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By Rufus Carter

Are you starting recovery and making a career move at the same time? If so, you should be proud of taking control of your life, but you should also be careful of causing yourself too much stress. Recovery and work can be stressful all by themselves, but combined they can lead to a whole new level of stress that can be tricky to handle. That said, it’s possible to do both.

If you’re looking for ways to make ends meet, reboot your career, and stick to your recovery plans, look no further than these helpful tips.

Generate Income with a Side Gig

Finding a new job can take time, but a gap in employment doesn’t have to mean a major break in your income. These days, more and more people are turning to side gigs to earn extra money and make ends meet while they search for a new job. There are a number of fulfilling, low-stress ways to make a living, or even earn some additional income. Love animals? Consider starting your own pet-sitting business. Have a knack for arts and crafts? You can make money selling items on Etsy. If you play an instrument, you can generate income by teaching others how to play. With tons of options available, side gigs are a great way to fill in the pay gap when you are between jobs or careers.

Know How to Relieve Work Stress

Stress can be a major trigger for anyone in recovery. If you are new to recovery and starting a new job, workplace stress can be especially difficult to deal with. It can even lead to a relapse. As you head back to work after spending time in an addiction treatment program, use the coping skills you learned to improve the way you deal with your work stress. Finding positive ways to handle stress can leave you less open to relapse and help you feel more in control of your recovery. Effectively managing stress can also provide a boost to your career, since you will be more likely to meet goals and produce positive results in the workplace.

Create a Solid Budget

Much of the stress of work can come from how you handle your paycheck. If you are constantly struggling to pay bills and find yourself frequently out of cash, you are more likely to feel stressed out. Financial stress can also lead to relapse and addiction, so make a plan to stay in control of your finances before that first paycheck comes. Building a budget is the best way to stay on track and avoid letting your finances get out of control. There are even budgeting apps that can help you with your budget by actively tracking how much money is coming in and how much you spend. As you create and manage your new budget, make sure you leave some room for savings to be better prepared for the future.

Get Out and Get Some Fresh Air

Whether you’re working in an office or working from home, sitting in the same spot can be bad for your health. Prolonged sitting can lead to back issues and obesity, among other problems, so make sure you get up and move around every now and then. Go for a walk on your lunch break or climb some stairs for ten minutes while you drink your coffee. Stuck at your desk? Simply standing up and doing some quick exercises can relieve the stiffness and pain you get from sitting. If you work from home, try picking up some home gym equipment and taking breaks to get a workout into your schedule. Studies show that regular exercise can regulate stress, relieve pain, and leave you feeling healthier and happier.

Set Some Exciting Goals

The early stages of recovery are a wonderful time to reshape your life and career. So make the best of it by creating some new goals. Your goals can cover anything from growing your home business to advancing your career. You can start with smaller goals if you’re more comfortable with that, like setting up a home office and organizing your daily schedule to get the ball rolling. As you set these new goals, leave room for your active recovery, and keep in mind how attainable the goals are and what steps you can take to meet them. Setting reasonable goals is important to prevent yourself from getting stressed out and feeling disappointed.

Take a Break Every Now and Then

When you’re beginning a new career or business, it can be tempting to pour yourself into your work. However, you must remember that you’re in recovery, and pushing yourself too hard could lead to a break in your sobriety. So be smart about the way you get back into work. Throughout your workday, make sure you are taking small breaks to breathe and reboot your brain. Breaks are a great time to practice meditation or mindfulness to keep your mind and spirit on track.

While breaks throughout the day are beneficial, taking real time off from work is also essential in preserving your mental health and contributing to your overall wellness. If you have vacation days, use them. If you’re off on the weekend, make sure your phone is off. Most of all, avoid spending holidays and other downtime worried about work.

By entering recovery, you’ve taken a positive first step toward bringing a sense of normalcy and control to your life. Getting back to work can add to your success, but only if you know how to navigate both transitions in a positive, productive way. Developing healthy habits, in both work and life, can lead to better decisions in recovery and a better shot at leading a happy, sober life.