As if the early days of recovery were already a piece of cake, a number of people experience a sense of restlessness in the early stages of drug and alcohol treatment or abstinence. Restlessness is a nagging feeling of unease and discontent and it can creep up out of nowhere and leave you pacing in boredom, unable to concentrate, and feeling uncomfortable.
This inability to relax or engage in activities can leave you frustrated, on edge, and exhausted. Sometimes, people may turn to alcohol and drugs to make the agitation stop. Unfortunately, we know this is not the best scenario for people in recovery, but there are ways you help minimize the feelings of restlessness and keep your sobriety on track.
Strategies for Easing Restlessness
Feeling restless can happen to anyone and make focus and feeling at peace a challenge. Below, you can find some strategies you can use that may help ease restlessness.
Boredom can increase the pesky feeling of restlessness. During the early stage of recovery, limit big gaps in your day and create a plan or develop a routine ahead of time. Staying occupied can help diminish feeling bored and lessen the uncertainty and frustration that comes with feeling restless.
Create a Strategy List
Penciling in an entire day of activities is not always possible. Create a list of strategies you can use to combat restlessness and put it somewhere you can readily find, such as the refrigerator. Some strategies people use to combat feeling restless include listening to music, watching a favorite TV show or movie, dance around the room, go for a walk, or deep breathing exercises. The focus here is distracting the troublesome thought pattern.
Limit Caffeinated Beverages
If you know you’re going through a bout of restlessness, avoid consuming caffeinated drinks, especially in the afternoon or evening. Beverages such as sodas, coffee, and tea can make restlessness worse and may interrupt your sleep at night. While it’s easy to say eliminate all caffeine, we know that can be hard. But cutting out consumption in the second part of the day may help reduce restlessness.
Sometimes, our environment can make us feel on edge, anxious, and restless. Getting some fresh air and a change of scenery can help. Connecting with nature can help take us out of our ordinary space and calm the nerves. You can try hiking, bicycling, or even backyard or patio gardening.
Keep Tabs on Your Feelings
You may already journal feelings and jotting down times when you feel restless may help pinpoint a pattern. You may find you feel restless at certain times of the day or night, or in certain situations or circumstances. Once you realize a pattern, you can develop strategies ahead of time to combat restlessness.
Attend a Recovery Group Meeting
Recovery group meetings can help stimulate your social life and may help minimize restless feelings. You can join others on a similar journey and learn some ways they dealt with restlessness while in recovery. Sometimes, simply talking to someone who can relate with how your feeling can make all the difference in the world.
Show Yourself Understanding and Compassion
Recovery is a unique and a challenging experience and can differ from person to person. Understanding symptoms of withdrawal and learning to cope with unpleasant feelings and emotions, such as restlessness, is no small feat. When we come to understand what drug and alcohol recovery can look like, we can the fault we see in ourselves and understand this undoing and relearning is all part of the process. Show yourself kindness and love as you work through your journey.
Addiction Treatment in Santa Rosa, CA
If you or loved one struggles with drug and/or alcohol addiction, you are not alone. Pura Vida Recovery drug and alcohol rehab program in Santa Rosa CA helps men and women with an affordable evidence-based addiction treatment program. Our services include medical detoxification, partial hospitalization, intensive day treatment, and aftercare.
To begin living a life of joy and learn more about Pura Vida Recovery Services, get in touch and request a confidential assessment and private tour.