Blog | Alcohol Addiction

Coping Skills for a Sober Life

Sobriety requires intentionality. You have to rebuild your life to make sobriety a reality. And it’s not just about refraining from drug use; it’s about managing your mental and physical wellness so you don’t become vulnerable to relapse. Drug rehab is a key step in recovery, but once you leave rehab, your sobriety hinges on the decisions you make. Coping skills are essential to help you stay on track each day.

Physical Health

When you are addicted to drugs, there are often several long-term consequences. Some of these health problems may include lung or cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and Hepatitis B or C.[1] To keep cravings at bay, you’ll need to get your body back on track.Regular exercise is very beneficial for someone in addiction recovery. It makes you feel stronger and more energetic. You may feel extra tired when you start exercising. Once your body adjusts, you’ll look forward to exercise as it boosts your endorphins and gets your blood flowing more freely.

You can try yoga, a fun aerobics class, biking, or even walking in your neighborhood every day. A simple exercise plan will help you keep you on track. Exercise boosts your mood and makes your body learn how to feel good without drug use. Exercise is also a great stress reliever, which you’ll need as you make big changes in your life.

Bicycling family

Mental Health

Mental wellness is another key part of staying sober. Painful emotions are a pathway for relapse, so you need to be aware of your moods. If you have a diagnosed mental illness—such as depression or PTSD—be sure you take your medication, go to your treatment sessions, and do whatever your doctor recommends. Putting off your mental health care is not an option.

Also, keep in mind what events or places cause you stress. Do you need to learn how to let go of an argument? Maybe you need to take a more flexible point of view? Perhaps you just need to unwind your muscles on a regular basis? There are lots of ways to relieve stress so you can have a positive mindset – funny movies, journal writing, some alone time, a long walk, prayer, or listening to something inspirational. Do these kinds of things regularly to fight off negativity and anxiety.

Social Environment

Your social connections with friends, family and support group members can help you get through the ups and downs in your sobriety. This group will congratulate you on your victories and also lift you up when you are down. Staying connected to sober people is a terrific and vital coping skill. But you must communicate with them about the challenges you face with your sobriety.

It’s not enough just to know them and make small talk when you are around each other. You need to take the risk of opening up. When you cultivate honest, caring relationships you’ll have someone to laugh with and someone to cry with.

Putting It All Together

As you move forward in your recovery, your sobriety depends on having—and using—coping skills. Keep in mind that drug addiction is a chronic disease like cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes or cancer.[2] Continual treatment is required. We at Michael’s House are here to help you stay sober. If you would like to talk to one of our admissions counselors, please call today.

[1] What Are the Medical Consequences of Drug Addiction?

[2] Addiction is a Chronic Disease.