Updated on 2/1/2023

Stress has a great impact on our day to day health and wellness. In stressful times in our lives when we are busier or feeling overwhelmed can lead to less-than-healthy food options or the thought of shopping for comfort items, such as alcohol for someone in addiction recovery.  Learn more about how you can make healthier choices when it comes to nutrition—and stay the course of sobriety—when you are experiencing a high level of stress at work, financially or in your relationships with others.

The Physical and Emotional Impact of Stress for Individuals in Addiction Recovery

A certain amount of stress is a regular part of life. Stress can help motivate us to meet deadlines, be productive and achieve our goals. However, long-term stress can be harmful to our bodies and minds. Prolonged stress can lead to serious health concerns such as anxiety and depression, substance use problems, sleep problems, pain and bodily complaints such as muscle tension, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, a weakened immune system, difficulty conceiving, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke. For those in addiction recovery, stress can lead to thoughts of turning to substances again. Stress, specifically pro-longed stress, is a risk factor for relapse.

Living and Eating Well

There are two important goals when talking about our health. The primary needs relate to our relationships, career, how active we are, our spirituality and getting creative. The second health goal is the food we eat, how much of it we eat, and how it affects our bodies. Focusing on slight changes in the primary and secondary goals can make a major impact in our overall health and wellbeing.  

Make a Nutritious Breakfast a Priority

For some, preparing a healthy nutritious breakfast doesn’t happen because of hectic mornings or because of just trying to get through the day. However, if we take a little extra time to make a nutritional breakfast it could have a positive impact on the rest of the day.

Breakfast suggestions:

    • Eggs – a great source of protein and can help reduce hunger
    • Oatmeal – filling and a good source of fiber
    • Cereal – offers some vitamins and minerals
    • Fresh vegetables – add to eggs for an omelet 
    • Fresh fruit – increases the nutritional value to oatmeal or as a side to eggs

Tips to Curb Cravings & Feed Your Body Well

Check your mood – If you find yourself stressed and/or overwhelmed, try something calming. Read a book or listen to music. 

Drink water – Water is important to avoid dehydration. It can also signal to your brain that you are hungry when you need a drink of water instead.

Boost your food intake – If you aren’t eating enough, it can lead to low blood sugar. This can cause mood swings leading to poor choices.

Note the change in season – With the change of seasons, the body can crave different foods. During the winter months you may crave foods heavy in fats and oils; these are heat producing foods. You may also find fruits more appealing during the summer.

Enjoy the comfort food – Foods we enjoyed in childhood can become foods we crave for comfort as adults. Make your favorite comfort foods but in different forms, such as adding a bunch of vegetables to macaroni and cheese. 

 If you have found that you or a loved one is abusing drugs and/or alcohol to cope during these trying times, please call us  (737) 600-8565. New Hope Ranch provides thorough assessments and access to individual treatment plans tailored to meet your needs.