One of the most important aspects of maintaining a lasting recovery from substance abuse or alcohol addiction is developing a way to handle and respond to stress. Often, people are tempted to relapse when confronted with stressful or overwhelming situations, so developing healthier coping mechanisms can be a great way to avoid relapse and feel confident navigating life as a person in recovery. Managing stress is a challenge for everyone, but for those in recovery, the stakes are a little higher. This is why many people who have completed a more intensive substance abuse treatment program may also choose to participate in some form of aftercare program.
What Is Resilience and How Does It Relate to Coping with Stress?
The concept of resilience means being capable of adapting well to changes, both positive and negative. Developing healthy coping mechanisms and strategies for dealing with stress are ways to build your resilience. Some of the qualities of a resilient person are:
- Staying connected with people and organizations that provide support and care
- Being able to plan and carry out plans well
- The ability to manage feelings and impulses, even when they are intense
- Having good communication skills
- Knowing your strengths and understanding your weaknesses
- Building positive self-esteem
Tips and Ideas for Developing Good, Healthy Coping Mechanisms
There are many strategies that you can use in order to encourage healthy coping methods, and although not every strategy will work in every situation, it can help to keep some tips and ideas in mind.
Here are some ideas and tips to use when faced with stress:
- Manage your self-talk. Listen to what you are saying to yourself and make sure it is positive, not negative.
- Resist the urge to catastrophize. Even when a problem seems overwhelming, a step-by-step approach can help make it manageable.
- Deal with issues head-on, rather than ignoring them or waiting to see what happens. Most of the time, issues only get bigger when they aren’t handled immediately.
- Be prepared to accept change. Nothing stays the same forever, and people who are able to accept and even embrace change are usually much less stressed.
- Focus on self-care. In order to be present for anyone or anything else, you need to be present for yourself first. Check in with yourself about how you are feeling and what your needs are.
- Give yourself permission to say ‘no’ at times. Even the most capable, accomplished people in the world can’t do everything. In fact, being honest with yourself and others about what you are able to take on can help you get more done in the long term.
- Have a plan for what to do if you start to get overwhelmed. Call a friend or family member, take a break and have a snack, or even go on a short walk around the building. Taking a few minutes to regain composure and breathe can keep emotions in check.
- Ask for help when you need it. It can be hard to ask for what you need, but it is even harder to get out of a bad situation alone. Know who to go to when you need support.
Greater Boston Recovery Center Offers Aftercare for Clients in Recovery
Our substance abuse rehab programs provide daytime outpatient and evening intensive outpatient drug treatment programs to help you or your loved one rebuild and restore hope. Clients in recovery strongly benefit from access to a supportive, recovery-focused environment that can help them continue developing healthy coping mechanisms. If you or a loved one needs support and help to develop those skills, reach out to us today at 877.920.6583.