Content reviewed by Christian Losch, LCSW, LCADC, CEO of Pinelands
Your day-to-day life may be filled with various responsibilities and obligations. Some of these activities can include going to work, school, attending therapy, buying groceries and making meals as well as many others. With so many everyday duties that need tending to, it can be particularly difficult to find the time to take a break and make time for yourself.
While finding this time may be challenging, it is incredibly important to prioritize this time for yourself. Doing so can help you find ways to relax, recharge and even have fun without the influence of drugs and alcohol. Making this practice a daily habit can significantly increase your chances of continuing to live a sober lifestyle.
Why is Finding Time for Yourself So Challenging While in Recovery?
Even though you may be able to recognize that taking time for yourself amidst your busy schedule is necessary, this does not make it any easier to do. Especially while in recovery, you may find yourself dealing with a list of daily obligations to complete. For example, your recovery schedule may include attending individual therapy meetings, group therapy meetings, family therapy meetings and more. While this new lifestyle is extremely beneficial, it can also be exceptionally exhausting and taxing as well.
Even though you may be needing a break from all these means of growth, you may feel guilty for wanting or needing a break that allows you time to decompress by yourself. It may even feel counterproductive given the constant responsibilities that typically need to be tended to on a daily basis. Although you may be experiencing these thoughts or feelings, it is essential to push past them to avoid burnout.
Finding Time for Yourself Can Help With Sobriety.
To avoid becoming burnt out from the constant work you are doing to better yourself, taking daily breaks to rest and recharge is essential. Doing so can help give you the physical and mental energy necessary to continue to grow and learn more about yourself.
Being sober also means learning and developing new ways to cope with stress that do not involve the use of drugs and alcohol. Before deciding to enter recovery, you may have felt as if there was no way to deal with the stresses of everyday life effectively. Drugs and alcohol may have been the only way to get a break from these relentless stressors.
This is why carving out the time to take a break for yourself is so important. In learning to help yourself release stress, you are also learning how to live life while sober, no matter the circumstances.
Incorporating New Activities Into Your Daily Routine Can Help Lower Stress Levels.
Perhaps you have already begun making the conscious effort to make time for yourself to escape stress. However, it can be tricky to know how to use this time wisely and effectively. Below are some ways you can use valuable time to not only decompress and enjoy yourself.
- Lay down and listen to calming music. Even though it can be difficult to stop what you are doing and shift your energy, you may find that doing so is actually quite enjoyable. Resting your body in a comfortable position while listening to relaxing, beautiful music or sounds of nature can not only ground you but is also effective at providing feelings of euphoria.
- Take a hot bath or shower for 10-15 minutes. This practice is not only good for your hygiene but for your mental health as well. Doing so can help ground you, soothe your mind and body, and give you feelings of happiness. Essentially, you can wash your stress away with some aromatic soap and soothing, warm water.
- Do some light stretching. You do not need to be an athlete to make light stretching a part of your everyday routine. Stretching is a great way to help get your body moving more efficiently, and even prevent future injuries or other complications. As for your mental health, stretching allows you to become more aware of your body, feel more energetic and also feel more relaxed. Try incorporating light stretching into your daily routine to help you feel better both physically and mentally.
- Cuddle with a beloved pet. If you have a pet that you love and adore, taking time to cuddle with them and give them much-deserved attention can make both very happy. Pets can help you stay present in the moment when they come to you looking for much-needed love and affection. This connection you have with them can help alleviate stress and promote blissful feelings.
Life in recovery can take a lot of physical and mental energy out of you. To avoid burnout, it is essential to carve out relaxing moments for yourself to destress and unwind. All of us here at Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford want to help you learn appropriate and helpful ways to unwind and relax. We offer plenty of tools to help you find the best way to alleviate your stress. Call us today at (877) 557-5372 for more information.