Some people are comfortable with predictability. They find it easier to cope if they can rely on a routine or some kind of constant in their life. When change happens, it can be hard to understand or assimilate. If there is any constant in life, it is actually that there is change. Some people are seeking out behavioral changes as a part of their recovery from substance abuse or mental health disorders. Actively seeking ways to change can be stressful and hard to manage, therefore finding the right kind of care during this critical time may be imperative.
Even after we receive treatment, we may have to deal with the changes during the early recovery process. Many treatment facilities will give its clients the tools during the aftercare planning process to help them manage and cope with life stressors. Many treatment programs will offer guidance to enter into an intensive outpatient program after residential treatment to provide the support and guidance needed to deal with the life changes that occur post-treatment.
Joining an intensive outpatient program or any type of group therapy sessions after treatment is important because they provide opportunities to build strong support systems for the early recovery process. Group therapy provides a space where you can allow yourself to feel vulnerable and process emotions caused by past and current significant life changes as well as actively interact with others who have not only experienced what you have gone through, but also experienced the changes that are happening in your early recovery journey.
Tips for Dealing With Changes
Life can be unpredictable, constantly throwing curves at us.There may be times when you have to deal with change without the gift of clinical support and guidance. These five tips can help you cope when dealing with change on your own after treatment.
- Examine Your Control – Think about how much control you have over the event. If it’s a positive change and you have control over making it happen, don’t hesitate. If it’s a negative change and you can’t control it, don’t beat yourself up over it. We need to understand that change is inevitable, and fighting against it can exacerbate its adverse outcomes. It may be challenging to overcome, but persistence in staying positive is crucial.
- Maintain Your Routine – The only thing we can control about change is our reaction to it. Try to stick with as much of your routine as possible. Sometimes, we find comfort in the status quo, and having simple things to rely on to increase our stability is essential. Deviation from the norm causes stress and anxiety, so it’s best to standardize everything we can.
- Ask for Help – Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Admitting to others that we feel vulnerable is difficult. The inability to allow ourselves to feel the most basic human emotions can often hold us back from emotional growth. People may fight hardest against changes that make them feel vulnerable and in order to resist this fight, it’s important to find a reliable support system, even if it’s just a couple of people. It is also not helpful to wait around for people to take action as sometimes people don’t know precisely how to help, so it is vital to our recovery that we ask them for the help we need.
- Be Patient – Give yourself time to grow accustomed to new things.Change is not always a linear process. Realize that this is not always the case. It’s common for us to think of most events as linear, but change can be a cyclical process. If you’re expecting positive outcomes and not immediately reaping any of their benefits, try not to wonder why. It may take some time to see any benefits or negative consequences of change. If adapting to change seems to be taking too long, patience is essential.
- Change Your Perspective – The way we view change can affect our ability to cope. Sometimes changes can be a positive learning tool. Instead of placing blame on ourselves or others, try to find learning opportunities in these moments of change. Learning from past events and experiences helps our emotional growth. If the events or experiences are challenging but also unavoidable, do your best to surrender to your lack of control so that it does not cast a gloomy shadow that can affect your emotional stability.
There can be unexpected outcomes to change, but they don’t have to be frightening. Keeping perspective is important. If you’re expecting adverse consequences from a significant life change, that’s probably what you’ll see most. Instead, try to keep an objective view on major changes so you can see positive outcomes as they occur. The most important part of dealing with change is not fighting it. That is probably the most recurring piece of advice you will receive when given tools to deal with change. Remember to examine the amount of control you have over the change that is occurring. If you can’t stop it, there’s no point in adding the extra stress of fighting it.
Change can be difficult whether it is anticipated or unexpected. Many people feel far more comfortable maintaining the status quo, and resist change because it makes them feel uncertain and out of control. For someone trying to change behaviors or end a substance abuse issue, moving away from unhealthy behaviors is essential; but is difficult if they do not have strong coping skills. Maintaining balance in life during change is crucial to successfully dealing with it. Avalon Malibu provides support for individuals who are experiencing the major life changes that accompany dealing with substance misuse or mental health issues. Our staff is dedicated to helping our clients transition as seamlessly as possible to a fulfilling life and long-term recovery. If you or someone you love needs help making the changes necessary to live a substance-free and stable life, we can provide the guidance they need. Call us today at (844) 857-5992.