Stress is something that affects anyone at any age. You may think the older you get, the less stress you’ll have, but you’ve probably realized there are new things to worry about like certain body aches that won’t go away or if your grandchildren are alright.
Given the current state of affairs around the world, stress and anxiety are at an all-time high. All of those worries seem to pale in comparison to the stronger possibility of getting sick and not being able to recover.
For those in recovery or have been sober for years, this is a difficult period. There are certain things that can trigger a relapse, and stress is a common one. It’s tempting to want to embrace alcohol, despite having swore off it years ago. Embracing alcohol as a way to cope with stress won’t do anyone any favors, and if anything, alcohol serves as an unhealthy distraction during stressful times.
During stressful times it’s important to remember why you stayed sober in the first place and embrace healthier alternatives other than alcohol to stay sober.
It’s easier said than done, but having a positive mindset and staying optimistic can help ease stress.
When you focus on the negatives and have a negative mindset, you end up causing yourself more stress. The worst of it might be focusing things beyond your control, which can leave you feeling the most defeated.
Instead, you should focus on the things you can control, one of which is your mindset. You should take the time to figure out what you’re grateful for in your life. Even the most negative person can find at least one thing they are grateful for. Write down what you’re grateful for and keep it with you as a reminder when you start to feel those negative thoughts creep in.
Talk about your issues
It can be a struggle not being able to talk face-to-face with people we usually see, but there are alternative methods of communication that allow us to reach our loved ones such as a webcam or even a simple phone call.
When we talk about what’s bothering us, we can find comfort in releasing what’s been on our minds. Talking about our issues with someone else also gives us perspective. We might realize our problems aren’t as bad we thought and even come up with a solution.
Focus on your breathing
When your emotions are out of whack, or you feel stressed out, you may not realize your breathing isn’t steady. You could be subconsciously holding your breath or intensively breathing, which doesn’t do your body any favors.
Taking deep breaths and refocusing yourself is helpful. When your breathing is under control, you’ll find it easier to get into a calmer state.
Find healthy hobbies
You might already do or practice some of these, but finding healthy hobbies is helpful. A healthy hobby can serve as a welcome distraction from the chaos all around.
Find something you enjoy and run with it. It could be anything like reading, journaling, light exercise, knitting, etc. The key is to find something that will put you at peace.
Avoid consuming too much news
While tempting to want to know everything that’s going on, and by all means, you should be aware of the news, sometimes we fall into the trap of consuming too much news.
Lately, the headlines to come out have been scary, with the number of people getting sick, losing their jobs, and the overall rapid change of our society. This type of news only serves to enhance what we already stress about.
The trick is to consume the essentials. Do be aware of what’s going on, but don’t make it a habit of having the news run 24/7 or continuously go online to find more content related to the pandemic. Consume in moderation and take a break from the news to focus on other things.
Remember why you’re sober
This one might be the most important. When you decided to be sober, there was a deeper reason behind it. For some, it might have been years of struggling with alcoholism, or it might have been because they wanted to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Whatever the reason it is, don’t forget it.
Stress and sobriety aren’t a good mix, but stress is an inevitable part of life. It’s already tough to stay sober under normal circumstances, and the current state of affairs does nothing to help with it, but there are healthier ways to alleviate stress.
It’s a challenge, but sobriety can still be maintained even in the most stressful of times. It just takes a lot of effort.
Updated: April 12, 2020