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As we’re working to recover from our addictions and mental health issues, our stress levels are a crucial thing for us to pay attention to and monitor as part of our everyday recovery program. Excessive stress contributes to our depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. It compels us to turn to our drugs of choice to cope. Stress weakens us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, derailing our overall health and worsening existing conditions we’re already struggling with. Stress is a normal and natural part of our life. Being stressed out is a normal occurrence for most of us. How we manage our stress can mean the difference between successfully moving forward in our recovery and staying stuck in harmful cycles that eventually lead to total burnout. 

When we’re recovering, the last thing we want is to experience a breakdown in our health, where we’re struggling with insomnia, panic attacks, eating disorders and other painful symptoms. Breakdowns can be the result of not managing our stress and not being diligent about tackling our stress on a regular basis. We have the everyday stresses of our jobs, our relationships, our families and our home life. We have all the errands we have to run, logistics we have to think about, and to-do list items we have to check off. Small crises come up all the time – cars break down, we lose our phones, our kids get sick. And there are the larger crises, the tragedies, the losses, the depressions, the divorces. All of it adds to our stress. We become increasingly overwhelmed. Sometimes we feel as though we simply can’t handle all of it. We feel powerless to control our stressful circumstances. We feel like we’re drowning. We feel hopeless. We want to avoid getting to this point altogether. We want to be managing our stress on a daily basis, so that it never becomes so overwhelming we feel we can’t handle it.

Some of the ways we can manage our stress are with meditation, yoga and breathing exercises. We can make sure we’re getting adequate rest and exercise and proper nutrition. We can lower our stress by journaling, making gratitude lists and devoting time to our spiritual practices such as praying and creating altars. We can use creative self-expression such as writing music to help ourselves cope with our stress. Find what works for you to help you manage your stress. Your health, and the success of your recovery, depend on it.

Riverside Recovery believes in the importance of holistic healing and education, mindfulness and mind-body-spirit wellness. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.