A major factor that can derail your efforts in recovery is stress. Many people find this to be a trigger that can lead them to slips or relapse. When you are feeling too stressed out, your first instinct may be to resort to drug or alcohol use as a way of self-medicating or trying to escape these feelings. However, recognizing signs that may indicate it has time for you to take a break and de-stress can help you to stay in control of your recovery.
- Recovery is no longer your priority: If you are putting other things ahead of your recovery efforts, whether it is work or family, this can be sign it is time to take a break. Clear your mind and refocus your efforts to put your recovery first. This may mean having to reorganize your schedule or change up routines.
- You are overwhelmed: Taking on too much responsibility too quickly can leave you feeling overwhelmed and overly stressed. Learn to say no and to delegate tasks to others.
- You are slipping back into old habits: Whether this is in thought or behavior, you do not want to fall back into your old ways. Make a conscious effort to incorporate new strategies.
- You have no time for yourself: Focusing on everyone else can increase your stress and leave you with little time to tend to your own needs. Schedule time for self-care.
- Your health is ailing: When you are stressed, it can lead to insomnia, poor eating choices, fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, headache, upset stomach, and more. This is a red flag that you need to make some changes to prevent relapse.
- You have experienced setbacks: Small obstacles can build up into more pressing issues. Learn to deal with challenges as they come and implement strategies to be proactive for the future.
- You have become more isolated: Withdrawing from others because you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed is not healthy for you or your recovery. Take a break and turn to your support system. You do not have to face recovery alone.
Exercise, meditation, journaling, yoga, deep breathing, and more can all help you to relax and reduce stress. Pay attention to signs from your body and mind and make it a point to take a break. Inpatient recovery can help you learn strategies for dealing with challenges more effectively and promoting relaxation.
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