When you enter recovery, it can feel like you’re starting life over again. Part of the process of shoring up recovery involves dismantling unhealthy habits and replacing them with productive, healthy life skills. Life skills include social skills, as well as psychological skills, that help you adjust and thrive in your new life in recovery.
Life skills training can help you better meet the demands you will routinely encounter every day. They’re focused into three realms:
- Interpersonal Skills. Learning how to cultivate healthy relationships through effective communication skills and conflict resolution techniques.
- Cognitive Skills. Developing positive thought patterns that lead to healthy decisions and behaviors.
- Personal Skills. Learning how to better manage personal finances, health needs, and career.
Life skills will equip you with new ways to navigate life in recovery, smoothing the way for a whole host of positive outcomes.
Six Recovery Life Skills
You’ve made the commitment to turn your life around by embracing a healthy new way of living. Now that you have taken that important step, you’ll need a set of supportive tools to be successful in recovery. Life skills can help you establish your new independence, free from substances, by learning how to manage daily life more effectively. These recovery skills can help you:
- Develop a Healthy Routine. A top priority is establishing a routine that is structured and predictable. This means keeping a regular sleep schedule, getting regular exercise,utilizing good time management habits, and adjusting your eating habits towards a more nutritious diet.
- Receive Employment Coaching. Finding a satisfying job is the first step toward becoming independent and self-sufficient. Even if you were able to remain employed, you may desire a more meaningful career in recovery. Employment coaching can guide you in goal setting, developing your skill set, writing an impactful resume, and acing an interview.
- Practice Self-Care. An essential aspect of recovery is learning how to tune in to your emotional state, and knowing when self-care is needed. When you feel sad or anxious, instead of internalizing your feelings, schedule an appointment with a therapist. Instead of feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, learn how to manage stress with yoga, meditation, massage, deep breathing, or soothing music.
- Make a Financial Plan. There’s a chance that you may face financial challenges early in your recovery journey. Life skills training can help you get a handle on your finances. You will learn how to create a monthly budget, reduce debt, and initiate a long-term savings strategy.
- Cultivate Healthy Relationships. As your life begins to stabilize in recovery, it is time to begin working on your relationships with close family members and friends. Life skills can help you rebuild these connections in recovery. Skills include effective communication, active listening, following through on commitments, and expressing your emotions in a productive and healthy way.
- Keep Up With Chores. As mundane as it may seem, keeping a clean, tidy living space is important in recovery. Eliminating chaos and establishing order in your new life starts in your home environment.
When looking at this list as a whole, it is clear that the overriding theme involves developing self-discipline and healthy lifestyle habits. Acquiring these important life skills can go a long way in helping you to sustain long-term recovery while enjoying a productive and happy life
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and is accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle – “everything for recovery” – reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.