Although you may be the ones typically handing out advice on managing stress, this past year may have caused you to feel overwhelmed by the endurance required to succeed at your job. It may have also taught you the importance of coping with your own stress too. By taking specific measures to ensure your own well-being, you can prevent your stress from overwhelming you and allow you to continue helping those in need.
5 Ways to Cope
- Listen to Your Stress Signals: When focusing so much on other people’s needs, it can be easy to forget about your own. By paying attention to your body’s stress signals, you can become more aware of the subtle or obvious ways your body is trying to communicate with you. You can then use these as a guide to making adjustments. For example, practicing yoga or meditation can be an excellent way to listen and tune in to your body. It can also be helpful to find a moment to sit quietly and close your eyes throughout the day. Sitting still and becoming aware of what is going on in your body can help indicate what you can do to manage your stress.
When you do start to notice certain signals, you may find your heart beating faster, “butterflies” in your stomach, or your jaw is often clenched. These signs can mean that you are feeling overwhelmed or that your stress is rising. These clues and signals are important to tap into because you can then directly ask yourself: How can I bring myself into a calmer state? You can then take action by going for a walk and turning off your phone for a quick break. If you feel more relaxed afterward, you can then know that you acknowledged a real stressor and responded to it healthily.
- Learn to Prioritize Things to Avoid Stress: Sometimes, it may feel like the number of things you have to get done is overwhelming when you look at them all together. However, prioritizing what needs to get done first and moving things that can wait to the next day could help you avoid feeling too overwhelmed by it all.
- Add Some De-Stressing Activities Into Your Routine: It can be easy to feel consumed by your daily routine rather than feeling like you have control over it. By adding some activities that help ease your stress, you can feel more balanced day-to-day. It can be beneficial to start your day off with something that lifts your mood or relaxes you. Often, we can be in such a rush out the door every day that we forget to be mindful of the stress this may be causing us before the day even starts. Making time to go for a run, yoga, or even some quick stretches can be a great way to get ahead of stress. Exercise and movement are helpful ways to manage stress and anxiety.
It can also be useful to add some de-stressing techniques into your evening routine. Although it can be tempting to scroll through social media or mindlessly watch another t.v. show, finding time to be present in the moment with yourself can help manage stress. For example, quietly observing nature, journaling, or meditating are good ways to give back to yourself after a long day of giving to others. Doing this before bed can help ease some of the anxieties that can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night.
- Embrace Imperfection: A lot of stress can derive from feeling the need to be perfect in everything you do. While it is a worthy goal to aim to be our best, it is essential to realize that nobody is perfect, and you should not feel like you have to be. When you fall short of perfect, it can be tempting to feel angry or annoyed with yourself, but this is a sure way to inflame stress and anxiety. Practicing compassion for yourself is key when you try your best, and things do not turn out perfectly.
Finding specific positive mantras to say to yourself when things get challenging can help you practice self-compassion and grace. Finding time in your routine to recall a memory or even say aloud a favorite inspirational quote, a line in a poem, or even “I’m trying my best, and my best is good enough” can take off some of the pressure of being perfect.
- Practice “Acceptance Coping” Instead of “Solutions Coping”: Another source of stress and anxiety as an addiction treatment professional may come from the fact that there will be certain things that are out of your control. Instead of stressing over how to find a solution to something that cannot be solved, try using acceptance to give you peace of mind that you’ve done all you can do.
As an addiction treatment professional, you may know more than others that human beings are not machines that can always be on the go. Not taking time to relax, can lead to stress, exhaustion, burnout, and other health challenges that can cause unhealthy coping mechanisms. While you may not have control over things such as your workload and the toll your job takes, you do have the power to take control of your own mental health and well-being. By listening to your stress signals, prioritizing, making room for de-stressing activities, embracing imperfection, and practicing acceptance, you can learn to manage your anxiety before it takes too much of a toll on your body and your mental health. As a premier substance abuse treatment facility in the Hollywood Hills, all of us at Alta Centers understand the importance of prioritizing mental health and well-being in order to go after your life’s goals and aspirations. Call (888) 202-2583.