Pursuing sobriety takes constant effort, and those overcoming substance use disorder (SUD) while continuing to engage in outpatient care will continue to be tasked with navigating stresses, urges, cravings, and other challenges to their hard-earned sobriety. One of the most potent and difficult sources of stress can come from the workplace. Staying sober and being able to manage sobriety while continuing to pursue professional development and tend to workplace responsibilities can be exceptionally difficult.
Utilizing a combination of practiced strategies while continuing to engage in effective outpatient treatment at Redpoint can create the best approach to each person’s continued sobriety throughout the stresses of professional life.
Stresses of Professional Life
The workplace can birth many challenges for those overcoming SUD. Being prepared for the myriad of ways in which a person’s professional life may impact their sobriety is paramount for maintaining a healthy, sober focus. For some, the workplace can be riddled with stresses resulting from unfair workplace expectations, such as being tasked with an overly heavy workload or long days that can be emotionally and physically exhausting.
Others may feel the stresses of looming deadlines or goals that may greatly impact their perceived performance on duty. However, it is also possible personal stresses can come from the people in the workplace rather than the professional expectations themselves. An individual may not be able to choose their coworkers, and an individual may have to work alongside those who may not understand or support the idea of sobriety.
There are many ways in which a person’s professional life can impact their sobriety and sober ideals. Having a plan to address these challenges while continuing toward their next sober milestone in recovery is paramount, and there are practices that each person can use to facilitate this continued success.
Staying Sober: Keep to a Consistent Schedule
Consistency can add a needed degree of normalcy and predictability to daily life, helping those in recovery effectively process stress and prepare for the day ahead. Keeping work schedules as consistent as possible can help those in recovery continue to establish and refine their best routines and practices while focusing on their sobriety. Setting a regular morning alarm and working with employers and managers to keep these schedules as consistent as possible can help those in recovery use this predictability to their advantage, further balancing professional obligations with personal needs.
Likewise, working with employers to avoid sudden or unexpected overtime can help each person manage their energy to best accomplish their professional responsibilities without succumbing to unforeseen stresses or challenges. Along with taking appropriate and earned lunch breaks, those in recovery can manage their energy, focus, and more while balancing their needs in sobriety.
Avoid After-Work Gatherings
Meeting with coworkers after a shift to unwind can be a great way to build a rapport with these people and establish healthy relationships. However, it can also be dangerous for those in recovery, especially if such a gathering would expose an individual to unnecessary high-risk situations. Whether such gatherings take place in a bar or would be taking place at less risky establishments, constant after-work gatherings with coworkers can also blend the lines between a person’s personal life and professional life, making it difficult to leave the stresses of work behind after clocking out.
Being able to emotionally distance oneself from thoughts or stresses of the workplace can be instrumental for establishing a healthy mentality and allowing the mind and body time to rest, promoting a healthier approach to continued sobriety and work-life balance.
Identifying Toxic Professional Environments
While unfortunate, some professional employment positions may not necessarily be accommodating or supportive of a person’s developing sober life, and toxic workplaces can be exceptionally difficult to overcome. Identifying a toxic work environment can empower those in recovery to make important decisions for their own continued sobriety, either by setting new boundaries or looking for alternative employment that better aligns with their goals for their sobriety and sober identity.
Some elements of a toxic work environment may include:
- Lack of trust between coworkers or managers
- Intense micromanaging
- Mistakes are seen as opportunities to punish rather than opportunities to teach
- Lack of employee support or professional advancement
- Hostile, confrontational, or overly competitive workplace atmosphere
- Lack of boundaries at work – or even after a shift has been completed
Being mindful of these elements, as well as exploring how they can affect a person’s continued sobriety, is necessary. While difficult, a person’s professional life should never come at the expense of their hard-earned sobriety. Additionally, toxic work environments can also introduce intense feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, and more that can affect a person’s recovery efforts. Looking for new employment opportunities that can better foster a healthy work-life balance in sobriety may be necessary, and professionals can help those in recovery determine the effect of the professional sphere to make the most informed decision for their success.
Staying Sober: Continued Engagement in Outpatient Care
Engagement in outpatient programs is essential while navigating the stress prevalence across the workplace. Committing to attending and participating in Redpoint’s effective programs can provide those in recovery with a regular outlet to address specific stresses while continuing to engage in an effective and supportive community of healing. With programs designed to fit with each person’s work schedule, including both morning and evening programs, continued outpatient care to establish a healthy work-life balance in sobriety is always possible.
Your professional life and recovery efforts can be intimately intertwined, and we at Redpoint understand the need to address both your needs in recovery and how they are impacted by workplace stresses. We create a holistic approach to recovery that empowers your to address your needs in recovery alongside the stresses of the workplace, all while helping you find your own work-life balance through our varied outpatient schedule. Morning programs, evening programs, and the ability to pick the schedule that works for you is just our first step toward creating a healthy and sustainable sober life even amidst your professional responsibilities. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us, call us today at (303) 710-8496.