed.
Try this exercise from HuffPost next time you’re feeling stressed:
Be kind to yourself
Pause to check in on yourself and validate how you're feeling. Even if it's just for five minutes, engaging in kind self-talk can positively affect your overall well-being.
Know when it is time to ask for help
When stress becomes too overwhelming, know you can turn to people in your life, or professionals, to talk through your feelings.
We know managing stress and substance abuse can be difficult, and The Crossroads Center is here to offer resources and support. We welcome clients from all walks of life and are committed to providing an individualized road to recovery for all in a safe and nurturing environment.
If you or someone you know is looking for addiction recovery support, call us today to learn more about our programs: (513) 475-5300.