Maintaining sobriety is a life-long process. There are going to be times when life becomes stressful and you might feel the urge to use drugs or drink alcohol. Maybe you lose a job, or a relationship ends, or you have a conflict with a loved one. There are many things that can happen in life. Having the right tools in place to cope with stressful situations and/or chronic stress will make all the difference. 

Below are specific things you can do to maintain your sobriety during stressful periods of time.

5 Ways To Maintain Sobriety When Life Gets Stressful

1. Avoid Triggers

Triggers are things that cause you to want to use drugs. Identifying what your triggers are is a big part of rehab. If you’re experiencing periods of high stress, you’ll want to take extra care to avoid your triggers. 

For example, if one of your triggers is driving by a liquor store on your way home from work, consider driving a new way home from work. Another example can be if you’re invited to a birthday party and you know there will be drug use, consider not attending.

Triggers can fluctuate over time – Sometimes, you might feel secure with your sobriety in situations that previously might have triggered you. But other times, especially during periods of stress, you might need to avoid those same situations for the time being.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining good mental health and helping each of us function throughout the day. It also makes it easier to manage stress levels when they do spike. During periods when you are feeling stressed out, it’s more important than ever for your body and brain to reset by getting enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults get anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.

Sometimes feeling stressed about things in life causes feelings of anxiousness at night and other frustrating mental health symptoms. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep or keep waking up in the middle of the night, the CDC recommends the following tips:

  • Be consistent with your sleep schedule and go to bed at the same time each night
  • Make sure your room is dark, relaxing, and quiet
  • Place your cell phone on quiet mode or in another room
  • Avoid caffeine or large meals right before going to sleep
  • Try being active during the day, such as going for a long walk or a jog

3. Eat Nutritious Foods

In addition to getting enough sleep, it’s essential when you’re feeling stressed to maintain a healthy diet, as it contributes to both physical and emotional health. This means eating nourishing foods for your body and nervous system, including vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, and grains. By eating more healthy foods and less sugary and processed foods, your body will feel much more relaxed, which will improve your ability to sleep and rest.

4. Connect with Others

Having a support network of multiple people or even just one person you can communicate with who can relate to your history of substance use can go a long way in your path to life-long sobriety. If you’re tempted to use it again, consider contacting a friend to share your emotions with. Tell them how you’re feeling, and if you feel comfortable, you can share with them what you’re going through in life that’s causing you to want to use drugs or alcohol again.

A support system can provide mental, emotional, and practical support and play an important role in the recovery process for individuals with mental health challenges. Sharing your experiences with your support system can help you feel less isolated and show that you are not alone in what you are going through. It can also provide you with hope, empowerment, and a sense of autonomy as you work toward recovery.

The roots of a strong support system go deeper than just friendships and can touch both your personal and professional life. It’s important to have multiple resources for emotional support, as having a good support system can help keep you going strong even during difficult times.

5. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Learning relaxation techniques from drug and alcohol rehab can serve as a beautiful tool when stressful situations arise. These include meditation, going for a slow walk, or just sitting down ad taking some deep breaths for a few minutes (also known as diaphragmatic breathing). These techniques help lower your heart rate and blood pressure and message your brain and body that it’s okay to calm down.

Get Help For Your Substance Abuse

Ready to learn coping skills for managing stress and staying sober? Our addiction recovery team at Gloria Rehab is here to help you live a happy life with healthy habits. Each of our evidence-based therapies and programs provides patients with a unique and individualized approach to care in a supportive, compassionate environment. We’re also available to answer any questions related to our treatment programs, treatment for mental disorders, and health insurance coverage.

Contact us today to begin the treatment process.