You know the drill. Everything is going well: you meet your goals, you get a new job, and your new haircut looks great. Then, out of the blue, a relationship breaks down, your new boss isn’t great, and you feel that despite the steps forward you have taken, you’ve taken two dozen in reverse.
When we work hard to meet goals, personal and professional setbacks can make it difficult for us to stay on track and remain optimistic. Challenges can cause complications—both emotional and financial—detracting us from the daily decisions and actions we need to stay healthy and on target with our mental wellness.
Challenges exist for everyone, regardless of their background or current circumstances. What matters is how we handle those challenges emotionally. Our emotions can make or break the energy we need to push through.
Of course, our emotional state is often tied up in recovery efforts when we are recovering from substance misuse. For example, we may be tackling past trauma issues that unlock painful memories or we may be struggling to accept our positive self-worth.
It might be helpful to realize challenges often come from outside our addiction or mental health issue. They are the triggers that lead to relapse if we are not careful, reinforcing the importance of maintaining positive support networks while learning to manage our addictions or rebalancing our mental health.
It might help to imagine life as a board game; there will be times when all we seem to do is stand on the sidelines waiting to throw a six. A real life example of this might be when you are waiting to see a tangible manifestation of your efforts in your support group make a difference in your relationships.
Other times we go along quite happily. Things seem to be going great, and all of a sudden, we hit the chute. We then go back down to the very place from which we started, waiting to throw that six. An example of this could be the loss of a relationship you thought you were both working through, or an eviction notice when you were working on climbing out of debt.
It is impossible to anticipate or prevent everything that happens to us, which is why taking time out of a difficult day is an essential act of self-care. Self-care means giving ourselves the gift of time to take care of our physical and emotional needs. Perhaps more importantly, it nudges us in the direction of reflection, to take a proactive approach to the best response. It is not an instant fix, but may fix our mindset.
Take Time Out
- Drop your schedule. Prioritize and kick anything you don’t need to do right now off your schedule. You may not be thinking clearly anyway, so what’s the point of putting your brain under more pressure?
- Plan a day just for yourself. If dropping your schedule is not possible right now, head straight to your planner, pick a day, and block it out. Don’t book anything for that day; instead, relax, take a walk, read, or make a homemade meal.
- Take a walk. Heading out for a walk is a great way to get exercise while giving you time for reflection. Understand that reflection is not dwelling on the issue, because dwelling keeps us stuck. Rather, reflection provides us with insight and gives us the flexibility to take action and make changes when we are ready.
- Hit the reset button. Take a nap. As children, we were told to do this every afternoon. As adults, we just keep going, and don’t give ourselves time to rest. Taking a nap helps the brain reset, giving us clearer thought processes when we restart.
Of course, we can take baths, head to our favorite coffee shop, talk to our friends, and listen to music while meditating. Take a deep breath and choose what is right for you. You’ll get back to working hard soon enough.
When we work hard to meet our goals, personal and professional setbacks can make it challenging for us to stay on track. Challenges can cause emotional and financial complications, detracting from our daily decisions to remain healthy. Of course, our emotional state may be tied up in our recovery efforts when managing substance misuse. Challenges happen to everyone, regardless of their background or current circumstances. What matters is how we deal with our challenges emotionally. Our emotions can make or break the level of energy we need to push through our circumstances. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains’ inspiring landscape, the Detox Center of Colorado offers a solution-based transitional residence program to meet long-term and sustainable recovery needs. No matter how far you’ve traveled on your journey to substance abuse recovery or mental health recovery, we look forward to helping you explore the best supportive treatment and aftercare options available to you. Call the Detox Center of Colorado at (303) 952-5035. It may be the best thing you do for yourself today.