Mental Health Coping Skills You Can Use in Recovery

Addiction recovery is a long process that often comes with various challenges like frustration and relapse. Even after leaving a recovery center, your recovery journey does not stop. In fact, this is when things can get challenging, because now there is no one to monitor you and check that you are not using drugs. Despite the obstacles on the way, there are certain mental health skills you can learn and use to stay sober. As you are likely to encounter triggers and temptations, having a set of skills to guide you on the way can be beneficial. Discussed below are a few of these mental health coping skills you can use in recovery.


When you are struggling with an addiction, lying becomes second nature. And not just to the people around you, but to yourself as well. You may have lied to your loved ones that you were not using drugs or lied about something to get money for drugs. To continue using, you have probably lied to yourself that you are not an addict and that drugs are not causing significant damage to your health and life. However, one of the ways that will help you cope in recovery is choosing to be honest. If you are tempted to use drugs, talk to someone instead of letting that struggle eat you up. In whichever challenge you are facing, maintaining honesty will help you stay sober.

Learn to Say No

Another mental health coping skill that will come in handy is knowing when to say no. Try your best to avoid putting yourself in risky situations that can trigger a relapse. Saying no will prevent you from agreeing to get into situations that make other people happy but are harmful to you. For instance, if your friend is celebrating their birthday at a bar and you know that such a situation can trigger a relapse, do not be afraid to say no. As much as relapse can happen to anyone in recovery, avoiding such a situation reduces the risk of it happening.

Meditate and Be Mindful

Being mindful and meditating will help you navigate difficult thoughts, be in the present moment and accept whatever you are feeling without judging yourself. Scientists have proven that meditation can help you relax the mind. People who meditate have better self-control, a flexible approach to life, and improved mental clarity. On top of that, being mindful and meditating often will go a long way in reducing stress and anxiety. Notably, addiction recovery is a challenging process that can trigger stress and anxiety. Being mindful can help you manage such distressing moments.

Wait Before Responding

Drug abuse and addiction can make one react impulsively to situations. The more one uses drugs for recreational purposes, the more impulsive their behavior becomes. Addiction makes one steal, lie, get aggressive, or become angry. However, these rushed decisions can result in painful results. Learning how to analyze a situation before reacting will go a long way in helping you manage these impulses. This skill is particularly important when facing a stressful situation that can trigger a relapse.

Challenge Negative Self-Talk

Even someone who has never experienced an addiction has experienced negative self-talk. Unfortunately, it can be damaging. As seen in Pinnacle Recovery (, part of substance abuse treatment is to challenge these thoughts. Replacing negative thoughts with positive and realistic thinking will improve your outlook in life.

When you are in recovery, understand that relapse is still possible. However, that does not mean you have failed. Give yourself some grace and keep practicing these mental health coping skills. Soon, you will be able to have the situation under control.