Recovery is a journey, not a destination—and eventually, that journey will lead you out of inpatient treatment and back into “regular” life. This means returning to work, even as you continue to work on your sobriety. That’s a daunting proposition, which is why after care and transitional living can be such important parts of the recovery journey. It’s vital to continue working on your coping and stress management skills before you head back to the office.
And when you do head back to work, there are some strategies that can help you keep your recovery intact. Here are a few guidelines and recommendations for working professionals.
Going Back to Work—While Pursing Recovery
Continue going to therapy
Hopefully, you’re still making appointments with your therapist or support group. The frequency of those appointments is something you can discuss with your therapist, but make sure to keep those appointments, even during weeks when you don’t feel like you “need” them. This is an important way for you to stay focused on those coping skills and recovery mechanisms.
Know your triggers
Certain scenarios might “trigger” your cravings and make it difficult for you to maintain sobriety. It’s helpful to know what those triggers are; you can talk through them with our therapist or counselor, and work on strategies to avoid them (when possible) or else just cope with them.
Take advantage of HR
In some companies, the HR department may have policies or resources available to help those who are in recovery. If you feel comfortable talking about your addiction recovery with the HR professional, by all means do so, and ask about any services or solutions that are available to you.
Have a plan for attacking stress
One of the key pieces of addiction recovery is dealing with stress. When you return to work, you’ll definitely be in situations that lead to anxiety, so how will you respond? Make sure you have healthy outlets for channeling your stress—journaling, exercising, or whatever else works for you. Here again, make sure you work on a plan with the input of your therapist.
Take care of yourself
Make sure you are in a strong, healthy, and energetic place as you pursue your recovery. Get eight hours of sleep each night. Stay hydrated, and eat nutritious meals. Exercise each day, even if it’s something as simple as a light walk.
Remember your relapse prevention plan
Working with your therapist, you should have a relapse prevention plan designed to keep you on the right path even during stressful seasons. Talk through that relapse prevention plan regularly. Make sure you’re familiar with all the things you should be doing to remain healthy and sober. Talk to your therapist about revising the plan as needed.
Seek treatment if you need to
There’s no shame in needing some further treatment, even after you complete your initial inpatient recovery. Partial hospitalization and executive rehab programs can provide some options that accommodate your busy schedule. Reach out to Experience Recovery if you need to take advantage of these services.
Maintaining Recovery in the Workplace
It’s not easy, maintaining your recovery as you head back to work—but there are plenty of resources available to help you. Make sure you know what they are and use them whenever you need them. To learn more, reach out to Experience Recovery.
Experience Recovery provides addiction recovery treatment that’s tailored to the needs of each individual; we are proud to serve the Orange County area, and to help our clients maintain sobriety even as they return to the daily grind. Reach out to Experience Recovery to learn more.