The road to recovery from addiction can be long and difficult, and even after treatment there will be multiple triggers and causes of stress that arise. In fact, stress is one of the biggest key risk factors in relapse and failure of treatment amongst addicts, which makes it extremely important to manage in recovery. Nutrition provides multiple ways to relieve stress, and a proper and healthy diet will relieve pressures quite effectively, as well as regular exercise and meditation practices.

Practice Mindfulness

Meditation provides relief from anxiety and built up pressures, and should be prioritized as highly as nutrition and exercise. The importance of practicing meditation is catching on, as 14.2% of Americans have meditated in the past year, which is up dramatically from 4.2% five years ago. Meditation can be practiced anywhere, and there are multiple classes, vlogs, and apps (best option being Headspace) that teach the basic principles of the practise. When recovering from addiction, it’s important that certain triggers that promote stress are managed without turning to the substance; these common triggers include travelling, social events, and a dramatic life event such as divorce or the loss of a loved one. Having a plan and the skills to work through the sudden anxiety is imperative for the journey to recovery, and meditation greatly aids on this front.

Eat Healthy Meals

The importance of nutrition is of course vital for proper recovery. A well nourished body will be able to better manage the difficulties that come with rehabilitation, such as anxiety and stress. Following a nutritional plan that has been cultivated with these specific needs in mind increase the chances of avoiding stress triggers. A diet rich in Vitamin C, Magnesium, Omega 3 fatty acids, and complex carbohydrates have all been proven to reduce stress levels in the body. Herbal remedies and teas should also be consumed, such as chamomile, mint, barley tea, passionflower, and Valerian root.

Daily Exercise

Incorporating exercise into a daily schedule will undoubtedly reduce stress, prevent anxiety, improve mood, and enhance overall mental wellbeing and stability. Exercise and fitness is so effective on reducing stress that it has been proven to prevent relapse in addiction recovery. Having a fitness plan to follow when in recovery will add structure and routine to your day, which are also key factors in the management of stress in sobriety. Stick to 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, such as walking, swimming, and cycling, and gradually add 3 strength training sessions per week.

Being in recovery, whether that be in a rehabilitation center or once released back into your everyday life, can be a stress inducing environment. The main coping mechanism used for most addicts has been removed, and alternate methods are then needed to combat the feelings of anxiety and stress. But with the correct program and guidance that focuses on taking care of the physical and mental well being of the individual above all, successful management is certainly possible and attainable.