Getting Through the Rough Moments
When you’re in recovery, whether it’s from addiction or mental illness or a physical disease, you’ll need a set of recovery tools to help you get through the rough moments. And not every tool works for everyone in every situation. Sure, you might know about deep breathing but if you can’t ever remember to use that coping tool in the moments that you need it, then it will never work for you.
Instead, you might find that a consistent pattern of self-care helps prevent unhealthy reactions to life.
The point is that you need to find what works for you uniquely. And that may mean getting to know yourself a bit more. It may mean continuing to refine your daily schedule so that you’re using recovery tools daily. It might also mean that you’re trying new tools as you get healthier and more aware of your triggers.
Here are a list of coping tools to choose from. Perhaps make a list of those that you know work for you as well as those you want to begin to include. Having a physical list on your refrigerator or on your nightstand can be a reminder to actually use them.
Tools to Use in Stressful Moments
Journal. Get your feelings and frustrations out on paper.
Run cool or warm water over your hands. This might help calm you down if you’re feeling angry or enraged.
Squeeze something as hard as you can. This will bring your awareness into the present moment and give you the opportunity to express your anger or frustration through your hands.
Dig your heels into the ground. This is like literally digging yourself into the Earth, staying grounded, instead of getting lost in your emotions and allowing them to take hold of you. Feel the strength of your feet on the ground. Feel the power of your emotions moving through your feet and into the Earth.
Jump up and down. Get your energy out by physically moving.
Stretch. You can move your body to help get your feelings moving. This is a way to stay in control of your body without letting your emotions get the better of you.
Clench and release your fists. This can also help release tension in your body.
Focus on your breathing. Notice the inhale and exhale. Allow your attention to stay with your breath rather than let it get carried away with your emotions.
Say kind statements to yourself. You can coach yourself while feeling an intense emotion. You might say, “You’ll get through this,” or “You’re completely safe right now,” or “I am in the present moment; I am not in the past. Right now I am in no danger whatsoever.”
Breathe deeply. One of the most effective forms of deep breathing is square breathing. Someone using this method breathes in for the count of four, holds the breath for a count of four, breathes out for a count of four, and holds the breath for a count of four, and continuing that cycle until he or she feels relaxed.
Take a few moments to meditate. Keep your attention on one point of focus. Let your thoughts calm by placing your attention on the breath or on a soothing word, such as “Relax”, which you can repeat slowly in the mind.
These are a few recovery tools to choose from. However, feel free to create tools of your own. For instance, you might know that taking a hot bath or going for a long walk helps to calm down. Create an imaginary box of tools that work for you and help you stay happy, healthy, and sober.
The Lakehouse Recovery Center is a residential drug rehab center in Westlake Village, CA. We provide drug detox, addiction treatment, drug treatment aftercare, and relapse prevention. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit our blog for helpful addiction and recovery tips.
© Lakehouse Recovery Center