I’m very grateful to have my job, it keeps me busy and distracted but I’m starting to feel burnt out working everyday without having a drink to come home to at the end of the day. Any tips on how to relax in the early days of recovery?
Some of the things that I did was read a ton on this forum. It helped me identify with other addicts. I did diamond painting, acrylic painting, beading, painted rocks. I spent lots of time outdoors walking in the woods, at the beach or on the mountain. I exercised as best I could. Played games with my family. Went to Narcotic Anonymous meetings and started a set of steps. I went back to school and got my Grade 12. That kept me busy enough to get 1 year clean.
Some people have taken up cooking!!!
Thank you for the advice! I definitely need to try to find some hobbies it’s just so hard at first considering drinking was my hobby haha
Quieting my mind helps me relax. I do this thru guided meditation, often in the evening at bedtime.
I also found yin yoga relaxing (can find lots of free videos on YouTube).
Running or walking relaxes me. Warm baths with a sober lit book.
Baking is a big relaxer for me.
So much time our drinking and hangovers took up! Lots of time to start new healthier unwind rituals.
Yeah it’s incredible how much free time we end up with. I found that if my hands were busy I was safe. So even when I was watching a movie I needed to be doing something with my hands and my mind would wander less to wanting a drink.
Lots of good Infomation and advice so far, il just add what worked for me.
For me having something to look forward each evening is something I really had to have, this gave me reason to get through the day so I could enjoy the evening and the evening got me through the night, things like :
Cooking a favourite meal that you will look forward too through out the day.
Watching a new series on tv.
Having a relaxing bath like mentioned above whilst listening to something is really relaxing.
Reading and watching lots of documentarys.
Lots of small things I learnt where comforting and exciting to look forward to.
Iv also had to try new things that I wasnt sure I’d even enjoy but wouldnt know if I didnt try:
new genre of books, for me instead of true crime I was drawn more to self help books and more spiritual.
sketching which I never had done except with kids so watching tutorials on you tube to sketch realistic with pencils- I really got into this as it really stopped all the chaos and thinking going on in my head, I actually sat quietly whilst my brain was constantly being kept busy with productivity and learning leaving no time to think so it’s quite therapeutic and give your mind a break.
Going to meetings which il be honest was something I needed to do because the lack of face to face human interaction in my life, for me I felt lonely and I saw this as a slippery slope to a relapse at some point. So the meetings are great, iv met some nice people there and I was welcomed in like I belonged and that was lovely experience.
It’s also a great way to fill up your evening whilst meeting people who are on the same journey as you and knowing how others do it helps us do it too.
Getting out, I suffer with bad anxiety but I have my dog and getting out with her in the evenings going on an adventure together has helped alot. I also noticed my anxiety isnt as bad since quitting too.
Swimming, the past month I started.
Hadnt been for years and I just did it and now I can’t stop, it’s so nice exercising whilst not pushing my body to far but the mental boost it give me after is amazing as well as feeling more confident.
Meditation, Its so helpful. I use guided ones and they really help in so many ways.
There are so many things, when you think you have tried what you know and they become boring you have to out something else in, it is worth trying new things as when we become sober we are also learning who we are and what we actually like in life so experiment and see what’s enjoyable for you.
I loveeee listening to rain live audios on YouTube, in a dimmed room with some essential oil diffusers with lavender. I also love the smell of Vicks it’s super calming to me. Stretching well and doing breathing exercises help me a lot too!
I underestimated the power of stretching and breathing exercises. It was a great dopamine release
I have painted so many rocks! I can do it for hours.
One of the things I found was that my feeling of burnout and dissatisfaction was happening because what I was doing with my time was not in line with my core desires and values: the things that are important to me; the things that are my core sense of identity, my core self, the things that are who I am.
I wasn’t in line with those, so I felt burnt out.
This is one of the reasons I left my corporate job to become an entrepreneur. That has helped me. There’s a million other things that people can value though, so my advice would be, take some time this weekend to sit down and really ask yourself what you value.
- If you had a magic wand and could put yourself ____ (in work, life, wherever), where would you be? What would you be doing?
- Who is influenced by what you do? How does what you do influence others, and how do you invite healthy influence from others into your life? What are these influences? (generally speaking as humans we need to feel an impact, from us, and also on us, to feel fulfilled)
- If you have some helpful friends or family you can ask, maybe 2 or 3 people, ask them what they think is important to you, based on what they know of you. That outside input helps give some perspective.
Best of luck! Take it one day at a time and don’t give up.
Once you know what you value, take time to write a list of how you get it. Break it down into little steps, every little step you need, to get there. Do some research if you have to.
Then act. One day at a time, one step at a time. Every day, repeat to yourself, “I achieve my goals. I do not give up. I learn and grow, every day.” That helps build positive self concept.
The trick is to be persistent. Know that you are persistent. Say, “I persist until my goal is achieved.” Be as persistent as the river flowing. It never stops, no matter what is in its way; even the biggest human-made dam has to have channels for the water to flow through, otherwise the water would overflow the dam. It always reaches the sea.
I did alot of self care. I schedueld time for myself to have self care/relax which was usually at night. I loved my baths with lavender essential oil. I would do a meditation while in the bath to unwind. Light some candles etc. That was very much my go to in early recovery.
Here’s what I did: for the first 90 days of sobriety, I went for an evening walk while listening to podcasts. This soon became a ritual, replacing that first after work drink, which was followed by many more. After 3 months I signed up for martial arts classes. Changing out of work clothes into my uniform was a Transitional ritual, followed by my class. When I’d leave the school after class I had tremendous peace, was exhausted, and slept like a baby knowing I’d ended the day both constructively and stayed sober.
Find something that interests you, and set some time aside each evening to do it. Soon it will be something you look forward to, and becomes a new ritual.
I played on animal crossing on the nintendo seitch for 3 months solid. Its my kids game but it soon became mine haha. Its a very cute calm relaxing game. Collecting things planting things fishing earning play money get a bigger house decorate. I built an entire village. It kept my hands busy and my mind occupied and calm. It got me through. I dont play it anymore but im so thankful i had it in the early days.
You could make some handmade christmas labels for gifts. Doesbt matter if your crafty or not… do anything … anything is better than nothing x
For me, it seemed that unwinding was purely a mental thing. I wanted a mental distance from my responsibilities and myself. Alcohol provided that mental distance.
After quitting, I had to rely on other things to provide that distance. Meditation was effective. Cooking, cleaning, organizing my home, going for walks, mowing the lawn, choring. Really anything to help keep my mind off of my responsibilities. Soon, all these became routine and I found myself more productive than ever before.
Early days, I walked a lot. Slow strolls with a magnifying glass to really look at stuff. Leaves, bugs, flowers… This was in addition to running; a totally different activity with a totally different reason. It was just to get present with the miracles around us, rather than escaping. After a while, I no longer felt separate from the world, no longer splitting myself off by my own actions. In the present, it’s easy to continue staying sober. My job before sobriety was hard (for me) to leave at work. With no such boundaries, I sought relief 750 ml at a time. If I chose tasks in early sobriety, I kept them simple: one drawer sorted, etc. And I always had someone from my ladies home group to phone and cheer for each other. It gets so much better. Be kind to yourself