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We all know that life can be stressful and how we manage that stress is very important.  Coping skills in recovery may be that particular tool that helps someone stay clean through a stressful event or time in their life.  Stress for me can come in various forms for everyone and does not always happen with a specific event though.  My stress can also be in the form of specific objects like money, time, work or even the home environment.  Here’s a good starting point for some methods of how I manage stress in recovery

1. Find Support

Whether you have a friend, recovery coach, family member, sponsor, therapist, it doesn’t matter.  I find that utilizing support during a time when stress is present is a great way to overcome the uncomfortable feeling.  Talking and sharing with a supportive person always helps alleviate some of the pressure I may feel at times and can even lead to some solutions for whatever is causing me stress.

2. Take a Walk

Getting a break from whatever is going on in my life that is causing stress can really help put things in perspective.  Sometimes it is as easy as taking a walk for me.

3. Take a Break

If you are in the middle of a work assignment or project that is causing you to feel stressed out then maybe try taking a break from it if possible.  Putting a great amount of effort into things can be exhausting and sometimes taking a break with a snack or distracting myself with another thing can be good for my stress.  When the time is right, I always make it back to whatever I was working on and usually I feel rejuvenated.

4. Slow Down

If life seems like it is going faster than you can keep up with and you find that you cannot imagine how to complete all the things you want to do in one day, then you might need to try slowing down.  I find that remembering to take deep breathes at times or even trying physical exercises like yoga or stretching can be great tools in helping me to remember to take my time throughout the day.

5. Get Some Exercise

In my opinion, increasing endorphins can be great for stress management.  Going for a run or to the gym are easy ways to get some endorphins to your brain and that seems to play a great role in stress management for me.  Exercise can be a tool that you can use in the moment for stress relief, but also it can have a longer lasting effect on your overall stress is what I find helpful.

6. Create Something

Painting, building, drawing, cooking, the list could go on forever.  I like using creativity to get a break from a stressful activity, but it is also a great way to manage overall stress.

7. Coloring

It sounds simple, but I have found that that it can be relaxing to simply color in a coloring book with crayons, markers or whatever you choose.  Go buy a cheap coloring book at a store and see how it feels for you.

8. Journaling

Another simple way I like to get out some stress is writing it down.  Sometimes all it takes is just putting some idea or thoughts on paper to be able to start to see them more clearly.  Stress can seem abstract and hard to overcome for me at times, but by putting it on paper and in words, then it becomes more concrete for me.

9. Plan a Vacation

Everyone needs some time away every once in a while, so going on vacation is a great way to get away from life’s stress.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive get away cruise, it can be just be a quick weekend trip to a local mountain house or beach.  Vacationing is always a nice way for me to hit the stop button on life and make some time to relax.

10. Have Fun

Remember that life can be enjoyable and even though it can be stressful at times, we should also make it fun, especially if we are in recovery.  I find that stress can creep into my life quickly if I am in a high-pressure situation or can’t stop adding things to my plate, but is important to try to make some time to enjoy life too.  Fun can look different for everyone, but I like to do things like going to the movies, shopping, concerts, restaurants, amusement parks and the list goes on and on.  These are some simple easy ways to add a little fun to your life.