How To Cope With Back-to-school Anxiety In Addiction Recovery

Follow these 7 tips to deal with back-to-school stress triggers that can break your sobriety. Stress is an important factor known to increase relapse rates.

7 Tip To Deal With Back-to-School Stress

Green chalk board back to school stress

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Completing an addiction treatment program is a huge accomplishment and the first portion of your journey toward recovery. Returning to society after rehab for alcoholics in NJ and returning to a daily routine can pose challenges. You have been working on your stress triggers throughout treatment and developing new ways to cope with stress. It’s not unusual to feel stressed, worried, and anxious over the start of the new school year. Some will fear not knowing what to expect, new traffic patterns, new schedules, and new challenges. However, having a relapse prevention plan for coping with these stressors will promote a positive school experience and assist you in maintaining your recovery.

Be Prepared to Avoid Stress Triggers

If you have school-aged children, look at supply lists and purchase all the kid’s supplies ahead of time. Begin taking alternate routes to and from work so you can find ways to get around traffic once school begins. Make checklists of tasks that need to be completed daily so you can check items off your list and ensure they get done each day. Make your coffee at home and put it in a thermos; this way, regardless if you’re running five minutes behind schedule or if the line at the coffee place is long, it doesn’t impact you. Please schedule an appointment with your mental health counselor to ensure you are set up for success and reach out to someone for support should you need it.

Set Boundaries

Once school begins, the demand for volunteers also begins. If signing up to bake brownies for fifty is too stressful and you still want to contribute, volunteer to donate the napkins. Know your limits, don’t take on more than you can handle. Look for carpool opportunities, and don’t schedule anything that will interfere with your recovery meetings. Remember, your recovery comes before everything else; this will also help prevent emotional relapses.

Rely on Your Routine

A daily routine will help you stay to begin your day and stay organized, and it will also eliminate a lot of your anxiety. Since you’ll have it scheduled, you’ll know what to expect and never feel overwhelmed. Keep a daily, weekly, and monthly calendar. This way, you can see what’s on your schedule for the day, what to anticipate for the rest of the week, and where to make time for yourself in the month. Knowing where to be and what you need for the day helps to reduce stress in a big way. During your stay at a treatment facility, you had a very scheduled day which helped to provide stability and behavioral therapies. Remember, self-care is essential to recovery, so make sure you pencil in some time to meditate or relax each day.

Connect with Your Support Network

If you have a habit of self-isolating when stressed, do the opposite and reach out to someone. Other people also experience back-to-school stress whether they are in recovery or not. Having a support system of someone to contact if your kid forgets their homework on their desk or if the practice time changed and now you need someone to drive them home will help to eliminate unnecessary stress. If you don’t know anyone yet, use this as an opportunity to get to know other people so that you can feel secure in the school environment. These people will be friendly faces to see at any future school events. Contact your sponsor or therapist when you have tough days and attend support group meetings regularly.

Make Healthy Decisions

After completing a drug detox program, ensuring you eat nutritiously, exercise regularly, and get enough rest are all essential components of addiction recovery. If your feeling exhausted, malnourished, or sluggish, you might put your recovery at risk. Exercise is excellent for endorphins that elevate your mood, increase energy levels, boost immunity, aid sleep, and reduce stress. Which all reduce the risk of relapse. Alcohol and drug use take a significant toll on the body. After completing a drug or alcohol detox, your body will require nutrients you have been deprived of. At the beginning of detoxification and recovery, you must introduce meals slowly since your body isn’t used to breaking down this amount of food. Avoid attending back-to-school happy hours or get-togethers that may serve alcohol, and you will not be tempted to break your sobriety.

Stay Active

Exercise is an excellent way to meet other people and keep yourself active. Endorphins promote positivity, and exercise keeps your body healthy. Exercise is also an excellent way to establish a routine after becoming free from addiction. Yoga for drug addiction and recovery is a great way to include exercise alongside meditation. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that “studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive function.” This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.
Exercise helps to regulate stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. It’s a great way to keep yourself occupied, learn new things, and challenge yourself physically and mentally.

Reduce Screen Time

It’s accessible to how long you’ve been on your phone when scrolling through your social media whenever you have free time, but it’s not only a distraction; it can also trigger a relapse. According to the National Library of Medicine, excess screen time creates lower psychological well-being. You don’t want to develop the habit of comparing yourself to others or seeing old friends out and about having a good time, which could lead to feelings of missing out. In reality versus social media moments, you know the reality that no one is posting pictures of their struggles or how hungover they felt the next day. All they are portraying is the good stuff. Stick to focusing on the present and your recovery. Sometimes it’s to keep a list of why you started the journey toward recovery and a list of all the things that have improved since you took that first step!

The beginning of a new school year can be exciting and stressful at the same time. You might feel overwhelmed with the new schedule, traffic, afterschool activities, and extra responsibilities the school year brings. However, having a plan will make the transition from summer into the school year much more manageable. Attend the best rehab in New Jersey to begin living your life free from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Contact Avatar Residential Detox Center today to discuss questions regarding health insurance, detox, rehab, relapse prevention, and aftercare planning. We can provide you assistance on the path toward long-term recovery. Call us today at (973)-774-7222.

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