Alcohol or drug addiction recovery requires that you develop new life skills and coping mechanisms to create and maintain a healthy sober life. These life skills range from things as simple as time management to more complex elements like building and maintaining healthy relationships. These are 8 essential life skills for adults in addiction recovery that make sober living possible.
- Setting Realistic Goals
Setting goals is a common suggestion for those in addiction treatment. However, in order to reach your accomplishments these goals need to be reasonable. Setting goals that are unachievable can lower self esteem, and this life skill is designed to raise your self esteem and motivation. Knowing and acknowledging your limits are essential for mastering this life skill. Having a hobby that requires you to learn a new skill and improve over time is an excellent way to set reasonable goals. Some examples of these types of hobbies are activities like knitting, drawing, painting, and learning a new instrument.
- Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating a healthy diet and maintaining an exercise routine are stepping stones for an overall healthy life. As an added bonus, living a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms during a drug detox Austin. Exercising can also help build other life skills like setting achievable goals and creating healthy coping mechanisms through using physical exercise as a distraction from addiction cravings. This can help improve time management by helping to create a daily routine as well.
- Time Management
Time management is a crucial skill for living a productive sober life. Employing this life skill can help with distracting from addiction cravings and prepare you for going back to work. You can practice this through things like creating a daily routine, making to do lists, and eventually volunteering or having a job when you’re ready. Scheduled activities like attending a class for your hobby and/or going to support group meetings can be a way to work on this life skill as well.
- Budgeting Skills
Knowing your monthly or weekly budget is important for anyone who is living on their own to understand. In order to live comfortably, expenses such as rent or a mortgage, utilities, food, cleaning products, and other essentials need to be accounted for. It is a good idea to make this budget plan early into your recovery to ensure success. Planning your budget can be daunting, but getting help from loved ones or a professional can help.
- Building and Maintaining Healthy Relationships
Having a support system and close friends and family around make addiction treatment and recovery much easier. Forming close relationships with people who you feel comfortable enough to talk to about your challenges and emotions has been proven to greatly reduce the chances of a relapse. However, you need to know how to build and maintain healthy relationships with other people to really have this. Many alcohol and drug rehab centers focus on building this life skill through therapy. The ability to take accountability, apologize, and express feelings productively are essential elements to have when working on this. In addition, creating an active social life tends to improve mood and self esteem as well.
Maintaining good personal hygiene and a clean living space helps with creating a healthy and productive lifestyle. It’s well known that people normally get more work done in a clean and tidy environment. Similarly, keeping yourself clean improves general health and can make you feel more motivated to take on the day. Having a regular self care process can also help you with building your daily routine.
- Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Learning how to develop healthy coping mechanisms is essential for sober living. Luckily, learning safe ways to deal with addiction cravings and avoid triggers are one of the main lessons learned in drug and alcohol rehab programs. Continued addiction therapy can give you extra help with this if needed. In addition to helping you cope, addiction therapy has also been proven to prevent relapse.
- Holding a Job
Once you feel ready to go back to work, holding a job is a crucial life skill for someone with a productive sober life. It also requires many of the previous life skills mentioned. In order to successfully keep a job, you need to have good time management skills, personal hygiene, and healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with addiction cravings and triggers. It can also improve on some other healthy lifestyle tips though. Having a job helps with budgeting and creating a daily routine. It gives you the chance to make new friendships and potentially liven up your social life as well. If you don’t feel ready for the pressure that may come with reentering the workforce, then volunteering may be an excellent step in the right direction before going back to work.