Coping Skills for Addiction Recovery 

By December 5, 2018 Relapse Prevention

Recovering from an addiction is not an easy feat. It is a lifetime journey and can be even more difficult with triggers around you, with people who can pull you back into addiction, and with the tremendous effort it can take to remain sober. Given these difficulties, it is important to develop and master coping skills for addiction recovery. Having a plan makes you prepared and increases your chances of staying sober.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are four stages of drug addiction recovery:

  • Initiation of treatment

  • Early abstinence

  • Maintaining abstinence

  • Advanced recovery

 If you examine the steps involved in these stages, you will see that addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Treatment programs for addiction recovery are essential to help people maintain their sobriety after they leave rehab. But, treatment programs are only part of recovery. People can fight addiction and relapse by learning and mastering coping skills for addiction recovery.

Since one’s journey towards sobriety is personal, it is important that you arm yourself with strategies to help you stay away from triggers and other factors that can jeopardize your sobriety. For people who are wondering how they can help themselves while in addiction recovery, here are few tips on how to master coping skills to fight addiction:

Tip #1: Cultivate a positive mindset

This is easier said than done, of course, but if you just give it a try, you may find coping skills for addiction by being positive.

Positive psychology is a field that focuses on virtues and strengths. It encourages people to examine themselves and find opportunities to thrive, which means it may help people who have struggled with addiction. This concept suggests that individuals can turn their attention from drugs into fulfilling activities and relationships. These actions can create happy mindsets and help people recover from addiction and stay sober.

Tip #2: Connect with your sober friends

Other important and effective coping skills for addiction may include connecting to people. To aid in your recovery, consider spending time with your sober friends. This can help you mend or reinforce old friendships, build healthy new relationships, and stay away from destructive substances.

Talking with your sober friends can also help you reintegrate yourself into your social circle and into your community. If people are in addiction recovery, it is vital that they find reasons and motivation to stay sober. Creating new memories and sharing new experiences with friends could help people gain such motivation.

Tip #3: Set realistic short-term and long-term goals and keep them

Two other powerful coping skills for addiction recovery that you might want to cultivate are to set realistic short-term and long-term goals and keep them. Short-term goals can help you challenge yourself and position yourself for success, not failure. An example of a short-term goal might be to stay sober for a week. Then, if you are able to keep that goal, you can reward yourself.

A reward can be as simple as buying something you have always wanted but were not able to afford because you spent all of your money on your addiction. Once you have achieved this one-week sobriety goal, try to build on the goal. You can try to stay sober for two weeks, three weeks, and so on. Similarly, when you achieve long-term goals, you can reward yourself if you are satisfied with your achievement. These rewards can encourage you to continue working on your recovery.

Tip #4: Start a new healthy hobby

Other coping skills for addiction including participating in new healthy hobbies. Such hobbies can help you find joy and satisfaction again without the use of substances. Some people find going to the gym or exercising to be very beneficial to them in recovery. In fact, it has been proven that exercise improves mental health and can help fight feelings of boredom.

Perhaps you can learn how to paint, dance, or act. It all depends on you. Choose a hobby that is fun but safe and healthy for you. A hobby will not only keep you busy, but it will also make you look forward to something new and give you a sense of fulfillment in what you have learned and achieved.

Tip #5: Learn how to relax and de-stress

Recovery from addiction is not merely stopping the use of addictive substances. Rather, you recover by creating a new life, which can make avoiding addictive substances easier.

Following this principle, learning how to relax and stop worrying about small matters are two important coping skills for fighting addiction. You should evaluate whether you are angry, hungry, tired, or lonely. These four negative states are relapse triggers, which means that they could prompt people to abuse substances or participate in other destructive behaviors.

So, when you are hungry, eat. When you are angry, talk to somebody and share your feelings. When you are tired, take a rest. When you are lonely, spend time with your loved ones. You do not need to stress yourself out with negative feelings because you can do something about them.

Coping skills for addiction may take time to master but once you learn them and apply them, addiction recovery can become more manageable and less burdensome.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call or visit Monarch Shores today and talk to our addiction specialists. Remember, help is available. You do not have to do this alone.