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10 Healthy Coping Skills for Addiction Recovery
Developing Healthy Coping Skills is Essential to Maintain Sobriety
Substance addiction recovery is a process that takes months and, for some, even years before they develop the robust skill sets needed to manage their addiction. During intensive inpatient or outpatient therapy, those working towards recovery will learn that there is no cure for addiction; this condition can only be managed with abstinence. With abstinence, however, individuals can lead a physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy life. During treatment at rehabs like JC’s Recovery, patients learn a wide range of skills designed to help them prevent relapse. During the first year of recovery, at least, when they may still be vulnerable to old triggers, they’ll need to rely on various skills to help them cope. If you’re recovering from substance addiction, here are some coping skills for you to embrace.
Ask for Support
For many, simply going to rehab isn’t enough. Many people need ongoing professional support. If you’re feeling vulnerable, contact a counselor or support group. Don’t ignore the signs that you may be teetering or falling victim to negative emotions. In fact, don’t wait until you’re in a negative place to build your support network. Make a point of seeking out aftercare programs as soon as you leave rehab so that you have a support system in place.
Be Fearlessly Honest
Don’t lie to yourself. When you lie to yourself, you’re masking the truth. Using drugs and alcohol–that’s another way of masking the truth. Be honest about situations and circumstances even when they’re painful. Coping with problems honestly is a healthy way to deal with them. When you can’t deal with them, return to skill one above–and ask for help.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Worry and stress can rob your peace of mind. Life contains some worrisome events, but we’ve got to balance that stress with time for peace. Take time out from worry and meditate. Take a walk or practice yoga. The key is to give your mind space to heal.
Grow Your Faith
It’s easy to think of faith as a noun–a thing, something we have. Try to think of your faith as a verb. Faith is about action. So take action and grow your faith through prayer, discussion, and practice. Find ways to use your faith to make a positive change in your life and the lives of others.
Exercise supports both physical and mental health. You don’t have to sign up for a marathon or purchase a gym membership, but you should include physical exercise as part of your daily or weekly routine. Even just walking can trigger the natural production of feel-good enzymes that will naturally boost your mood.
Avoidance is an essential coping skill for your recovery. Learn to avoid high-risk situations where drinking or drug use is likely to occur. Avoid toxic people who make you feel angry, sad, or afraid. It’s important to protect your recovery from these types of relapse triggers.
As you become stronger and more resilient, try to help others who are struggling. Your help can be invaluable to someone else, but the mere act of helping others will show you that you are capable of doing great things. It’s all well and good to build a skyscraper or set a new world record, but to help someone who’s suffering; that’s doing God’s work.
Practice Gratitude Every Day
It’s easy to focus on the negative, but that’s often the path to alcohol or drug use. Instead, practice focusing on something you’re grateful for each day. Having a roof above your head, food to eat, the progress you’ve made–thank God each day for what you do have instead of dwelling on what you don’t have.
Although it’s important to have time to meditate and reflect, you also want balance in your life. Staying busy and active can support a healthy lifestyle. Take up some new activities. Go on a trip to visit out-of-town family. Organize a camping trip with other people in recovery. Garden or take up cooking.
Embrace a Growth Mindset
Isaac Asimov wrote, “people think of education as something they can finish.” Push yourself to learn new things, new skills, and new perspectives. Read, listen to podcasts, or watch documentaries. Learning new things can enrich your life and enhance your recovery journey. Best of all–you decide. What do you want to know more about? Healthy eating? Genealogy, World events? Set a learning goal and do something to fulfil it each week.
Keep these coping skills in the forefront of your mind as you transition from your recovery program to your new sober life. As always, if you need support, you can rely on JC’s Recovery Center. Call or visit us to learn more about our program offerings.