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Stressed on the Job? 5 Ways to Combat Workplace Stress With Healthy Recovery

Recovery is a long process, often filled with difficult days, hard decisions and times when you feel like giving up. Depending on the stress of your job, work can feel like a battleground for recovery. It’s important to make sure you can find the right amount of work life balance during your daily work routine.

It’s the same in life as it is in work – it’s better to be prepared. As you work to improve recovery and implement healthy practices that keep you strong, be mindful of your stress tolerance and how your job may play a role in your state of mind each day. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to stay centered in recovery, even in the middle of a meeting, task or conversation at work.

5 Workplace Tips to Strengthen Your Recovery

Here are a few options to try as you strive to keep your recovery strong in the workplace:

  • Hit a meeting. Whether you’re involved in AA, NA, SMART Recovery or Celebrate Recovery, there’s likely a meeting close by. If you have a lunch break, try to hit a meeting. One hour away from work – and into the mindset of recovery – may be exactly what you need to go back to work refreshed and with a different perspective to your stress.

  • Find a friend. It might be difficult finding a friend who’s in recovery at your place of work, but try to find someone in recovery or a healthy, supportive coworker that can be a point of strength during the day. Avoid workplace gossip, but find someone you feel comfortable sharing your emotions or feelings with – and someone who will walk with you for 10 minutes or go grab a quick coffee to talk about your stress, worries and how to regroup. It’s critical to surround yourself with healthy, likeminded people – even in the workplace.
  • Focus on mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness and meditation can last anywhere from one minute to 60 minutes. You can take whatever time you have, whether large or small, to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into your daily life. There are a variety of apps to download – like Calm or Headspace – that will walk you through a 10-minute guided meditation if you’re new to the practice. Close your office door, meditate and try to practice stress reduction tips that will keep you at your best at work – and in your recovery.
  • Do something nice for a coworker. Giving back is a cornerstone principle to recovery. And if you’ve had a difficult day at work, it’s likely that your coworkers have, too. As in your recovery, try to be generous and giving – in the words you speak, in the compliments you give, and in the way you bring joy to those around you. Whether it’s bringing someone coffee, complimenting them on a job well done, recognizing them in a group setting or a simple thank you card – your kindness will go a long way and keep you centered throughout the day.
  • Take a gratitude break. Mayo Clinic-physician, Dr. Amit Sood, talks about sending silent well wishes to others, or silently practicing gratitude in the midst of hard days. What are you thankful for? How has recovery impacted your life? Gratitude is a cornerstone principle. So when you feel overwhelmed or overcome with stress, go for a quick gratitude break. Take a walk and list the things you’re thankful for – and send silent well-wishes to others, too. By re-centering yourself in gratitude, you’ll be better equipped to handle the stress of the workplace without sacrificing your recovery along the way.

Make Stress Management a Priority in Your Recovery

Work stress can feel difficult to manage, but when you’re in recovery, it’s critical to prepare for stressful times and have strategies in your toolkit. Focusing on healthy strategies to live your best life in recovery at work and at home will help you stay consistent, focused and healthy.

A well-known recovery quote says, “I must put my recovery first so that everything else I love in life does not have to come last.” When you’re dealing with workplace stress, put your recovery first. The way you live and lead ties back first to the way you recover. Your aptitude for stress, for problem-solving, for strategic thinking and all other skills your job requires – they all tie back to your recovery pulse. Where are you at today? What do you need to do in the breaks you have at work to stay vigilant and focused? Be sure to pay attention to where you’re at and what you need – and find ways to work your recovery at work.

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