10 Healthier Ways to Cope Instead of Abusing Drugs
When an addict is in active addiction to drugs and alcohol, it’s common for them to use substances to alleviate their withdrawal symptoms, self-medicate, relieve tension after a bad day, or even just because they feel the need to. The power of choice is given back when you are able to recover from addiction and are able to abstain from abusing drugs and alcohol. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have rough days, stressful times, or intense drug cravings. That’s why it helps to know healthy coping skills that can help occupy your time and provide a natural form of relief that promotes your recovery, especially when you need it.
Better Coping Skills Instead of Turning to Drugs
There are multiple different ways to cope instead of resorting back to abusing drugs and alcohol. From taking care of your physical health to nourishing your emotional well-being, activities and hobbies can enhance your mood and help you deal with situations in a healthy manner.
1. Go for a Run
Instead of running back to abusing drugs and alcohol, a great way to promote your health, deal with stress, and feel better when you are feeling down is to go for an actual run. Going to the beach for a run can be both physically and emotionally rewarding because not only can the scenery be relaxing but the run itself is good for you too. When you run, your body releases hormones referred to as endorphins, which can make you feel good. Even if you don’t live near a beach, try going for a run in your neighborhood, down the street, or on a treadmill. It’s a healthy way to feel good quickly and naturally.
2. Listen to Music or Make Your Own
Music can be extremely healing. Find the music that makes you feel happy, accepted, understood, or upbeat. Another healthy coping mechanism is making your own music too. Try playing an instrument like the guitar or piano. If you don’t know how to play an instrument, then consider taking lessons. Not only will you enjoy being able to make music along the way, but you will always be adding to your skillset. If traditional instruments aren’t for you, then you should try singing or creating your own beats using software. While using music to cope with issues in your life, you may just find a new passion.
3. Go for a Swim and Float
Swimming can be entertaining and provide relief from stress. Hop in the nearest pool or head to the beach to swim. It can also be extremely relaxing when you lie in the water and float on your back. You may feel a sense of peace, especially when you look up toward the sky. It’s a great way to start and end the day.
4. Surround Yourself with Loved Ones
Nothing beats seeing your loved ones, especially when you are feeling down and stressed out. Even if you don’t feel like going out to see your significant other, friends, or family, it can be a good idea to push yourself to meet them for coffee, go out to eat, see a movie, or play a game. The last thing you want to do when you are feeling depressed and anxious is withdraw from those closest to you. Surround yourself with the people you care about, especially when you could use the support.
5. Walk on the Beach, Mountains, or Nature Trail
Even doing something as simple as walking can have a positive impact on your mood. Going for a walk on the beach, near the mountains, or down a nature trail can help you relax. It can also be a good way to sort through what you’re feeling as well as provide nourishment for the soul.
6. Immerse Yourself with Art
Viewing works of art and creating your own art can be a wonderful way to deal with stress and uneasy emotions. It can help you get your emotions out in a healthy manner. Pick up some magazines and make a collage, draw cartoons, paint something on your porch, or play around with clay. It can even enhance your creativity and introduce you to a newfound hobby at the same time.
7. Pick Up a Hobby
If art isn’t your thing but you want to try something new, then consider looking into a hobby of your choice so that when you do get stressed out, you can practice or engage in the healthy activity. Enroll in a cooking class, play sports, dance, or learn a new language. Not only can these be a positive way to occupy your time, but you will also be learning something new.
8. Journal Your Thoughts and Feelings
After a stressful or saddening day, it can help tremendously to get out your thoughts and emotions on paper. Instead of bottling your feelings up inside of you, it can provide relief when you get them out on paper and are able to see what is really running through your mind.
9. Practice Self-care
It can also help to just be gentle with yourself after dealing with stress. While in active addiction, you may have been quick to run back to abusing drugs and alcohol, now in recovery you have the opportunity to take care of yourself. Practicing self-care can help with teaching you self-love and provide relaxation at the same time. Try getting a haircut, manicure, doing a face mask, or even just taking a nice, long, hot shower.
10. Turn to a Professional
While everyday stress can happen to everyone now and then, you may find it effective to speak to a professional about your problems, especially if you notice yourself slipping into a depression that won’t go away. Therapists, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals can help you work on your mental and emotional state of mind. Seeking professional assistance can help you identify the problems in your life and allow you to get out what you are thinking in a safe setting so that you can properly deal with issues in your life.
Stress and depression are never fun, especially when you are recovering from addiction and susceptible to reverting back to abusing drugs and alcohol during these tough times. Making sure that you have healthy coping skills in place is a critical part of maintaining your recovery. It is also important to have sober supports, 12-Step Fellowships, and/or support groups where you can additionally find the support you need to stay clean and sober.
Are you having trouble with staying sober and instead find yourself always returning back to abusing drugs and alcohol? The Watershed can help. Call The Watershed at 1-800-861-1768 to get the addiction treatment you need today.Tags: addiction to drugs, coping skills, healthy life style, Recovery