Those who have navigated the daily challenges of our Hawaii inpatient drug rehab and have emerged as alumni are not done writing their recovery stories. Various communities, personal relationships, or workplace stresses can still be incredibly challenging, bringing stress or influences that may impact a person’s sober efforts. Setting boundaries with others in recovery is paramount, both for a person’s sobriety and to empower alumni to manage stress, anxiety, fatigue, burnout, and maintain healthy change in daily sober life.

The Stresses of Alumni in Recovery

Stress is ubiquitous, and there is no way to live a life truly devoid of stress. Urges and cravings may continue even after graduating from Hawaii Island Recovery’s treatment programs, along with the continued challenges of mental health disorders. Others may experience stress due to their workplace environment or personal relationships. 

Some social groups may have also been founded on the use of drugs or alcohol, and their use can be wholly ingrained into the culture of these communities. Not all people will necessarily understand the need for sobriety or recovery, and some may actively introduce unnecessary high-risk situations into daily life. Invitations to reengage with addictive substances can be difficult to navigate, especially if some individuals may romanticize the use of such substances.

The workplace is a point of particular consideration for those establishing their sober lives as alumni, especially since an individual may not get to choose who their coworkers are or control the workplace culture. Not only can the stresses of an intense, fast-paced work environment be difficult for many to navigate while simultaneously managing their sobriety but workplace cultures can further introduce high-risk situations.

Whether an individual is distancing themselves from stressful personal relationships with family and friends or are navigating the challenges of the workplace, setting boundaries with others is a necessary and important skill to practice.

Navigating Conflict in Sobriety
Navigating Conflict in Sobriety

Conflict is a consistent challenge even after graduating from an inpatient alcohol treatment program. Learn to navigate conflict by calling (866) 390-5070.

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Strategies for Setting Boundaries

Effectively setting boundaries with others can be a difficult skill to learn and implement. These boundaries can take different forms depending on the situation. Some different types of boundaries to establish include:

  • Establishing personal spaces
  • Communication guidelines
  • Social and interpersonal boundaries
  • Work-life separation

There is nothing selfish about having both physical and emotional space for oneself. Having boundaries in place can further prevent burnout and fatigue from negatively affecting each alumnus’s emotional health.

Creating Personal Spaces

Personal space and privacy are important to an alumnus. Having a dedicated space where a person feels safe, secure, and away from other stresses is essential for promoting healthier engagement in self-care outlets such as meditation, yoga, journaling, rest, personal hobbies, or other reflective self-care routines, all while detaching from stressful situations or thoughts.

Communicating clearly which spaces a person feels most comfortable in and the expectations of privacy with family therein can be a great first step toward creating these personal boundaries. For some, this may open an ongoing dialogue about privacy and accountability, and others may even feel empowered to use this space for specific goals, such as a space for art, music, or other hobbies. Establishing personal barriers can create a sense of comfort knowing that there is a respected place to escape from stressful situations.

These personal spaces can take many forms. Commonly, a bedroom can be a great place to set clear physical boundaries for privacy, whereas others may prefer an office or their car as places where a person feels most comfortable.

Boundaries in Communication

Communication is a core part of recovery. Having effective communication strategies with loved ones, family, and other supports makes a huge difference. However, it is also important to establish some boundaries when it comes to communication. 

For many, this means knowing the best way to contact a person, and at which times a person may prefer not to be disturbed. More importantly, communication boundaries also include changes to language or certain topics that may be stressful or triggering to an individual. Avoiding talking about past mistakes outside of a safe space can be an important guideline, while others may not want to joke about specific topics. 

Working with family and peers to identify triggers and set boundaries on certain topics, words, or when is appropriate to address vulnerable topics can ensure that when these topics are addressed they are done so in a safe and supportive environment. 

Does My Social Anxiety Disorder Affect My Sobriety?
Does My Social Anxiety Disorder Affect My Sobriety?

Social anxiety disorder and substance use can be closely intertwined. Learn how our rehab in Hawaii can help you by calling us today at (866) 390-5070.

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Setting Boundaries in Social Situations

Social groups can be stressful. While creating a new and sober social network in sobriety is powerful and the communities available through Hawaii Island Recovery’s dedicated approach to sobriety are always welcoming, an individual may still have to address previous social relationships. Setting boundaries in these situations can be difficult, but important.

For some, setting boundaries in social situations can mean changing how an individual engages with these groups. Establishing clear sober intentions, focusing on new experiences, and creating itineraries when hanging out to avoid unnecessary stress or unexpected situations can all be great ways of setting boundaries with social groups. 

However, for others, these boundaries may have to include an exclusion from previous social groups entirely, avoiding these gatherings if they do not align with a person’s sober goals and these groups are unwilling to adjust expectations or behaviors. 

Establishing Work-Life Balance

Setting boundaries with workplace peers is paramount for a person’s emotional health and stress levels. Being contacted after work hours can make it feel as if a person never truly has a break. Likewise, avoiding unexpected long hours or overtime can empower an individual to use this time to engage in necessary self-care routines and continued outpatient care programs. 

Turning off phones after work, avoiding checking work emails after an established time, and working with managers to set a consistent work schedule can all help those in recovery continue to care for their own needs while also having a fulfilling work life. 

Setting boundaries is an important skill for those navigating not just their continued sobriety, but looking to develop a truly new approach to daily life and fulfillment. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we welcome the opportunity for you to explore how you can create your own best future, all while instilling the necessary skills, perspectives, and providing support to facilitate your sober transformation. Establishing boundaries can be difficult, and our community of peers can help you explore boundaries while also creating a new social, emotional, and spiritual support network in sobriety. For more information on our effective Hawaii inpatient drug rehab programs or how we can continue to support you as an alumnus, call to speak to us at (866) 390-5070.