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The Benefits of Learning Life Skills in Recovery

Joyful young woman taking a walk at sunset after realizing the benefits of learning life skills in recovery

Life skills are an important part of your ability to lead a fulfilling and independent life. Thus, utilizing life skills impacts your ability to cope with life stressors, complete tasks, and maintain relationships. However, substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health disorders can diminish basic skills that make daily functioning, participating in life, and setting and achieving goals difficult. At Insight Recovery Center, we view treatment and care through a holistic lens because true recovery means healing the whole person in mind, body, and spirit.

What Are Life Skills?

According to an article from the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, life skills can be defined as a set of foundational abilities needed to effectively manage stress and the presentation of positive behaviors. Moreover, as a collection of sociopsychological and interpersonal skills, life skills play an important role in your ability to function in a variety of settings and engage with others. Listed below are some of the capacities needed to manage daily life and interactions:

  • Make conscious decisions
  • Have effective communication skills
  • Interactive skills
  • Self-management skills
  • Lead a balanced lifestyle

Developing skills for personal, interpersonal, and environmental interaction can support your physical, psychological, and social well-being. However, you may be wondering what kinds of skills you need to build healthy personal and interpersonal functioning.

Types of Life Skills

As noted in an article from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, basic life skills needed for independent living can be broken down into several components:

  • Ability to communicate
  • Financial awareness
  • Ability to manage money
  • Successfully complete domestic tasks
    • Cooking
    • Cleaning dishes
    • Showering/bathing
    • Vacuuming/sweeping
    • Doing laundry
    • Managing a household
  • Self-care
    • Showering/bathing
    • Brushing your teeth
    • Shaving
    • Skincare
    • Doing your hair
    • Getting dressed
  • Additional skills
    • Making a healthy grocery list
    • Going grocery shopping
    • Eating balanced meals
    • Time management
    • Ability to use some form of transportation
    • Taking and managing medication
    • Ability to socialize with others
    • Able to cope with stress
    • Ability to engage in forward planning

In addition, to daily functioning skills, there are cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social skills as well.

Foundational Life Skills

As stated in an article from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), there are three categories of foundational skills needed to establish a productive adulthood. Listed below are the three sets of foundational life skills needed for a productive life:

  • Self-awareness
    • Ability to manage stress
    • Emotional regulation
    • Positive thinking
    • High self-esteem
  • Interpersonal skills
    • Able to be empathic
    • Strong listening skills
    • Interpersonal effectiveness
      • Ability to interact with others
    • Able to handle disagreement
    • Ability to manage relationships
    • Able to communicate confidently
  • Thinking skills
    • Ability to set goals
    • Able to engage in decision making
    • Ability to problem solving
    • Critical and creative thinking
    • Executive function skills
    • Able to build resiliency

It is clear that life skills play an important role in your ability to engage with others and participate in life. Therefore, building life skills can be an important tool of support on your journey to recovery.

The Importance of Life Skills in Recovery

According to an article from the Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, life skills give you the ability to act in an adaptive manner to different situations, tasks, and interactions for your long-term well-being. Moreover, adaptability is an important component of SUD and mental health recovery. Many thought processes, behaviors, and coping strategies are based on maladaptive patterns.

When you engage in more adaptive skills like problem-solving and creative and critical thinking, you are more equipped to reframe negative thoughts. Through reframing, you can decrease feelings of failure and rejection and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Therefore, building life skills can help dismantle the negative coping strategies that contribute to substance misuse. Furthermore, developing foundational and functional skills can support your long-term well-being.

Strategies for a Balanced Life

As the National Institute of Health (NIH) notes, building your healthiest self is different for everyone because you have different needs, interests, and experiences that shape you. However, you can utilize life skills to help you build a life and relationships that are healthy and fulfilling for you. Listed below are some strategies you can use to support your physical, emotional, social, and environmental well-being:

  • Physical
    • Get active
    • Form healthy eating habits
    • Build balanced meals
  • Emotional
    • Get plenty of quality sleep
    • Practice mindfulness
    • Strengthen healthy social connections
  • Social
    • Make social connections
    • Build healthy relationships
    • Engage in basic and recreational self-care
  • Environmental
    • Reorganize your space
    • Build a flexible to-do list

Moreover, engaging in skill-building activities can support you in developing tools of care to rediscover yourself on your recovery journey.

Finding Independence at Insight Recovery Center

At Insight Recovery Center, we believe a holistic approach to care can give you access to a variety of therapeutic options to truly develop your recovery identity. Therefore, we offer different levels of care to meet your individual needs on your journey to recovery. With distinctive levels of care, we can support you in rediscovering or discovering invaluable life skills to dismantle maladaptive coping strategies for your overall well-being. Furthermore, our commitment to quality of quantity with a boutique program capacity supports an intimate and client-centered environment where you can build the life skills you need to truly heal and recover.

Contact Insight Recovery Center Today

Co-occurring disorders can diminish your life skills, which impacts your ability to function in your daily life. Functional and foundational life skills like managing money, grooming, self-awareness, and interpersonal skills are important for building a fulfilling life. Therefore, life skills can help you adapt to different situations, tasks, and interactions to support your long-term well-being. Moreover, building life skills can help you reframe negative thoughts and feelings and develop healthier coping skills. At Insight Recovery Center, we believe in providing a holistic approach to care to give you access to a wide variety of therapeutic tools to help you dismantle maladaptive coping strategies to build your recovery identity. Call us at 828.845.8325 to learn more today.