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Recovery Tool Box


A recovery toolbox is a way to support you through your journey. The metaphorical box includes healthy coping strategies that can help get you through difficult times, triggers and emotions – or even just bring you back to a place of comfort and ease.

For many people in early recovery, building a sobriety toolbox means reflecting back to things they once enjoyed before addiction came into play: Hobbies, passions, interests or talents. These coping methods can also include new interests or hobbies as you rediscover yourself.

A recovery toolbox doesn’t just include fun things you like to do in your spare time, but also things that inspire you, comfort you, guide you, ground you, calm you or relieve cravings.

Recovery is a choice, a commitment, a discovery, and a lifestyle. Each day you will learn more about yourself and your personal program of recovery. As you start to define how your life in recovery will look, here are five tools you can use in your toolbox every day.

  1. Name Your Daily Essentials and Use Them, Daily: What are the things you need as a human being every day? What are the things you personally need every day? In the beginning of recovery, it can be difficult to define your needs. For many years, all you needed was your addition. Now that it is no longer in the picture, you can realize that lifestyle isn’t sustainable. It’s important to meet the daily needs of life like eating food, drinking water, and getting sleep. Those are the essentials every human being needs. After meeting essential needs, there are more personal needs to be met which you will have to define for yourself. As you continue to recover you will notice more and more what you need.
  2. Spiritual Activities: I'm talking about spiritually based, but scientifically backed practices like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises can all become important as well. You might discover that a day without your spiritual practices doesn’t feel like a normal day. Getting into a daily routine of meditation or mindfulness can be a challenge. Breathing, however, is something you have to do every day to survive. By making focusing on your breathing a priority, you can bring in more attention to meditation, mindfulness, yoga or any other spiritual activity you discover.
  3. Getting Outside: Stepping into the sunshine and the fresh air is more essential than people realize to their wellness. Human beings were made to roam the earth, through all elements. Getting outside is part of our genetic makeup. Perhaps all you need for your recovery toolbox is a quick step out the door for a deep breath before burrowing back inside. Or, you might find that you need to spend at least an hour outside, walking, exercising, or gardening. Spending time outdoors is proven to enhance your feelings of wellness psychologically as well as physically.
  4. Connecting With Others: Making phone calls to friends, family, peers in recovery, a sponsor, or a newcomer in need of support is part of many people’s recovery toolbox. Connection is an antidote to addiction.
  5. Connecting With Yourself: Everything you do as part of your recovery toolbox will be helpful in connecting you with yourself. There are other ways to spend quality time with yourself that is just for you. You might find your best alone time while exercising, cooking, cleaning, taking a shower, doing something creative, or another activity. Making time for yourself is important because you’re the longest relationship you will ever have.

SMART Recovery Toolbox

The SMART Recovery Toolbox provides a variety of methods, worksheets, and exercises to help you self-manage your addiction recovery and your life. This collection of sensible tools is based on developing cognitive thinking skills to support you through addiction recovery.

 ABC Worksheet (PDF Interative and Printout)

CBA Worksheet (PDF Printout)

ABC Crash Course (Web Page and PDF Printout)

4 Questions About My Addiction (Web Page)

Change Plan Worksheet (PDF Printout)

Hierarchy of Values Worksheet (PDF Printout)

(C) SMART Recovery Tool Box

Confidence-Building and Anxiety-Reducing Rational Beliefs (PDF Printout)

Putting the Past Behind You (PDF Printout)

Coping Statements for Dealing with Anxiety About Anxiety (PDF Printout)

Rational Beliefs to Increase Frustration Tolerance:
In the long run, the easier and less disciplined approach to pleasure and enjoyment is usually less rewarding than the more difficult or uncomfortable route.
I am happiest when I get involved in long-term, challenging work that requires me to work against inertia and take risks.
While things I have to do may be difficult, unpleasant or boring, they are rarely too difficult, unpleasant or boring.
While it may be unfair that I have to work so hard, my life does not have to be easy.
In order to achieve pleasant results, I often have to do unpleasant things.
Yes, it is a pain to do this now, but I’d better because it will be much harder and I’ll get worse results if I do it later.

Decision Making:
1. There’s no way not to decide!
2. If I don’t decide, someone else will.
3. I can change my mind.
4. I can make more than one decision about something.
5. I don’t have to live or die with every decision.
6. I don’t have to decide for anyone but me.
7. I can decide even if I don’t have the perfect answer.
8. I can decide even if I’m unable to eliminate all the risks.
9. I may have to make some decisions that won’t please others.

10 Rules for Happiness (PDF Printout)

Helpful Things to Say to Myself to Overcome Perfectionism:
No one can be totally perfect.worried
I’m not perfect and I never will be – tough!
It’s okay to want to do my best.
Doing well does not necessarily mean being the best.
Just because I make a mistake does not mean I am a mistake.
To be human is to err.
The pressure I put on myself to perform perfectly is an unrealistic pressure that can actually cause me to perform worse because I will be worried and nervous.
The pressure I put on myself to perform perfectly creates an extra source of stress that can affect me emotionally and physically.
Trying to do my best is a reasonable goal, but it will not always be achieved.
Few things in life are exact. Things can be done in a variety of ways and have many different solutions.
People do not always agree on what is correct or right. Judgments are often subjective. I will try to set my own realistic goals, please myself, and have the strength to be creative and different in the face of others’ potential disapproval.
Our whole society is geared to expect that people will make mistakes and errors. Examples are traffic tickets, prison, consumer recalls, consumer complaints, refunds, legal suits, etc.
True friends accept imperfection.
Mistakes do not equal incompetence.

Mistakes are just mistakes – period!

The Psychology of Depression (Web Page)

Ingredients of Happy and Healthy Living (Web Page)

How to Deal with Backsliding

Forward Steps to Recovery

Activities You Might Enjoy

Backward Steps to Addictive Behavior

Trigger Homework Sheet

Lifestyle Balance Pie


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