Life skills in addiction recovery are essential to learning how to live life productively. Learning and implementing these skills into your day to day routines is vital for moving forward in life and being able to maintain recovery long term, even on the hard days. But what are life skills? Why are they important? There are many different things that you could introduce into your daily routine that can help you achieve long term recovery. Seeking ways to learn different skills is highly recommended for those looking to stay clean and sober.
As addiction progresses, people often forget how to be a “normal” person. Even the simplest of tasks seem far-fetched and foreign.
When someone gets sober, and is trying to change their life, they have to relearn some of the most basic things in order to be a productive member of society again. In such cases, aftercare services can be a lifeline. Here are some examples of what some essential life skills are.
Life skills in addiction recovery include problem-solving skills. This is a skill that can be used in all aspects of life, from family relationships to problems that can arise in the workplace. Problem-solving is an essential skill to being able to turn a negative into a positive. As addicts, people tend to run away from problems and turn to drugs and alcohol as a solution.
Of course, drugs and alcohol only compound the problem. Learning ways to effectively work through whatever is going on that is causing discomfort is essential to maintaining mental health and wellness.
Lack of effective communication is a struggle that most people endure. Learning to clearly and effectively communicate feelings and boundaries can help to teach assertiveness and allow for someone to grow in self confidence. Being able to communicate when things are tough, and you are struggling can help you to maintain your recovery when you want to give up on the process. Hard days are hard. But being able to communicate when you’re experiencing a rough patch can help you to learn ways that others have made it through the same things.
Goal-setting is one of the most effective life skills in addiction recovery. Throughout active addiction, the only goal that was ever set was to get drunk or high. On most days that goal was achieved. Applying that same thought process to goals in recovery can help you to get where you want to be and all the while gaining self confidence. When you set a small goal and reach that goal, the good feeling of accomplishment can help propel you forward to greater and greater goals.
In early recovery it can be difficult and overwhelming to be able to hold onto money and not impulsively spend every penny you have. During your using, every cent went to maintaining your habit. Filling that void with spending money impulsively can lead to financial hardship and eventually it can lead to relapse. Money management and saving for your goals and future can help to set the path for a successful future.
Self-care is another of the most important life skills in addiction recovery. Being able to take time for yourself, so that you can do things that bring you joy and happiness, is crucial for balance. Recovery is a full time job, and having pleasurable and fun times is part of maintaining a balance. Between working a regular job, and doing recovery related things, having fun is a necessary component.
The go-to choice for addicts and alcoholics is turning to drugs and alcohol. The old adage of “When I stubbed my toe my answer was to drink or use drugs” applies here. Rather than turning to drugs and alcohol to deal with day to day inconveniences, learning how to do positive and healthy things can be helpful.
Having healthy, positive relationships in recovery, especially with people who are like-minded and on the same path is another of the healthier life skills in addiction recovery. Having people that can support and help you when times are hard is going to be one of the best things you can have to maintain recovery.
No matter what, don’t give up. You have come this far, and when you were drinking and drugging you never gave up until you got what you wanted. Recovery operates on the same concept. In conclusion, put the same amount of effort into staying clean and sober that you put into using and you can maintain recovery over the long term.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and looking to learn a new way of life, there is help out there. At Lexington Addiction Center we teach the necessary life skills that can help to maintain recovery. Contact us today and start the next chapter of your life.