Major life changes are situations that drastically alter a person’s life – these could be positive or negative and affect each person differently. Having a baby, getting married or divorced, starting or losing a job, the death of a loved one, and more can all be stressful and/or exciting for anyone but for those in addiction recovery, the effects can have a more drastic impact. If you’re going through a major life change, take the necessary steps towards preserving your health and well-being while still focusing on your mind, body, and spirit:
Step 1: Allow yourself to simply sit and breathe. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, give yourself permission to wait on reacting or responding, and practice mindfulness.
Step 2: Acknowledge any thoughts and feelings that come up; let yourself feel. After you’ve had some time to let the news sink in, recognize any thoughts and feelings that come up. If you’re angry, allow yourself to feel that way. If you’re sad, give yourself permission to cry. It’s healthy to feel your emotions.
Step 3: Practice healthy coping mechanisms. In your treatment program, you’ve likely learned of many ways to cope with challenging feelings – breathing exercises, engaging in positive-based exercises such as reading and yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy exercises and more; now is the time to bring out the tools you’ve learned.
Step 4: Reach out to your social support network. The best part of recovery is that you don’t have to go through anything alone. Contact your therapist or a leader in your treatment program. Reach out to a peer whom you can rely on for positive recovery support.
Step 5: Give yourself some time to think about any actions or decisions you plan to make. If the news you’ve received involves you deciding, give yourself time to really think about what you want to do. Acting quickly may only cause feelings of regret later.
Step 6: Continue following your established recovery routine. Part of moving forward in recovery means continuing with everything you’ve been working so hard for. Don’t allow any event to disrupt your progress.
Major life changes can be stressful and overwhelming, but this doesn’t mean that you must give up on your recovery journey. Consult trusted members of your treatment team because that’s what they’re there for; the most reputable treatment programs should offer services towards helping you work through these changes.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer services towards dealing with major life changes and staying on the right track with your recovery; reach out today at 888-743-0490 to learn more about how we can support you.