If you start thinking about alcohol whenever you feel stressed, try these ten strategies to calm your nerves, and stay sober.

1. Focus on Your Breath

As soon as you start to feel stressed, anxious, or worried, take a few deep breaths and count to ten. This reduces your "fight or flight" instinct and helps calm your nervous system.

 2. Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

You'll never feel stressed while feeling grateful. Reflect on what you're thankful for each morning to get your day off to a great start, or think about a few things you're deeply grateful for when you need to reset your mood.

3. Connect to Nature

Spending time in nature can be incredibly healing and bring your mind and body into balance. Make a habit out of walking in the park, gardening, or spending time near a body of water to relax and restore your mood.

4. Get Enough Sleep

A lack of sleep makes it hard to focus and feel energized in the face of life's problems. As your stress increases, so does your risk of insomnia, which creates a vicious cycle. Make sure you spend the evening relaxing, stay away from caffeine in the afternoon and evening, and put screens away before bed.

5. Talk It Out

Talking to someone about your worries and anxieties can provide immense relief. Sometimes just hearing yourself verbalize your struggles can help you work out a solution or see the situation in a new light. You can also learn from another person's experience, realize you're not alone, and get sound advice. If you're unsure who to talk to, remember that your Confidant team is available to listen.

6. Prioritize Your Goals

Make a list of your goals, and then prioritize the ones you want to work on right now so that you can sustain your momentum without creating additional stress and unrealistic expectations.

7. Let Go of What You Can't Control

You some things, and that can cause a lot of stress. You can only control and change your own behavior and how you react in the current moment. Letting go of what you can't control can take a huge weight off your shoulders.

8. Reflect On and Celebrate Your Progress

You might worry about the road ahead and how much you still want to accomplish in life. When these worries hit, look back on how far you've come. You actually have a great track record of winning at life! You've overcome obstacles before, and you can do it again. 

9. Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins and the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin. Staying active also improves sleep and helps you focus on something besides your worries. Move your body any way that's comfortable to you, whether it's yoga, walking, lifting weights, or playing a sport. All physical activity is beneficial to the mind and body.

10. Make Time for Self-Care

Stress management is a form of self-care, but it's important to do other activities that make you feel safe and grounded. Prioritize your "me time" by writing it into your schedule, and don't cancel!

The Confidant team can offer many other tips and strategies for effective stress management. Check out the Confidant Health app to get started.