Many times in life, things don’t turn out the way we planned. We don’t get to choose our parents, or what kind of home life we’re born into. Life doesn’t guarantee that we’ll learn coping skills. Thankfully, treatment centers offer ways to learn coping skills in recovery. Learning coping skills in recovery can change your entire life.
Some of the factors that contribute to substance abuse disorders include:
It’s not enough just to get sober. That’s just a starting point. But sobriety helps you think more clearly. You need to think clearly in order to implement stress management in recovery. To learn anger management in recovery also requires a clear head.
The purpose of recovery is building something new, becoming a new person. Creating a new life. How can you do that? What are some of the coping skills in recovery that you can learn? How can you take them with you after treatment?
Why Should Someone Learn Coping Skills In Recovery?
People develop substance use disorders for a variety of reasons. They might be dealing with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). They might lack a proper network of support. Perhaps they deal with an abusive domestic partner. Some might use drugs because they learned it from a parent.
Underlying many of these problems is a lack of boundaries. Learning coping skills in recovery helps a person understand boundaries. Coping skills help determine when to say “no.” Coping skills distinguish between what to let in, and what to keep out. Furthermore, coping skills in recovery help a person communicate.
Kelly E. Green’s new book Relationships in Recovery: Repairing Damage and Building Healthy Connections While Overcoming Addiction emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries in relationships. In a recent interview for the book, Green noted that people in recovery must strategically change how they relate with others.
But how does a person do that? What are some specific coping skills in recovery?
Stress Management In Recovery
For many people, the word stress has only negative connotations. According to Richard Swenson, people experience stress when their load is greater than their power. A person’s load means their responsibilities and obligations. Power refers to the person’s ability to carry those responsibilities and obligations.
Swenson’s concept of margin details two ways that people can feel less stress:
● Decrease load – reduce their amount of responsibilities, obligations, and roles
● Increase power – become more competent, efficient, or robust in how to carry the load
4 helpful tactics to decrease your load and increase your power are:
● Learn what’s in your control – and what isn’t
● Understand the power of “no”
● Regard yourself as a person worthy of care
● Journaling about your experiences
Learn What’s In Your Control – And What Isn’t
Some things in life are in your control. Others aren’t. Learning the difference may take a lifetime. Thus, it’s important to learn that skill. In truth, very few things in life are in your control. Your most fundamental attribute is what (and how) you think.
To determine what’s actually in your control, ask yourself: what action can I take right now to affect this? If nothing comes to mind, then you cannot effect a meaningful change. Put this particular problem aside, and keep doing so. When you arrive at a problem you can control, take action.
The Power Of “No”
No. Such a powerful word. “No” is integral to proper boundary setting. Without “no,” your life becomes full. Without boundaries, you keep nothing out. So, everything creeps in. Learning to say “no” gives you agency. It gives you control. Your utterance of the word “no” isn’t just for the outside world. It’s for you. “No” means that you have worth and dignity. “No” connotes that your life deserves freedom from encroachment.
When learning coping skills in recovery, here are a few instances where “no” can be helpful.
● Saying “no” to yourself helps liberate you from old habits.
● Saying “no” helps improve (or maybe even end) toxic relationships.
● Saying “no” helps you shoulder your own responsibilities.
● Saying “no” frees you from the need to blame yourself.
Regard Yourself As Someone Worthy Of Care
To develop proper stress and anger management in recovery, you must treat yourself with worth. Think of someone you care about. Imagine that they are dependent on you for their wellbeing.
Their health is totally up to you. You decide what and when they eat. You determine when they go to bed and when they get up. You schedule their day and plan for their activities. With that in mind, imagine doing the same for yourself.
You must regard yourself as someone worthy of care. Doing so will help you adjust your priorities to improve your health. With an improved sense of self-worth, your health will flourish. With better physical and mental health, you’ll have more energy and strength.
Journaling About Your Experiences
Journaling has helped United States military veterans cope with the trauma of war. Research also indicates that journaling helps compulsive gamblers. If you’re just getting started, you might try C.W.V. Straaten’s The Addiction Recovery Journal.
Journaling helps put abstract thought into concrete reality. It offers clarity and focus. It helps you reflect on where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re headed. Knowledge of this kind empowers you to plan and implement effective solutions.
Coping Skills In Recovery Involve Change
The root of coping skills in recovery is change. Coping means dealing with problems in a way that promotes flourishing. Figuring out coping skills in recovery means setting boundaries. It means discerning what supports your new path from what opposes it.
Stress and management in recovery translates into learning what’s in your control. And also disregarding what isn’t. It involves learning when and how to say “no” to some things. Even good things in your life are not ultimate things. For you to completely recover, some of those good things will have to go. Journaling your experience during recovery will give you a tangible place to start. With your journal in hand, you can articulate problems and solutions in an actionable way.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, don’t wait any longer. If you’d like to learn more about coping skills in recovery call Southeast Addiction Center Tennessee now at (615) 326-6449.