Each day in recovery comes filled with stressors, whether someone is just beginning their journey in the detox phase or employing their own coping skills and reworking their lives during an IOP. The anxieties that someone faces on a daily basis can make the world feel like it is running at a break-neck pace, and someone may feel desperate trying to keep up. However, this constantly rushing mental state can lead to a number of hurdles in the recovery process. There is no way to rush the recovery process, and re-establishing one’s life in their newfound sobriety takes time and effort as people begin to rework relationships, career paths, or even daily routines. While someone may be rushing to try to figure it all out, it is important to be able to slow down the day and allow someone to rest, both physically and mentally, amongst the fast-paced world in which they live.
The Dangers of Rushing in Recovery
Recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is a long process. Not only does it take time to learn the skills that someone will be using on a daily basis to cope with urges and stressors, but those in recovery are also left tasked with determining where they want their lives to head both personally and professionally. Each step is extremely stressful, and there can be an overwhelming desire to just “be better” so someone doesn’t have to deal with these daily stresses or pains anymore. Unfortunately, recovery from addiction can’t just be overcome in a short time. In fact, someone trying to rush recovery may be doing more harm to themselves than good. Rushing in recovery can lead someone to set unrealistic goals for themselves, and thus increase their already high levels of stress when these expectations cannot be met. Further adding to someone’s anxieties or feelings of depression can be completely debilitating for someone in recovery, and they may feel as if they simply can’t recover because of these unrealistic goals, leading to someone compromising the recovery process as a whole.
How to Begin to Slow Down the Day
Being able to slow down, take a breath, and take stock of one’s successes is important, even if it stands in stark contrast to the fast pace of the world around us. For those in recovery, being able to slow down one’s day can provide the needed mental and physical break that someone may need in order to process their own emotions, as well as engage in their own self-care. Regardless of where someone is in their own recovery or stage of life, there always seems to be more and more to do. While this may be true, there is often an unhealthy amount of focus that is put on what still needs to be done, and not enough time spent looking back and acknowledging all the steps and actions that have been taken.
Detaching from the pace of the world around can take a few different forms, such as taking a walk or hike, meditating, or even just deciding to unplug and avoid watching television or engaging with social media. It is a time where someone limits the amount of information and outside influence that the world can have on them at any given moment. This can also take a literal form as someone can decide to leave their phone or watch at home while they go out for their own health, and therefore simply cannot check the time. Dedicating a day each week to allowing yourself to take time into your own hands without the influence of many of these outside stressors can help you feel rejuvenated, as well as allow you to assess your accomplishments of the week.
Stick to a Daily List
Having a daily list of tasks that feed into one’s overarching goals can be a way for someone to continue working towards their own major goals while still being able to take things slower. Not only can the list serve as a way to check yourself to ensure your daily goals are reasonable for someone to accomplish, but it can also give a very needed endpoint to a day of work. This allows you to have a daily goal to look forward to, as well as help you realize how much work you are truly putting into your goals every day. By knowing one’s successes, it can be easier to take that break and allow yourself to detach from the world, safe in the knowledge that you are still making progress.
Don’t Overcomplicate Tasks
Life always has a lot of things going on simultaneously. All of these different aspects in one’s personal and professional lives constantly spinning in one’s head can make it seem like there is a complex, interconnected web of expectations and stresses. While it may be tempting to try to take care of as much as someone can during any given day, there may be more to be gained in taking the simple path, and not trying to multitask amidst the stress. Keeping tasks simple and taking them one at a time allows you not just to be able to internalize and better the work that you are doing — whether it be practicing a new coping technique, daily routine, exercise, individual or group therapy, or dedicating time to one’s family and working to restore the relationships therein — it also allows you to be able to recognize when a task is completed, and reward yourself for such an accomplishment.
There are innumerable stressors that someone could come across on any day, and the constant exposure to these stressors can make someone’s entire world feel as if it is moving at an incomprehensible speed. Being able to slow down the day and set reasonable expectations is important to maintaining a healthy outlook. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, or the stressors of the world as a result, the caring professionals at Lighthouse Recovery can help. With a number of varied programs all catered to help each individual with their own personal goals in recovery, there are always new options to try, as well as new therapeutic approaches to ensure that each person can continue working towards their goals. For more information on how Lighthouse Recovery can help you, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique circumstance, call Lighthouse today at 214-396-0259.