Prevention + Coping with Stress
Over the last few days, we have outlined some key practices to help us through our alcohol-free journey. We discussed the importance of exercise, your social support network, creating a prevention plan, and so much more. Now we utilize those supports we have crafted.
When we discontinue use of alcohol, we may experience many physical and emotional changes in a short period of time. Depending on the length and level of our alcohol use, our bodies may be experiencing a heightened amount of physical stress—fatigue, aches, agitation, and more. (See signs of withdrawal and contact your medical provider if you are concerned about your physical symptoms.) We may also be experiencing more emotional stress, as we are no longer utilizing something that was previously a primary coping mechanism for the ins and outs of life. However maladaptive a coping mechanism it was, there’s a possibility that it was serving a purpose—numbing the emotional experience of our daily stress, difficult life events, or tough relationships. Without alcohol, we feel all of these experiences to their fullest.
In this time, it becomes more important than ever to lean into the things that help us feel good without the use of alcohol. Doing so helps us prevent slips and build a toolbox of healthy coping mechanisms for life.