How to Beat Substance Abuse As a Working Professional
Coping with the unique challenges a busy work schedule presents
Anyone, from any walk of life, can potentially become a victim of substance abuse, including working professionals. In fact, in some ways, busy professionals can be more prone to certain types of addiction. If they are also workaholics, they may turn to substances to fuel their drive and energy levels during long work days; they may also use substances to help them “unwind” in the evenings, after a busy, stressful day at the office.
When working professionals receive substance abuse treatment, they have unique needs and circumstances to be considered. Addiction treatment should take their busy schedules and careers into consideration. Here are seven important tips and keys that can help working professionals to succeed with a substance abuse treatment program:
1. Your Health and Well-Being Come First
In cases where the substance abuse issue is severe and pervasive, the working professional must be willing to put their career on hold, at least for awhile. Without health, a career simply isn’t possible. A study conducted by BYU health science professor Ray Merrill found unhealthy employees caused significantly elevated levels of lost productivity in the workplace. Addiction treatment and getting well must be the priority; putting health before work is the first step.
2. Consider Career Adjustments
Is your career or schedule contributing to your substance abuse issues? If so, what types of changes could help to alleviate this? The corporate world can be very competitive, and some industries and workplaces have a climate that isn’t very conducive to holistic health. Is it time to consider a different career track or company? How might you make your current work situation less of a “zero sum game” and instead more collaborative and cooperative?
3. Work Habits and Stress Management
Are you making your work situation harder than it has to be? Is your achieving and striving nature causing you unnecessary stress for minimal gains? These are questions to consider as you seek addiction treatment, and find a healthier way of integrating work and life.
If you love your busy career and just don’t want to give it up, then stress management skills will be crucial to your addiction recovery and sustained sobriety going forward. Some of the most effective stress relief tools include making time for daily meditation, exercise, eating properly, staying hydrated, getting regular massages, sleeping for seven hours per night, and making time for breaks and vacations.
4. Delve Deeper
Many addictions have a deeper cause than the surface level stresses of life, although both can play into, and fuel the addiction. How was your childhood? What drives you to strive and succeed in your professional life? In what ways are you sacrificing your peace of mind for your career?
Taking the time to get to know yourself better and find out how and why you “tick” the way you do can go a long way in determining what is fueling your addiction. There may be unresolved traumas that need healing. A quality addiction treatment program can be indispensable in getting to the root of your addiction issues.
5. Find Balance
Working too much or becoming off-balance in any area of your life can also be a trigger for addictions, as well as the need to mask anxiety or self-medicate. Working less and finding time for other interests can go a long way in helping you to achieve and maintain a healthy balance in your life. Gardening on the weekends, spending time with your kids in the evenings, and spending time on a beloved hobby can all activate different parts of your brain and contribute to a more holistic, healthy life, free of addiction.
6. Change Your Focus
Lastly, strive to align yourself with a positive, loving motivation for all that you do, including work. Don’t let yourself be driven by competition, greed, or fear. A positive drive at your core can help to relieve stress and naturally help change negative behaviors into more positive and self-affirming ones.
Working professionals who need substance abuse treatment may require different considerations. In some cases, managing and maintaining their careers while getting healthy and sober will be a priority. In others, how they work, as well as their motives for striving to succeed in a competitive industry should be examined as part of a holistic healing approach.
If you’re a working professional who requires substance abuse treatment, there are programs that will take your unique needs into consideration. Contact Malibu Beach Recovery Center to receive a customized program for getting to the root of your issues. Addiction recovery can help you to pave the way for a more healthy and rewarding life going forward.