The secret to sustainable recovery is rebuilding a healthy and balanced lifestyle. There are many coping skills and self-management tactics to help you make your lifestyle stress-free, orderly, and balanced. Recovering individuals who commit to this learning experience may benefit from various life skills in many ways.
Daily Skills to Care for Yourself
As you enter recovery, it may feel like you’re restarting your life from ground zero. You need to learn how to dress properly, make your bed, take care of your personal hygiene, cook meals, and clean effectively. These are all skills that may have been lost or put by the wayside during active addiction in favor of drug-seeking and -using behaviors. Basic life skills like these were likely not high on your priority list; now, these fundamental chores help you thrive in post-recovery life. As mundane as they may seem, keeping yourself and your living space clean and well-functioning is an essential part of recovery.
Sticking with a structured daily routine is crucial for recovering individuals. You should keep a regular sleep schedule, get regular exercise, and eat nutritious, well-balanced meals. Eliminating chaos and establishing a sense of order in your new life is also beneficial. Implementing these things can begin in your home environment. For extra accountability, you can involve other family members to remind and guide you.
Building Relaxation Skills Into Your Life Rhythm
Many people use drugs or alcohol to relax. When you are in recovery, you must learn how to experience relaxation without the aid of these substances. Leisure is the way people relieve tension and stress in life. Everyone needs to escape, retreat, and unwind from time to time. Relaxation is an essential skill for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
If you have successfully achieved sobriety but don’t practice regular relaxation in life, stress and tension can build up until they lead to cravings and even relapses. Tension and the inability to relax, or not allowing yourself time to relax, are the most common causes of relapse.
Ask yourself why you find it difficult to relax. For many people, the answer is that they think they are too busy or have too much to do to engage in relaxation activities. Others view time spent relaxing as being lazy. This mentality needs to change. Relaxation is an essential part of being able to maintain momentum and avoid burnout.
Intentionally build relaxation or break time into each day. Nurture simple habits like taking daily walks in nature or practicing meditation every morning. Stick with these daily routines and, soon enough, you will find them beneficial to your overall health.
Another important skill for maintaining sobriety is knowing how to identify stress signals and manage stress before it becomes a substance use trigger. Many recovering individuals battle with negative thought patterns brought on by stress that lead to anxiety and depression. You can work with a cognitive-behavioral therapist to learn to identify these triggers and reverse course before they become problematic.
Working professionals in recovery especially need to intentionally apply stress management skills. There can be many sources of stress in work situations, including work relationship tensions, long working hours, unrealistic demands, and more. The key is to establish healthy boundaries, sometimes by saying no to your employer or coworkers.
Stress management also includes being alert and mindful of the people and places in your non-work life that may induce stress. These situations may include family members who ask too much of you or friends who invite you to more events than you can manage with your finances or time. Set boundaries with people or situations to avoid stress, thereby mitigating relapse.
The Skills to Verbalize and Process Your Emotions
Sharing your thoughts and emotions is important during recovery. By verbalizing negative emotions, you process them more healthily. This is why psychotherapy, or “talk” therapy, works so well. Regularly participating in one-on-one therapy or a 12-step group can help you learn to process emotions better.
You can also nurture skills for verbalizing and processing emotions on your own. For example, keeping a daily journal is a way to process your thoughts and emotions. A journal is a safe and open space to explore your inner world so that your spirit can heal. You can also participate in art and music therapies as nonverbal ways to express emotions.
People in recovery need to relearn skills to manage their daily schedules and well-being. Life skills and self-management are important not just for long-term recovery, but for rebuilding relationships and a good quality of life.
People in recovery need to relearn basic life skills for long-term sobriety. Life skills and self-management are important for long-term recovery. At Laguna Shores Recovery, we offer many services and programs that provide life skills to our clients. By learning these skills, our clients can better integrate back into society and prevent relapse. Our Adulting 101 class, part of our recovery program in Mission Viejo, will help patients learn the important skills that will lead to a healthier lifestyle. Laguna Shores Recovery offers treatment plans such as detox, medication, 12-Step groups, and relationship skills coaching to get you on the right path to long-lasting recovery. We also offer outpatient programs you can use after finishing residential treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today at Laguna Shores Recovery. Call us today at (866) 229-9923, and we will be happy to talk with you about short-term and long-term planning.