Aftercare is a very important phase of the rehab process. This is when relapse prevention strategies are being applied. This is also the time when the person should have developed a set of coping skills to make the transition to a normal life easier to do. Some of the coping skills that will prove to be helpful in one’s road to sobriety and recovery are the following:
1. Developing a Support Network
A confident person may say that it is very possible to recover from substance abuse all on your own. Yes, this could be true but it would be a lot easier to recover when you have your own support network. Studies reveal that having a support network significantly reduces one’s tendency to relapse.
A support network will usually consist of friends and family members. These are the people who will be with you as you tread the path towards complete recovery. These people will be there to support and guide you in developing healthy lifestyle habits so that you can regain the life that you once lost to substance abuse.
2. Resorting to Positive Self-talk
When it comes to maintaining sobriety, the greatest ally you have will be yourself. So, if you fill your thoughts with negative self-talk, then it is tantamount to hurting your greatest ally. Therefore, it is important that you counter these thoughts with positive self-talk.
Resorting to helpful self-talk is such a powerful move. It is your inner voice that must serve as your relentless cheerleader and this can do so much in maintaining your sobriety. Your thoughts are more powerful than you think they are. So go ahead, be an optimist and boost your chances of recovery.
3. Identifying Personal Triggers
Identifying personal triggers is sometimes difficult to do. This is because not all triggers have a direct physical impact on a person. Luckily, the National Institutes of Health shows a list of the most common triggers. These include seeing other people using the substance and seeing posts about it on social media.
Some positive and negative emotions may also serve as a trigger for a person to give in to his cravings for alcohol or any illicit substance. Examples of these emotions include frustration, disappointment, excitement and overjoy. Knowing your personal triggers will help you to quickly catch yourself before it totally falls into the pit of substance use once again.
4. Indulging in Worthwhile Hobbies
Boredom is a common relapse trigger. Individuals who have just completed their addiction treatment program would find themselves transitioning from a highly structured life to one in which they will have full discretion of. This means they will be the ones to create their own daily routines.
However, at the start of restructuring one’s daily life chances are high that a person will have plenty of undirected free time. Unfortunately, this will also make them prone to relapse. Therefore, indulging in a worthwhile hobby can be a real lifesaver. Hobbies could be in the form of outdoor sports, gardening or fishing. It does not matter what hobbies you choose, what’s more important is it should be something that gives you a proactive approach to countering boredom and other triggers.
5. Keeping a Daily Journal
Journaling is a great way to deal with memories and reflect on the future that you have written in front of you. Doing it on a daily basis will help you stay focused on your goals. It enables you to have some time to reflect on what has been done, how productive you are for the day or how you feel about your daily routines.
Furthermore, writing down your frustrations, sadness and any other negative thoughts and emotions will largely help you remove the burden from your shoulders. Journaling for 20 or 30 minutes a day is enough to make a significant difference in how you handle sober living and muster up courage to achieve full recovery.
The importance of learning positive coping skills in preventing relapse cannot be overemphasized. Note that relapsing can bring about dangerous consequences since a person’s level of tolerance may change after undergoing rehabilitation treatment. But, with a concrete set of coping skills, you increase your chances of achieving a sober lifestyle. Not to mention a healthier and happier life with your friends and loved ones.