Last Updated on March 12, 2021
Fighting addiction is an uphill battle, with new challenges lurking around every corner. Unexpected triggers may pop up, resulting in relapses, making sobriety challenging long-term. While struggling to fight addiction, a full-time job can send the delicate balancing-act crashing with increased stressors and expectations bogging you down.
Unfortunately, workplace triggers like pressure from employers, toxic workplace culture, and lack of support are sometimes unavoidable. However, if you equip yourself with coping strategies, you can avoid downward spirals when workplace stressors occur.
If you’re struggling to maintain sobriety because of triggers at work, review the following tips to combat addiction in and out of work.
Seek professional help
Being honest with yourself about addiction is critical when attempting to kick bad habits and maintain sobriety long-term. Additionally, recognizing the signs of addiction is essential if you want to sustain meaningful progress. If you’re distracted by cravings, come to work intoxicated, feel a lack of control surrounding substances, it may be time to seek professional help.
Although sobriety isn’t easy, a sober lifestyle comes with immediate and gradual benefits, like improved mental clarity, increased energy, and better eating habits. To achieve sobriety, begin by admitting you have a problem and familiarizing yourself with the addiction timeline. Once you understand addiction and the sobriety process, you can assess your behaviors and create a plan based on where you’re at in the timeline.
Luckily, you aren’t alone in your recovery. Once you’ve recognized the tell-tale signs of addictive behavior, help is just around the corner. Recovery-oriented programs are a no-fail solution for those substance use disorder sufferers looking for support and guidance. In addition, local AA or NA groups allow you to meet like-minded individuals afflicted with addiction. Your chances of recovery skyrocket by surrounding yourself with a community of addiction specialists and people who understand your plights.
As an added bonus, meetings and recovery programs can operate around your work schedule, and many local groups are free of cost to aid in your sobriety journey.
Find a sponsor
In addition to signing up for treatment or attending weekly meetings, finding a sponsor is critical in dodging relapse. A 12-step mentor offers you guidance and a place to turn when sobriety feels impossible. Together, you can write-up a prevention plan, considering individual stressors like increased workload and unsupportive coworkers.
Develop good habits
Outpatient treatment programs equip you with resources to help aid in your recovery, but ultimately, you have to continue healthy habits to ensure continued sobriety. When dealing with increased stress at work and continued cravings, engaging in self-care is critical. Set a reliable sleeping schedule, implement an exercise routine, and limit time spent in work environments as much as possible. The more you engage in stressful, triggering situations, the greater your chances are of relapse.
Improve your work environment
While developing good habits to combat triggers is essential, there is also a benefit in fine-tuning your work environment to better serve your addiction recovery. Once you can recognize workplace triggers without falling victim to them, you can create a battle plan to maintain your sobriety and still keep your job.
While you can’t control your coworkers, for example, you can control how you interact with them. If their behavior triggers your old habits, distancing yourself from them will help maintain your sobriety. Skipping happy hour and smoke breaks is an excellent start to improving your work environment and stoking good habits.
Combating addiction is a full-time job, and when combined with a 9-5 career, you’re working overtime. The workplace is filled to the brim with triggers, from stress-inducing projects to coworkers discussing substances to employers who are unsupportive of your journey. Evade relapse by finding professional help, creating healthy habits, implementing a daily routine, and engaging in self-care to avoid stress-induced relapse.