Resilience is the ability to adjust and recover from difficult life circumstances or events. Everyone has resilience, though it is a skill that you can develop and make stronger. Resilience is especially important in early recovery, as you must face a number of struggles without leaning on your past coping mechanisms.
By building resilience, you can face these challenges more easily and avoid turning back to substances. Below are some tips for building resilience in early recovery. Taking these steps will help you survive the day-to-day struggles of being new to sobriety.
Surround Yourself with Supportive People
When you return from drug rehab, you’ll need to take a good hard look at the people in your life. The people who you used to drink and use drugs with are most likely not true friends. And if they are, you can resume your friendships with them once they get sober.
For now, surround yourself with the right people. Preferably, those who are positive and in support of your journey. These individuals can offer advice on how to deal with difficult situations and encourage you to stay strong.
If you do happen to relapse, you will have your support network there to lift you up, get you into rehab and help you continue your journey. This is resilience.
Practice Self-Care and Manage Stress
Take good care of yourself and make sure your needs are met. When you do this, it’s easier to adapt to changes and respond to challenging situations. Self-care practices include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and getting consistent sleep.
A large part of self-care also involves managing your stress levels. When you feel stressed, you’re more likely to turn to substances, so it’s important to get ahead of your stress levels. Mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises and journaling are all ways to release negative thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Believe in Yourself and Your Abilities
Confidence is integral to your recovery. Although it takes time to develop confidence, you can accelerate this by believing in yourself and your abilities. The 12 steps are great for this – they help individuals build up confidence and find ways to cope with their stressors.
Other ways to instill confidence are as follows:
- Practice positive self-talk
- Avoid comparing yourself to others
- Focus on the present – not the past
- Practice gratitude
- Choose supportive friends
- Separate your feelings from facts
- Believe people when they compliment you
View Challenges as Opportunities
If you do run into challenges, view them as opportunities to learn and grow. There will always be setbacks in life. The important thing is how you respond to these challenges. If you find yourself feeling bad or engaging in negative self-talk, reframe the situation (a strategy you learn in CBT).
Reframing a situation gives you a different perspective, allowing you to solve the problem in a way you might not have thought of before. The more you do this, the better you will become at handling problems in constructive ways.
Set Achievable Goals
Reaching your goals also helps in building resilience. Set small, achievable goals that you can reach right now. As you fulfill your goals, you’ll develop a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. This energy can then be put into other goals that are important to your recovery. Your goals can be as simple as running in the mornings or practicing meditation each day.
Are you ready to start your journey to sobriety? Contact Awakenings Treatment Center to learn more about our flexible outpatient programs that support good mental health and a complete recovery from substances. We will also teach you how to build resilience – an important skill for lifelong recovery!