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Recovery in the Workplace: Tips for Staying Sober at a Stressful Job

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January 6, 2021

An astounding 83 percent of American workers report struggling with job-related stress. Though massive, this amount is not surprising – especially in light of COVID-19 and its resulting need for workplace adaptations.

While difficult for everyone, navigating work worries can be particularly challenging for people in recovery, as stress and addiction are closely linked. However, finding ways to cope with work stress is possible when you’re sober! If you’re struggling to maintain your sobriety amidst the pressures of a demanding job, we have some tips that may help.man stressed over recovery in the workplace

1. Set Clear Boundaries

While enduring the COVID-19 global health pandemic, it’s crucial to differentiate between working from home time and relaxation time.

As tough as it may be in our modern and constantly connected world, it’s essential to set boundaries between your work life and your personal life. While this may involve some self-discipline, establishing rules for yourself will help minimize your risk of becoming overwhelmed.

For example, you may find it helpful to limit how often you check your work email (now I do it three times a day versus all day). You may also turn off work-related smartphone notifications or use the “Do Not Disturb” setting when you’re off the clock.

2. Find a Support Group or Recovery Meeting

Sometimes all it takes to mitigate work stress is to spend time with people who understand what you’re going through. Whether it’s Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Smart Recovery, or another type of addiction support group, attending a meeting during your lunch break can do wonders for easing job-related anxiety.

Plus, it’s easier than ever to get to an online meeting these days during the novel coronavirus pandemic, so you don’t have to travel far to connect with others and find support during the workday.

3. Take Time Off

According to a recent study, more than half of American workers don’t use up their paid vacation days. Taking time off is a necessity when it comes to maintaining your sobriety. In addition to experiencing an overload of stress, you may become resentful towards your employer if you don’t use your paid time off (PTO) —despite it being your decision to do so.

Setting aside “personal” days can help you manage your recovery from addiction. Self-care is an essential part of recovery and taking advantage of paid time off is great way to separate yourself from your job and tend to your personal needs.

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