Stress is considered an important factor in the beginning stages of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as in regards to relapse. As a result, finding ways to manage stress when recovering from addiction is imperative.
Although stress has been shown to precipitate relapses on illicit opiates, alcohol cocaine, nicotine and other substances, there are many ways to manage or overcome it. While it may take some time to identify a stress management technique that proves successful for you or a loved one, know that it will be well worth it.
11 Ways to Manage Stress Through Withdrawal
Once you or a loved one leaves treatment for a substance abuse disorder, you will need to practice implementing healthy strategies to cope with stress. The good news is that the drug-free coping mechanisms you use to relieve stress and anxiety will become easier and more natural as time passes.
Below are eleven healthy, drug-free ways to get through withdrawal and manage stress constructively as you recover from a drug or alcohol addiction:
- Exercise: Exercise is one of the most effective anti-anxiety solutions to managing stress through withdrawal. Physical activity raises serotonin levels and endorphins and helps you improve your emotional state.
- Try aromatherapy: Feel your worries wash away when you light a candle and breath in its aroma. Scents like lavender help reduce stress and can be one of the ways you cope with stress through withdrawal.
- Find a heating pad: Try placing a heating pad on your chest when you’re feeling anxious or stressed. Heat helps relieve tension — especially around the shoulders and neck — and can have the same effect on your chest.
- Focus on the present: You may have heard it before — worrying about the past or future does not have a positive impact on the body and can even increase anxiety and stress.
- Maintain a proper diet: Eating a proper diet — and not skipping meals — is crucial when you want to manage stress through withdrawal. Your blood sugar drops when you don’t eat, which causes the release of cortisol.
- Laugh more: Laughing tricks your nervous system into making you happy by decreasing adrenaline and cortisol levels in your body. Call a friend or relax on the couch with your favorite comedy and laugh your stress away.
- Spend time with your pet: Dog owners and other people with pets have been shown to experience less stress. Whether you want to take a trip to your local dog park, get a new pet or spend time with a family member’s furry friend, you can’t go wrong with some quality time with an animal.
- Call a friend: Calling a friend can help you gain perspective on your current situation and relieve stress and anxiety. It also helps to ask them how they are doing and get outside of yourself for a little while by listening to someone else.
- Chew gum: Chewing gum helps relieve stress? Who knew? Chewing gum is proven to reduce cortisol levels in those trying to manage or cope with stress.
- Hug it out: Hugging has been shown to help alleviate stress and anxiety in adults.
- Get a touchstone: A touchstone is a small, smooth object you hold in your hand when stressed or anxious. Rub it gently to help manage anxiety.
Let MedMark Treatment Centers Help You Manage Stress Through Withdrawal
MedMark Treatment Centers is committed to helping individuals across the United States recover from opioid addiction. We offer outpatient medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder utilizing both methadone and buprenorphine. Our caring and compassionate staff aims to address every aspect of recovery. We provide supportive counseling services alongside evidence-based treatment to help our patients reclaim their lives free from addiction.
You shouldn’t have to manage stress through withdrawal on your own. MedMark Treatment Centers’ counselors and medical professionals offer discharge planning and support while helping you manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse and find drug free ways to cope with stress.
Contact a MedMark Treatment Center near you today for help managing stress through withdrawal. Or, call 866.840.6658 to schedule an intake appointment.