We are seven (or eight depending on how you count) months into a global Covid 19 pandemic. We are also in the middle of the most contentious election of my lifetime. Simply waking up in the morning is stressful. Life has become about how to get through every day as smoothly as possible. Personally, I need stress relief every single day.

Easy stress relief practices are especially great for people in recovery

Exercise will lift your spirits

Break a sweat immediately. If someone or something upsets me, I’m taking a walk outside so quickly these days. If I can do yoga or exercise, even better but just getting those endorphins up is a cure-all for a lot. Need a great suggestion for yoga? Try this Youtube Channel.

Breathing activities will calm your heart

Like meditation, I believe this is something that works best when you’ve had some guided training and practice. You know how when people have an anxiety attack they often hyperventilate? Well, deep breathing, or healthy breathing, will help regulate your heart rate and calm you down. Use an app like Calm or Headspace.

Cooking for loved ones is a great hobby

If you’re someone who feels comfortable in the kitchen, then cooking can be fabulous for stress relief. From giving yourself the assignment of finding a great recipe to buying the food, to food prep and cooking, to the finale of cleaning, the whole process can take up a lot of time and energy giving your mind a little relief from the mania.

Animals/Nature bring perspective

I’m very lucky, and I live by an incredible hiking trail in California. Whenever something upsets me, I grab the dog, and we hike up that mountain. Nature gives me the perspective and the quiet I need to remove myself from the situation for a moment, and a long walk with the dog allows us to connect and have a spiritual moment. I know a dog trainer who told me there’s nothing a dog loves more than to take a nice, long walk with their human in nature. When I see my dog prance up the mountain and look back at me with a grin, I know I’m doing something good for both of us, and it gives me a lift in that way too.

Talk to friends and family (and sponsors, too)

No matter what’s going on, if you have someone you can call to talk about it, that is always a great solution. Call someone safe who can give you practical advice. Things are always worse in our heads and often friends, family or colleagues can help us find an easy solution!

To be clear, I do not suggest that you don’t call your sponsor, or go to meetings. Those things are essential if you’re a person who needs recovery group support, but the goal here in recovery is to create a world we can live in comfortably. To me, living comfortably means having tools I can use at any moment, for any reason. These days, stress relief is a necessity!

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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.

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