Recovery Coping Mechanisms: What Are They and Why Are They Important?
Recovery Unplugged has officially wrapped our 2022 Recovery Madness Tournament featuring some of the most commonly practiced coping mechanisms in recovery and the comforts to which people turn in sobriety. We want to thank everyone who voted throughout the tournament, up to and including the nail-biter of a final match between Team Therapy and Team Coffee!
Some of the other contenders included meditation, running, journaling, and goal-setting. While Team Coffee ultimately won the day, millions of people in recovery will continue to use the other coping mechanisms to strengthen their recovery and give themselves the comfort and peace of mind they need.
What Are Coping Mechanisms?
Coping mechanisms are the tools, behaviors, and comforts, both direct and peripheral, that make sustained recovery easier. You may turn to them as a matter of routine or during the more vulnerable and challenging times during your recovery.
There are multiple types of coping mechanisms, including those you develop with the help of your therapist in rehab and those you turn to on your own. They’re different for everyone and can be physical (certain types of food, tea, other comforts) or behavioral (therapy, exercise, running, music, reading, etc.).
Recovery coping mechanisms can either be new habits and behaviors we cultivate in recovery or older pastimes and comforts that fulfilled you before your substance abuse started.
Why Are They Important?
Recovery is hard. It gets easier over time, but without coping mechanisms developed both in behavioral rehab and independently, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to effectively manage stress, temptation, and subsequent relapse.
Your coping mechanisms are there when you’re face to face with drugs or alcohol in social situations; they’re there when the daily stress of life makes you want to drink or use drugs; they’re there during triumph, tragedy, and everything in between, and are often the difference between life and death.
Even though Recovery Madness 2022 has officially wrapped up, you can embrace your coping mechanisms throughout the year.