When Do I Do When I Feel Overwhelmed in Recovery?

The fact that you\’re envisioning yourself in a recovery program is powerful. Even though you\’re concerned about trying times that could arise, you are still picturing yourself as a member of a recovery community. While understanding that some situations will have to be tackled as they arise, you can still learn about specific strategies to employ if you feel overwhelmed in recovery.

Strategies When Feeling Overwhelmed

Chances are that at some point in your recovery process, you\’re going to feel overwhelmed. These experiences can be fleeting, or you might sit with these experiences for a few days. Understanding some useful approaches can help you to more effectively return to a calm state:

  • Acknowledge the normalcy
  • Avoid temptation
  • Speak with your counselor
  • Pray or meditate
  • Distract yourself
  • Rest

Using one or more of these techniques can help when you\’re feeling overwhelmed.

Acknowledge the Normalcy

If you\’re feeling overwhelmed during recovery, it is important for you to acknowledge that this experience is normal. You should not think that you\’re doing something wrong or failing by feeling overwhelmed. Many residents feel overwhelmed at some point during their stay. Learning how to overcome those feelings can actually be an important part of recovery.

Avoid Temptation

When experiencing negative emotions, some people fall back into deleterious habits. In other words, if you\’re feeling overwhelmed during treatment, you might be tempted to use drugs or alcohol. Being in an inpatient program will likely reduce the odds that you can get access to drugs or alcohol. In any case, you have likely discussed strategies with your counselor for resisting temptations. Now is the time to employ those techniques.

Speak with Your Counselor

In rehab, you do not need to go through difficult times alone. While you should ultimately aim to gain a sense of independence and develop strong coping mechanisms, you are also encouraged to speak with your counselor. Let your counselor know that you\’re having a difficult day and would like to meet. Sometimes, simply talking about the reasons why you\’re feeling overwhelmed is enough to resolve the issue. Even if you do not have an immediate resolution, you are likely to feel some relief from saying your struggles out loud. Your counselor will also potentially have some additional solutions for overcoming the overwhelming feelings.

Pray or Meditate

If you are a religious or spiritual person, you could try praying when you feel overwhelmed. You do not need to recite a formal prayer, but you can do so if you wish. You can also simply state what you\’re feeling and why you are feeling overwhelmed by the higher power in which you believe. The rehab program that you\’re in might take a religious or spiritual approach to treatment. In such cases, you may be able to go to a chapel to pray. However, you don\’t need to be religious or spiritual to embrace the power of quiet reflection. Try meditating to clear your mind and find peace.

Distract Yourself

Try to participate in an activity that you enjoy in order to distract yourself from feeling overwhelmed. You could sign up for a formal activity at the treatment center, or you could just go for a walk on the grounds. Another option is to draw a picture, write a short story or watch a movie that you love. Taking your mind off the negative feelings can help.


You\’ve probably heard people say that bad situations can look better in the morning. If none of the other strategies are working or if you\’re simply feeling tired, try to lie down to take a nap. When you wake up, you are likely to feel at least a bit refreshed and rejuvenated. Feeling overwhelmed could mean that your body is telling you to take a break. During your time in treatment, you are going to encounter some trying moments and some difficult days. Don\’t give up on your quest for recovery. You can use plenty of techniques to get through these challenges. Further, you don\’t have to handle the situations alone. Call 833-820-2922 to speak with a representative now.

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