Giving up an addiction is easier said than done. This is a very challenging process that takes time and continuous effort.
If you are in recovery, it is essential for you to create a new life for yourself and you can only do this by being able to overcome difficult situations that may arise during your recovery process. This is where coping skills play a role.
Having coping skills means having the capacity to deal with something problematic or difficult.
If in the past you have used drugs or alcohol in order to cope, developing these coping skills can help you live a sober and productive life ahead of you.
1. Self-care skills
You’ve probably heard of the acronym HALT, which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These are considered four high-risk situations in recovery that could lead to relapse. The first four coping skills in this list will address these situations.
Many people in recovery take for granted how important it is to eat well. If you don’t eat well, it could lead to all the other high-risk situations. However, it is not enough that you’re just filling up your body with anything you like. It is essential to have a healthy diet because if you eat junk and sugary food, this could result in sugar crashes and weight gain that may contribute to your depression.
Having self-care skills can help you a lot in this situation. Self-care skills refer to having the ability to take care of yourself such as cooking, eating healthily, having a good night’s sleep, and maintaining a fitness regimen. When you know how to cook or prepare healthy meals for yourself, it will be easier for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
2. Anger management
Learning how to manage your anger will not only benefit you, but it will also be good for the people who are around you. Of course, it is normal for people to be angry once in a while, but being irrationally angry at every little thing can be detrimental to your recovery as anger is one of the main reasons for relapse.
In order to develop effective anger management skills, you can practice coping techniques such as learning when to remove yourself from toxic circumstances, taking ten deep breaths before reacting to a tough situation, and making the first move to avoid an argument.
3. Social skills
Being always alone can result in being depressed. You can avoid this by being a part of a supportive social group. You can reconnect with old friends and family members that you have lost touch with. Make friends with other people in your recovery network. Attend rehab alumni programs and volunteer in community events to surround yourself with positive vibes.
4. Stress management
There are many things that could cause you to feel stressed during your recovery- your family, your job, or the recovery itself. When you’re stressed about something, it shows that you care about the outcome and you want everything to turn out well, however, if you stress yourself way too much, this will only hurt you rather than help you.
When you’re stressed, your focus and your productivity will also suffer. Most of the time, instead of putting your 100% concentration on being productive, you are needlessly worrying over things that you may not be able to control making you more tired and anxious.
To manage your stress, you can try different tactics such as meditation, being more thankful for what you have, looking at the positives, and letting go of things beyond your control. When you’re calmer and more relaxed, you can think more clearly on how to move forward.
It is very important for people in recovery to develop their verbal communication skills. If you always keep your thoughts and feelings in your own head, you are more likely to feel depressed and it will make it harder for the people around you to help you overcome what you are going through. Learning how to open up and communicate what you feel will also help you rebuild your relationships with your loved ones, family, and friends.
6. Financial responsibility
If you have experienced financial struggles before your addiction, getting back on your feet could be difficult. The first step is to find a job that will be able to support your basic needs while you are trying to recover from your addiction.
Aside from earning a salary, having a job is also a way to make you feel productive again, boost your self esteem, and develop a daily routine away from drugs and alcohol.
7. Self- awareness
Are you on the brink of relapse? Are you getting better? Do you think your new treatment program is helping you? Do you need to ask for additional mentoring? These are just some questions that you need to honestly answer by yourself. While treatment experts and the people around you will have their own opinions, being self-aware is a priceless coping skill.
Self-awareness means you understand how you feel, think, and behave. This means knowing when you need help instead of being in denial when you aren’t really getting any better. It is about accepting that you need to be better and making smart choices to maintain your recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center.