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June 11, 2024

Top 10 Coping Skills in Recovery

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Coping skills in addiction recovery can help keep you motivated and on track. These skills help you avoid the risk of relapse. Unhealthy coping mechanisms can harm your recovery.

Read on to learn why you should develop healthy coping skills and find out how to get effective addiction treatment.

Benefits of Developing Coping Skills in Recovery

Developing good coping skills is very important for recovery. Here are some benefits of having healthy coping skills:

  • Reduce stress: Good coping skills help you manage stress better. When you know how to calm yourself down, you feel less overwhelmed. For example, deep breathing and mindfulness can help you stay calm during stressful times.
  • Improve mood: Coping skills like exercise, talking to friends, or doing something creative can boost your mood. Activities you enjoy can make you feel happier and more positive. For instance, drawing or painting allows you to express your feelings and lift your spirits.
  • Increase resilience: Coping skills build your resilience, which is your ability to bounce back from difficulties. The more you practice coping strategies, the better you get at dealing with setbacks and moving forward.
  • Avoid relapse: Having healthy ways to deal with problems can keep you from returning to old habits. When you use coping skills like talking to a friend or exercising, you’re less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol. This helps you stay on track with your recovery.
  • Build confidence: Learning and using coping skills can make you feel more confident. You know you can handle tough situations without turning to unhealthy habits. This confidence can make you feel stronger and more in control of your life.
  • Better relationships: Good coping skills can improve your relationships. When you communicate well and handle stress better, you get along better with others. For example, if you know how to express your feelings clearly, you can avoid misunderstandings and resolve conflicts more easily.
  • Healthier body and mind: Using coping skills like healthy eating and regular exercise keeps your mind and body in good shape. Eating balanced meals gives you the energy you need, and exercising can reduce stress and improve your mood. These healthy habits help you feel better overall.
  • Enhanced problem solving: Coping skills can help you become a better problem solver. When you face challenges, you can think more clearly and find solutions more easily. This makes you more resilient and able to handle whatever comes your way.

Top 10 Coping Skills in Addiction Recovery

Here are the top 10 coping skills that can help you stay strong in your recovery journey:

  1. Journaling
  2. Distracting from triggers
  3. Managing powerful emotions
  4. Relaxation
  5. Mindfulness
  6. Self-care: sleep, nutrition, and exercise
  7. Deep breathing
  8. Honesty with self and others
  9. Grounding techniques
  10. Waiting to respond

1) Journaling

Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you understand and process them better. Keeping a journal allows you to reflect on your day, track your progress, and identify patterns in your behavior. It’s a private space where you can express yourself freely without judgment.

2) Distracting from triggers

When you encounter triggers that make you want to use substances, find activities to distract yourself. Engage in hobbies or activities you enjoy like reading, playing a musical instrument, gardening, or exercising. Distracting yourself can help reduce cravings and keep your mind occupied.

3) Managing powerful emotions

Strong emotions like anger, sadness, or frustration can be overwhelming. Learn healthy ways to manage these emotions, such as talking to a trusted friend or therapist, practicing relaxation techniques, or expressing your feelings through art or music. Understanding and managing your emotions can prevent relapse.

4) Relaxation

Taking time to relax each day is important for your mental health. Listening to calming music, taking a warm bath, practicing yoga, or meditating can help you unwind and reduce stress. Regular relaxation can improve your overall well-being.

5) Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice that involves focusing on the present moment. You can do this by focusing on your breath, noticing your surroundings without judgment, or engaging in mindful meditation. Mindfulness can help you stay calm, reduce anxiety, and improve your focus.

image depicting Examples of coping skills in addiction recovery

6) Self-care: sleep, nutrition, and exercise

Take care of your body by eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Good self-care habits can boost mood, increase energy, and improve overall health.

7) Deep breathing

Deep breathing exercises can help you calm down when stressed or anxious. Try breathing in through your nose slowly and deeply, holding for a few seconds, and then slowly exhaling through your mouth. This can help relax your mind and body.

8) Honesty with self and others

Being honest about your feelings and struggles is important in recovery. Talk openly with trusted friends, family members, or therapists about what you’re going through. Honesty helps build trust and provides you with the support you need.

9) Grounding techniques

Grounding techniques can help you stay connected to the present moment, especially when overwhelmed. These techniques include touching objects around you, focusing on the physical sensations in your body, or listening to the sounds in your environment. Grounding helps you feel more stable and in control.

10) Waiting to respond

When you feel upset or triggered, take a moment before reacting. Pause and count to ten, take a few deep breaths, or walk away. This pause can help you respond more thoughtfully and prevent impulsive actions you might regret later.

Use these coping skills to help you manage stress, stay focused on your recovery, and build a healthier, happier life. Remember, it’s important to find what works best for you and to practice these skills regularly to make them a natural part of your routine.

Where Can I Get Support for Coping Skills in Recovery?

Here are some places to get support for learning and practicing coping skills:

  • Support groups: Join groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) to connect with others in recovery.
  • Therapists: Professional therapists can provide individual or group counseling to help you develop coping skills.
  • Rehab centers: Rehab centers offer structured programs that include coping skill training as part of recovery.
  • Community centers: Many centers offer free or low-cost support groups and activities.
  • Online resources: Websites and online forums provide information and support from people who understand what you’re going through.

For immediate help, call us at 800-994-2184. We’re here to support you on your journey to recovery.

Coping Skills in Recovery | FAQs

What are coping skills in recovery?

Coping skills are techniques and strategies that help you deal with stress and difficult emotions. Examples of coping skills in addiction recovery include activities like deep breathing, exercising, or talking to a friend. These skills help you stay strong during recovery.

How can support groups help me develop coping skills?

Support groups provide a safe space to share experiences and learn from others. Members can offer advice on what coping skills work for them. This helps you discover new ways to handle challenges.

How do I find the right coping skills for me?

Try different activities to see what makes you feel better and more relaxed. Pay attention to what helps you manage stress and emotions. Choose coping skills that fit your personality and life.

image of gratitude lodge | developing coping skills in recovery

Get Help Developing Coping Skills in Recovery at Gratitude Lodge

We treat addictions to alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. Our welcoming rehab centers are in Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA.

Begin with our medical detox program. This offers a safe and smooth path to detox and long-term recovery. After about a week of detox, you can move into ongoing inpatient treatment at one of our beachside rehab centers.

Every addiction is different, so all our treatment programs reflect this with tailored treatment plans. Therapies include:

To begin your journey to recovery with us, call us today at 800-994-2184.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
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Holistic Therapy

Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
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Psychotherapy

An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
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Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
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Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
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Sober Living

Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
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Outpatient Treatment

Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
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Inpatient
Treatment

Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.
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Drug & Alcohol Detox

A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.