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5 Ways to Deal with the Stress of an Intervention

5 Ways to Deal with the Stress of an InterventionStaging an intervention for a loved one is stressful and emotionally taxing. Having an addict in your life is difficult in its own way and leads to many strong and difficult emotions, including anger, sadness, and guilt. If someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may feel powerless and frustrated.

Ultimately, only an addict can decide to get help, but you may be able to influence his or her decision by staging an intervention. Doing so will give you and other loved ones an opportunity to communicate with the addict about the way his or her behavior is making you feel.

Deciding to stage an intervention can be very productive and helpful, but it may also mean dealing with a new set of stressors. Here are five ways to deal with the stress of staging an intervention.

  1. Take time for yourself.

    It can be difficult, when planning an intervention, to become caught up in the person for whom you are planning it. Remember that you must make your own health and well-being a priority as well. Make sure you plan time to unwind, even if it means you have to put it in your calendar. Do not allow this time to be monopolized by anything else.

  2. Exercise.

    Exercise increases endorphins, which naturally elevate your mood. Brisk walks can be a great way to find a few minutes of peace and quiet, and classes such as yoga offer a chance to release muscular tension while encouraging a calm state of mind.

  3. Write down your thoughts and feelings.

    It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you are struggling with what feels like an avalanche of emotions. Your thoughts and feelings may seem much more manageable if you can write them down and look at them individually. Try journaling for just a few minutes a day or even making a list of what you feel is upsetting you.

  4. Talk to other people.

    You should not feel that you are going through this alone. Talk to other friends and family members who are also involved in the addict’s life. They likely are experiencing similar emotions and may be able to offer you tips on how they are dealing with their stress.

    Even having a sympathetic ear can make a huge impact. You may also want to consider speaking with a therapist, who can help you sort through the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing.

  5. Do something you enjoy.

    Try taking your mind off things for a bit. When you are feeling depressed or anxious, you may not be as eager to partake in hobbies or activities that make you happy, but try doing them anyway. Perhaps make a new recipe, start a craft, or see a movie with friends. Having something else to focus on, even for an hour or two, can be a huge relief and may help curb some of your repeatedly cycling thoughts.

5 Ways to Deal with the Stress of an Intervention

Ken Seeley

Ken Seeley is a board certified interventionist committing to help people recover from addiction. Learn more about him and his company Intervention 911 here.

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APA Reference
Seeley, K. (2018). 5 Ways to Deal with the Stress of an Intervention. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 15 Oct 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.