man smiling while working

How to Practice Self Care While Working

Men who need to recover from drug and alcohol addiction take time off from work to enter a treatment program for rehabilitation. After their course of treatment, which may last up to 6 months, they make the transition back to work. Some men will take on “Get Well Jobs” which are temporary forms of employment to help get them in the flow of being accountable to an employer and maintaining responsibilities as an employee. Other men jump right back into their professional careers, whatever they may be. Making the move back into employment is necessary. With the right support from a clinical team and personal network, the transition should be easy. Early recovery from addiction can be difficult, however. Suddenly enduring stress in the workplace can become overwhelming, causing stress in recovery. Practicing self care around work is important for men in recovery to sustain their recovery and avoid relapse into a disease that is progressive and fatal. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 83% of Americans are under stress in the workplace. Many of those individuals living in active recovery from addiction.

Why Mental Health Days Are Important

Unregulated stress can become unmanageable, spreading from the workplace into other areas of life, until it starts affecting mental, as well as physical health. When stress in the workplace becomes too much, mental health days are critical to finding balance again. Too much unregulated stress can lead to poor job performance, creating more stress at work and in life. Men are more prone to want to push through their stress and bear the burden in order to appear strong, tough, and capable, as the typical male stereotype/stigma would describe. Taking a mental health day is necessary to recuperate and come back to work in a better state of mind, body, and spirit.

Know Your Rights

Thankfully, there are numerous federal as well as state laws that protect your ability to take care of yourself, especially if you have been in treatment for a mental health issue like addiction. The Family Medical Leave Act, American with Disabilities Act, and others give you the right to take the occasional mental health day in order to take care of your mental health. Discrimination, retaliation, and prevention of self-care is generally illegal. Check your state laws and your employer’s policies.

What To Do With Your Day

There are ways to take a mental health day and ways you should not take a mental health day. Struggling with stress and mental health can be exhausting but spending a day doing nothing won’t be as helpful as you’d like to think. Use your time away from work efficiently and effectively. If you need some clinical support, schedule to see your counselor or therapist for a session, outside of your regular sessions. If you need to get a check up or exam, make an appointment with your doctor. Otherwise, it is important to get active and do the things you learn how to do for yourself in treatment. Go to a recovery support meeting. Eat nutritious foods that nourish and heal your body. Take a walk or hike and spend some time in the sunshine outside. Get a massage or another holistic healing practice that supplies you with physical touch and helps you rebalance. Spend time journaling, in meditation, and talking with peers. Exercise as normal and pay attention to your body’s needs.

One day of mental health care may not be enough to completely revolutionize the way you handle stress at work. During your brief time off, research and strategize to incorporate more stress management techniques to help you regulate future stress. Taking a mental health day isn’t a cure for stress in the past or a preventative for stress in the future. Mental health days are opportunities to reboot your recovery program and enhance them for continuing to live life in recovery.

Life is meant for living. Tree House Recovery helps return men to living their life in a new sustainable way. Start your journey to freedom from addiction today by calling us for information on our men’s treatment programs: (855) 202-2138

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