Completing treatment while being able to keep a job is a feat. Life does not immediately get back to “normal” after that, especially when you need to perform well at work. You will need to maintain a healthy balance between recovery and work to prevent yourself from becoming overly stressed. Recovery is largely about rebuilding a balanced life for sustaining sobriety. The risk of relapse is lurking around if you ignore this important lesson.
Work-related Stress and Relapse
People who have achieved early sobriety may experience a sense of excitement and a determination to make up for past poor performances at work. Some may want to prove themselves and become over-achievers. Sometimes their employer expects them to do better at work. As a result, these recovering individuals put in extra hours and take on challenging tasks at work. While this fresh start can be admirable, it is important to avoid stress and anxiety which is the primary trigger to relapse.
Consider this early sobriety phase a transition after treatment. Give yourself enough time to adjust to the many stimulations and demands in a workplace environment. This adjustment should be guided by a slow pace and a great deal of self-assessment on how you are managing stress. You should also rely on a strong support group. Do not assume that you are doing fine on your own. This transitional phase requires you to build a stronger foundation of work-life balance before you can take on more demands in life.
Workplace Boundaries and Disciplines
One skill you can work on when it comes to performing better at your job is time management. Going through addiction recovery should have taught you about how to overcome bad habits of procrastination and practice self-discipline. This same principle can be applied to work scenarios. Plan your workday ahead of time and do not allow work to build up until the last minute. Time management skills can enable you to become more efficient and less stressed. These can be conducive to your ongoing recovery.
It is also important to set work-life boundaries. Make sure you always get restful sleep and early morning exercises to brighten up your spirit. Do not rush into a day without having a calm moment to connect with yourself. When work does get stressful, take a moment during the day to practice mindfulness and help yourself relax. Try not to skip lunch or scheduled breaks, but use these times to de-stress. You need to build these self-care practices into your working days as a way to safeguard progress in recovery.
The Benefits of Working While Recovering
While keeping a job can present a bit of stress, it also offers many benefits. First of all, being able to work restores a sense of self-sufficiency. Secondly, getting back to a familiar territory where you can use your talents and gifts can be very fulfilling. This restores stability and security to you and your family. Thirdly, being able to socialize with co-workers and clients helps you transition to a normal social life. Many people who leave rehab treatment may find themselves socially isolated. Work provides that connection to others and fulfilling participation in life.
Being able to perform at a job provides financial security. You also learn responsibilities in providing for your family. People who face joblessness after completing treatment may find life stressful and challenging. Unemployment can be a trigger for anxiety, depression, and relapse. If you can keep your job after completing treatment, consider it a blessing.
Stay Connected With a Strong Support Group
Although work can be fulfilling, do not let it dominate your life. You still need to maintain good communication and connections with a strong recovery community. Attend support groups and share with peers about your progress. Make friends with other recovering professionals who might be working on the same balancing skills as you are. Bring your day-to-day concerns to these conversations and you will benefit from the collective insight.
Meanwhile, rely on support from your family and friends. Be open and honest to them about the many challenges at work. Simply talking about these incidents and verbalizing your emotions can be a way to de-stress. Do not allow your emotions to be bottled up, because that will not help.
Do not bring work home, be fully present to your loved ones during weekends. Try not to over-use social media and other electronic devices. Nurture new healthy hobbies with your family and friends. It could be taking a hike in a park or cultivating a new backyard garden together. If you integrate a wide range of self-care techniques into building a healthy and balanced lifestyle, this will be a new beginning for both yourself and your family.
Do you know the secret of how to maintain recovery progress while working? You need to stay connected with a strong recovery community. Attend support groups and share with peers about your progress. Make friends with other recovering professionals who might be working on the same balancing skills as you are. Pacific Sands Recovery Center offers this kind of strong recovery support. You can benefit from personalized care and attention that is hard to achieve at larger facilities. We understand the importance of dual diagnosis treatment because addiction often has co-occurring mental health issues. Believing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, we offer the most customized plans that accommodate your needs. Our experienced staff help working professionals maintain a work-life-recovery balance. We are onsite 24/7 to offer you support. You can also connect with many friendly, motivated, and driven people looking to achieve and maintain sobriety while working. Call us at (714) 492-1119 today.