Coping Tips to Assist Your Wellbeing

Your ability to maintain your recovery, or provide assistance to another, will require that you develop coping skills for your own well-being. The following can be aids in developing and maintaining support for your efforts.

Click on each heading to find out more, or download a condensed one-sheet PDF of this information.

Coping at Work

Before you arrive

Coping in the workplace should start before you leave your house. Wake up at least 15 minutes earlier, so you don’t have to rush. This will help start your day relaxed and not full of anxiety.

On the job: Practice self-care
  • Take care of your body: wash your hands, drink fluids, eat properly, use sunscreen.
  • 90 seconds is all it takes to re-set your brain. Whether it’s taking a deep breath, a quick meditation, grounding exercise, or self-awareness work – find the types of mental relaxation that are right for you. (If you’ve used substances as a grounding technique these are some healthy alternatives. There are lots of apps and examples on the web to help you get started.)
  • Remember to breathe … take a deep breath when you can. Be conscious of your breathing.
  • Remember to smile. Laughter boosts the immune system, eases pain and relaxes the body.
  • Turn your radio off at lunch and relax.
  • Don’t get frustrated with things that are beyond your control, such as call times, delays, weather, etc.
  • Realize that your self-worth is not in the job, it’s inside you. You can say this to yourself throughout the day.
  • Don’t take direction or criticism personally. Take what you can learn from it and leave the rest.
  • Create a gratitude list. This can be done anytime during the day. This inventory of what is good in your life can be done on your phone or just in your head.
  • Get off social media… you’re not missing anything.
  • Don’t feel any pressure to go to the bar after you wrap. Being present and accountable at work is what’s important.
On the job: Connecting is important
  • Call or text a supportive friend when you get a break.
  • Surround yourself with good people/a support group in and out of work.
  • Download support group apps.

Outside of Work

Most of the above ideas apply away from work as well, but here are a few more to consider when not on the job:
Outside of work: Practice self-care
    • Get regular exercise. Even if you’re on your feet all day at work, get in some cardio work or stretching. Jobs in our industry can be hard on your body. Keeping your body strong and flexible will help you have a longer career. Try to find an exercise partner or group – it’s easier to keep doing when you have company.
    • Participate in hobbies and activities that provide enjoyment, mental diversion and stimulation: Crossword puzzles, plant a garden, fishing, learn another skill.
    • Establish and maintain a regular sleep/wake cycle. That can be tough to do in our industry, especially with the hours worked and the desire to “catch up” on sleep when you have a day off, but it’s important to try.
    • Assume a self-affirming lifestyle. Treat yourself with kindness and respect and avoid self-criticism.
    • Break the monotony. Structure is good to a point, but a change of pace can refresh the tedium. It can be something as simple as taking a different route to work, trying a different restaurant, or going someplace new.
    • Manage expectations by being realistic about what to expect from yourself or someone else trying to maintain recovery. Keep in mind, this is a long game – very few recoveries are successful the first time out of the gate. Recurrences can happen.
Outside of work: Connecting is important
  • If you have time, volunteer. Giving of yourself by helping someone else builds self-sufficiency.
  • If the person you are trying to help is being encouraged or pressured to use alcohol or substances by the people they are spending time with at, or away from, work, introduce them to a different set of acquaintances and invite them to attend outside events that aren’t centered on drinking or using.
  • Try to attend meetings after work. There are plenty of meetings online.
  • Consider getting professional therapy. If you’re helping someone else with their recovery it’s stressful, and having someone you can talk to about it can be very helpful. If you are working on your own recovery, it’s important to have someone you can talk to about the reasons for your substance use.
Behind the Scenes Foundation makes no representations or warranty whatsoever, either expressed or implied, regarding any information or advice provided by this training. In no event shall Behind the Scenes Foundation be liable to you or anyone else for any decision or action taken in reliance on information provided by this training.