Work-Life Balance in Recovery–How Employment Has Its Own Traps

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Work-Life Balance in Recovery--How Employment Has Its Own Traps

There are a lot of different aspects of recovery. Addiction isn’t something that exists in isolation. Rather, it is a disease that affects every aspect of someone’s life–from their own personal routine and family life to the professional sphere. However, finding employment during recovery is still a highly sought after goal.

Employment is a key part of reintroduction from inpatient care facilities, and being able to hold down a job is a hallmark of healing amidst the trials of addiction recovery. However, there are some traps that come when someone begins to put too much of their lives into their jobs. Just as addiction affects every aspect of someone’s life, recovery also must address all of the same aspects.

Success Can Be Measured in Many Ways

Success can be something of a tricky topic. While some people in recovery may measure it based on how long it has been since they last used a certain substance, others may measure it by the progress they have made in the professional field. Each person will have their own priorities and goals, and therefore have their own idea of what success means to them.

Success, however, is something that needs to be measured in a number of different ways. Focusing too much on a single aspect of recovery can compromise the other aspects that have been affected. Being successful on a professional front and holding down a steady job doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is as successful on a personal or social level, and acknowledging the need for healing in all of these spaces helps someone maintain their sobriety overall.

Employment as an Easy Outlet

Each person in recovery is going to need something that they can put their time and energy into. This usually takes the form of a particularly interesting hobby or activity. Some people may enjoy joining a sports club and spend their time practicing their batting swing or basketball shot, while others may delve into media as an outlet and begin studying the cinematography of classic movies.

Because of this need, it can be tempting to use one’s own job as a proxy for this kind of outlet. By putting their absolute all into their job, a person can keep busy and reap the benefits of their success at work. Being able to work hard is a key skill for anyone in any profession, but there is still a balance between work and life that someone needs to maintain in order to continue with a healthy style of living.

Why Working Too Much Has Its Own Consequences

Working hard is one thing, but working too much is something else entirely. There are a few different ways to try to measure a person’s work habits. First is the most obvious: time. By actually counting how many hours a week that someone works, they can very quickly begin to realize the amount of time that is being poured into a single aspect of their lives.

By overworking, this time is not being used to enrich other aspects of someone’s life. Each extra hour at work is an hour that someone isn’t putting towards self-care, their family, their other hobbies, or other social circles. The second thing to consider is someone’s ability to leave work and allow themselves to live outside of it.

In a sense, this is how much time someone spends doing work-related things, even when they are not on the clock. Just because someone is at home doesn’t mean that they are fully engaged in their self-care or family circles. In contrast, work can often be used as a substitute to avoid these other aspects, which can open the doors back up for potential relapse or more difficult healing overall.

Balancing Time for All

No part of this is advising against getting a job at all. In fact, employment is still a crucial part of recovery. However, it is something that cannot come at the expense of all of the other aspects of a person’s recovery. Taking time for one’s employment is important, but it is just as important as having time to practice self-care, attend regular outpatient group meetings, and spending time with one’s family to strengthen bonds and trust.

Addiction is something that will always affect each and every one of these things and needs to be addressed with the same effort. While each person’s schedule may be different in recovery depending on their own needs, the need to schedule in time for each aspect of their life will remain important.

There is no part of recovery that is more important than another, and approaching recovery with the holistic approach it requires can help someone maintain a healthy living while combating the urges and stresses that are present each step of the way. Employment, social activities, family, self-care, and therapy all help in giving someone the tools they need to help curtail the chance of relapse and keep their goals focused and in sight.

There are many skills that are needed throughout the path to sobriety. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and it’s co-occurring mental health disorders, The Kimberly Center is here to help. With programs available from inpatient/residential living to intensive outpatient and aftercare, there is always support at whatever stage you may need. Each program can be personalized to help you cope with your own specific goals and skills, and the professionals at The Kimberly Center will help you grow on these skills each step of the way. For more information on how The Kimberly Center can help you, call today at (855) 452-3683.

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