Recovery is a full-time project
Tending to one’s recovery needs around the clock is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but balancing one’s recovery with a keeping with work in your professional career can be exceptionally difficult – especially for those in executive or administrative positions who may not have colleagues who can cover the duties.
However, an individual doesn’t have to choose between their professional life and their recovery, and there are ways that even those with the tightest work schedules can pursue a life of sobriety while maintaining professional responsibilities.
Overcoming the Stigma
The prospect of recovery can be difficult to cope with as stigmas surrounding words like “addiction” carry a lot of weight. Erroneous preconceived notions can make reaching out for help exceptionally complicated as an individual may feel conflicted between their need for sobriety and the perceived judgments that may be imparted from one’s colleagues. However, business professionals and executives are still humans, and the stresses of the workplace, managing employees, and constantly making high-consequence decisions make substance use a common way to decompress, despite the negative connotations it creates.
The first step in overcoming the barrier of stigma is acknowledging that one’s recovery is a personal journey and one’s pursuits are not beholden to the judgemental opinions of others. Recovery is a personal affair, as it addresses the unique way in which addiction has affected an individual’s life. This mentality is needed to distance oneself from judgemental peers and prioritize one’s future sobriety.
Creating Distinct Barriers
One’s work often creates intense stress that can affect one’s substance use. Creating barriers between one’s work life and personal recovery is essential for focusing on one’s recovery goals. However, these barriers can be difficult to construct, especially if one’s workday doesn’t have a definitive end-time in which to clock out and head home. Salaried workers and executives can often feel as if they are always on the clock, and constructing these boundaries is essential to changing one’s mindset and perspective to focus on one’s recovery as much as their professional obligations.
Scheduling Time for Yourself
Your phone is a powerful tool. However, it can also be the source of stress, especially when it is tied to one’s job and constantly ringing or notifying one of incoming work emails. Setting aside a time of night to silence one’s phone is the first step in taking time for oneself. Communicating with coworkers that one’s phone will be off after dinner can empower an individual to not feel compelled to compulsively check emails. Instead, one can focus on their hobbies, families, and taking time to rest. This time is not just essential to provide the mind a break but also allows an individual to explore daily therapeutic and recovery practices to quell urges, cravings, or process other stressors that may otherwise lead to a reengagement with addictive substances.
Creating a Rigid Schedule
Recovery is just as important as one’s profession, and creating a concrete structure can help an individual prioritize both of these ventures equally. Recovery facilities may offer various times for their programs designed to help individuals of varying schedules, and committing to a group or program can inform how an individual can further structure the rest of their days. Attending a recovery program at 6:00 p.m. can not just ensure that one’s recovery is getting the necessary attention but also helps an individual manage their time and energy at work and design their mealtimes around this concrete obligation.
Take That Vacation
Vacation time is something that is rightly earned, but it can still feel difficult to use due to other professional responsibilities. The workplace can seem so fast-paced and volatile that stepping away may not seem like an option. However, this is time that an individual has acquired due to their hard work and diligence, and denying oneself their rightful time off holds little personal benefit. For some, taking this time to attend an on-site detox or residential program can be the step into recovery needed, while others may want to focus on their intensive outpatient program and explore new hobbies, interests, and familial pastimes to further define one’s identity outside of the professional sphere and the stresses therein.
One’s work can be a major source of stress, and the perpetual work culture can birth a variety of unhealthy or destructive substance abuse practices to cope with. However, work is not the only thing that defines an individual, and prioritizing one’s sobriety, health, and identity outside of the workplace is just as important as one’s professional ambitions. Setting these barriers is essential in creating this new perspective on one’s identity.