6. Empowering Yourself through Support and Self-Care
We experience stress when we perceive that the demands of a situation exceed our resources. Living with a relative who has alcohol or other substance use problems is highly stressful. Most people in this situation face multiple stressors. It is important to acknowledge the stress you feel and identify the stressors you have been dealing with, in some cases for a long time.
Improving your ability to cope with stress in general, including the stress caused by a loved one’s substance use, is important. Being able to cope with stress in general will give you more resources to deal with the stress resulting from your relationship with someone who has a substance use problem.
There are three main ways to reduce stress.
1. Reduce the stressors
Changing the situation in some way can reduce stressors. For example:
2. Decrease the perception of stress
Changing how the situation or event is perceived can help reduce the perception of stress. For example:
3. Increase resources
Increasing your resources either by replacing them or by finding more internal or external resources can help reduce stress. For example: