Stress Relief Tips for Recovering Addicts

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Stress Relief Tips for Recovering Addicts

Managing stress in addiction recovery can be challenging, but it’s also very important. Our luxury drug and alcohol rehab in Palm Beach knows that stress is a common contributing factor to addiction and relapse in recovery. In our rehab programs, we incorporate various therapies to help patients identify their stress triggers and develop the appropriate relapse prevention strategies. Because finding relief from stress and anxiety is easier said than done, we’re offering 12 stress relief tips for recovering addicts. 

12 of the Best Stress Relief Tips for Recovering Addicts

Developing efficient stress and anxiety relief tips in addiction recovery is key to managing this process. Recovering from addiction can be an unpredictable emotional rollercoaster. Stress is a common aspect of life in general, and you will experience it in addiction recovery. Below are 12 stress management exercises for substance abusers in recovery that are both effective and realistic. 

Set aside time in the morning to journal, pray, or meditate

Oftentimes, your morning will determine your attitude for the remainder of the day. If you’re waking up with enough time to do everything you need and rush out the door, you’re not giving yourself time to ease into the new day. A great strategy for reducing unwanted stress is to give yourself at least an extra five minutes in the morning to pray, meditate, journal, or just wake up. This can help prepare you to tackle any stressors as they come. 

Create a consistent routine

Setting addiction recovery goals and establishing a routine alleviates a lot of stress. Whether it’s at home or work, creating a daily routine that incorporates your responsibilities and time for self-care sets you up for success. While spontaneity can be fun every once in a while, setting up a daily routine mitigates the chances of things going missing, appointments being forgotten, and tasks being left undone. 

Listen to relaxing music

There is plenty of research that supports the benefits of reducing unwanted stress with music.1 What we listen to affects our emotions more than we think. If your commute to work is already stressful, try to avoid listening to intense music. While heavy rock may help you pump out a good workout in the gym, it can make you feel high-strung and on edge in other moments of the day. Instead, finding a soothing soundtrack that settles your thoughts and emotions. 

Reduce your caffeine intake

Caffeine is a stimulant that’s normally found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and soda. Many people drink coffee for its energy-boosting side effects. However, while coffee can give you that extra boost you need in the mornings, it can also make you anxious and jittery. As with many other substances, you can build a tolerance to caffeine. As a result, you may need to drink more and more of it to experience the same side effects. This can quickly become a bad habit that does more harm than good. If you’re experiencing the negative side effects of caffeine, cut back. 

Try breathing exercises

Breathing exercises can help you relax in a moment of stress. Regulating your breathing is important to reducing stress. Breathing exercises are some of the best stress-relieving techniques because they activate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system. This slows your heart rate and lowers your cortisol levels, ultimately alleviating stress.

Practice progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is when you relax each muscle in your body one by one. First, tense up all of your muscles. Then gradually relax each of them starting with your toes and work your way to your eyebrows. This technique helps you recognize any physical tension and distracts you as you try to relax. Stress can also manifest itself in physical ailments. It’s common for stress to physically overwhelm you to the point where you experience a migraine or a cramp. Practicing progressive muscle relaxation is a great technique for reducing and avoiding discomfort caused by stress. 

Go for a walk or spend time outdoors

Exercising in addiction recovery is highly beneficial for stress relief and maintaining your health. Set aside time every day to go for a walk or do some other physical activity outdoors. Connecting with nature and moving your body releases mood-boosting endorphins and burns off excess energy. Doing so can not only alleviate stress but can also help you sleep better at night. 

Get enough sleep

Most people get cranky when they don’t get enough sleep. Sleep helps us function properly. While it may be tempting to watch one more episode, read one more chapter, or watch one more video before bed, you’re not doing yourself any favors by cutting down your sleep time. Sleep and addiction recovery go hand in hand, and catching enough ZZZs can greatly reduce irritability. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night to avoid waking up cranky and creating a vicious cycle of stress.  

Eat a healthy diet

What you eat affects your mood and your energy levels. Eating well-balanced and healthy foods can boost your mood, making it difficult for stress to take over. Eating fast food or sugary foods can cause a rush followed by a sudden crash in energy levels. Unhealthy foods can also make you feel sluggish and cause physical changes that may also induce stress. 

Spend time with loved ones

What better way to relax and have fun than to spend time with your loved ones? A great way to reduce stress, anxiety, and worries is to surround yourself with your favorite people. Go out or stay in for a fun night with friends and family. You can even set aside a day every week or month dedicated to spending time with the people you care about.  

At our Florida luxury drug and alcohol rehab, we offer a family program that helps families of individuals with addictions recover from the impact of substance abuse. Addiction is a disease that affects the individual and every person involved in their life. We pride ourselves in providing addiction services to patients and their loved ones to promote healing within the family unit. 

Journal consistently

One of the most popular addiction recovery stress relief tips on our list is journaling. Journaling is an excellent way to organize and manage your stress. Had a long day? Write about it. Argued with a loved one? Write about it. Sometimes it’s better to organize our thoughts on paper before we try to solve anything. You can also jot down positive moments or things you’re grateful for. Journaling is meant to be a therapeutic technique that allows you to privately manage stress.  

Go to therapy

At Seaside Palm Beach, we understand that recovery is a never-ending journey. We offer an alumni program to help patients who have completed their treatments continue progressing in their recovery. Stress is a common contributing factor to relapse. If you find yourself or someone else in addiction recovery struggling to manage their stress, seek out professional help. 

If you or a loved one is battling addiction or mental illness, call Seaside Palm Beach now at 561-677-9374 to learn how we can help. 


  1. Stanford – Feeling the beat: Symposium explores the therapeutic effects of rhythmic music

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