Getting back to work in early recovery after getting sober is a challenge for many people. Yet, tackling this challenge is an opportunity for tremendous growth. By requiring you to forge a new approach to work, you build a foundation that allows you to exceed anything you expected at the start. There are strategies for dealing with focus and completing tasks, all while improving your recovery, and Laguna Shores Recovery Center can help.
Work in Early Recovery: Finding Your Focus
For many who are newly sober, a frequent complaint is a reduced ability to concentrate. Some people have been using stimulants during their workdays. Others were functioning during addiction and worked in a preferred state of chemical comfort. Even so, quitting can cause a lot of uncomfortable side effects, such as tiredness or inability to sleep, anxiety, and depression. Usually, acute symptoms go away after a week or so, but some can last for a while.
One of the biggest complaints from people in early recovery is the inability to focus. One reason for this is “brain fog.” Brain fog can make concentration and completing tasks difficult. Other problems stem from being easily distracted. Fortunately, there are effective ways to increase focus while improving your recovery at the same time.
Meditation and Work in Early Recovery
Individuals in recovery are commonly encouraged to adopt a regular practice of meditation. Meditation can help with things like stress, mood swings, and cravings. However, meditation can boost your concentration, too. Mindful meditation has been shown in many scientific studies to be one of the best ways to improve your ability to focus.
It’s essentially like taking your attention span to the gym. Mindful meditation is simple (but not always easy), and there are numerous good how-tos available online. Focusing on your breath, observing thoughts as they come up, and allowing them to go by turns out to be quite powerful. In all, it’s a win-win: by practicing meditation, you can not only strengthen your recovery but also calmly crush your workload.
Exercise: The Healthiest Brain Hack
Another win-win is exercise. Exercise wakes up several parts of the brain, including the limbic system, which controls mood and motivation; the amygdala, which makes us nervous when we’re stressed; and the hippocampus, which is a key part of memory formation and affects mood and motivation. It brings more blood to the brain, which releases chemicals like norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin that help you focus.
Work in Early Recovery: Without Distraction
It’s not news to anyone: we are constantly distracted these days. It is hard to avoid. Social media, entertainment, and advertising work because they tap into something about our human nature. We love communicating and seeing new and interesting things. It’s not our fault, but each year it seems to get harder to close Instagram and open a spreadsheet. In early recovery, it can be even harder. Brain fog and flat moods can lead you to seek stimulation when you really should be working.
Many strategies for reducing distractions can be found online. At their core, these strategies operate on the same principle: self-discipline. No egg timer or app blocker can stop you from being distracted. They are just tools. What counts is the ability to ignore negative impulses, an essential part of recovery. Learning to overcome compulsions of all kinds will serve you well in your journey.
Organization and Time Management Are Your Friends
Another key to conquering your work is organizing your time. Organized people figured this out long ago. For everyone else, it can be difficult or easy, depending on how willing you are to commit to it. If you are newly sober and suffer from malaise and low energy, filling out a schedule or a calendar can seem like signing up for another job.
The truth is if you are struggling with low energy, getting organized is your best friend. If you take the time on a Sunday morning to fill in a calendar with all the tasks you must complete for the month, you might feel exhausted afterward. After that, though, you save so much energy and stress. Rather than going on the fly, trying to keep everything spinning in your head, you can just pull out your schedule and cross things off.
There are countless organization options available, from paper calendars to paid apps. The important thing is to confront stressful situations rather than avoid them. You can allot the time required for these tasks and make time for the rest of your life.
Work in Early Recovery: Achieving True Success
Perhaps it goes without saying, but the best way for someone in recovery to succeed in their career is to stay sober. It does not matter how much money you make, the companies you build, the connections you establish, or the promotions you achieve. Active addiction will take it all. Ask the (truly) countless brilliant businesspeople, public servants, artists, and tradesmen that have tried. The problem is anything you build on top of active addiction is built on sand; eventually, the weight will cause it to fall. It can be a troubling thought, but the flip side is awesome.
Laguna Shores Recovery Center understands that people in recovery have accomplished something incredible. They have no choice but to grow into new, more effective people. After that, there is nothing that cannot be conquered. Putting recovery first is the basis for all forms of success.
Getting back to work after getting sober can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it can be done, and life will only get better for it. The same is true about recovery. If you struggle with drinking or using drugs, there is a way out. Do not let it take all that you worked for. Help is within reach. The road to recovery is different for everyone, so finding the right provider is essential. Our professional therapists tailor the treatment to your specific needs. Laguna Shores Recovery Center provides the highest level of care. Our staff is committed to both your well-being and recovery. You can reach us by calling (866) 774-1532.