Like addiction and rehabilitation, recovery is not an easy journey and is often one that former addicts need to embark on for a lifetime. Studies show that approximately 40% to 60% of individuals relapse after barely a month out of treatment, while an astounding 85% relapse within a year. But, as is true for many things in life, there are no shortcuts to sobriety. Therefore, you need to ensure that you practice patience and resilience during this sensitive period, especially when you might have to be around several relapse triggers in your day-to-day life.
There are certain life skills that you can adopt to make your addiction recovery easier. Any ability that has some use or has the potential to make your life easier at one point or another is considered a life skill. These are rarely taught in schools or colleges, so it might take some time to learn and integrate them into your daily routine, but your goal here is not to think of these as a quick fix but to turn these skills into a lifestyle. It might not always be possible for recovering addicts, especially teenagers and young adults, to practice certain skills and successfully incorporate them into their lives without a stable environment and the right kind of help; therefore, many substance abuse facilities such as Serenity at Summit provide outpatient programs that are beneficial for recovering addicts. Here are some life skills that will help you achieve a successful recovery.
- Stick to a daily routine
A daily routine is essential for your emotional well-being as it helps keep you busy and regulates stress levels. The less stressed you are, the less likely you are to relapse. Routine also instills into you a feeling of stability and balance. Furthermore, it allows you to practice self-control, which is essential for staying sober. Being unorganized and bored might make you fall back into old habits, so it’s important to fill up your schedule with not just work but also as many recreational activities you enjoy.
1. Have a sleep schedule
You should abide by a healthy sleep routine in addition to a daily routine. Despite what the successful business moguls say, this absolutely does not mean that you have to be awake at the first crack of dawn, but you should find reasonable sleep cycle times that make you feel as refreshed as possible and work best for you, your body and routine. Sleep schedules influence your rest quality, mental sharpness, and, surprisingly, food intake as well.
2. Get a job
Getting a job entails many benefits for recovery. First and foremost, looking for a job will help you stay occupied, and working towards a goal will keep you motivated. Secondly, going to work every day will help you find some purpose and keep you distracted. Additionally, interacting with others at work will help you regain a sense of normalcy and community. Socializing at work will also prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness. The extra cash doesn’t hurt either. Outpatient programs and other resources at rehabilitation facilities can help people in recovery look for employment options.
3. Manage your finances
It’s safe to say that most recovering addicts may very well face financial burdens, especially with treatment and medicinal costs piling up amongst others. In a survey, 72% of individuals have claimed that they have faced difficulties managing money during recovery and after rehabilitation. Keep a log of your earnings and expenditure. Logs will reveal your spending patterns, how you can fix them and where you can cut down costs. In addition, some substance abuse facilities provide accommodation for free or at low prices to recovering addicts.
4. Build healthy relationships
Addiction is likely to take a toll on your loved ones as well, so mending relationships after rehabilitation is key. You must learn how to deal with your emotions in a healthy way and effectively communicate with family and friends regardless of their reactions to your new lifestyle, as their support is vital in helping you get through recovery. While it’s important to work on previous relationships, it is also important to recognize if any toxic individuals around you are detrimental to your progress. Recovery therapists provide you with the necessary emotional tools to make this process easier, and you can also practice this at support group meetings.
Taking care of yourself and putting your needs first is paramount for your recovery journey. Your body’s and mind’s needs have been compromised for the longest time, and an intentional effort must be put into making up for that. Take out some time for yourself every day for some soul searching, meditation, exercise, painting, cooking, dancing, or any other activity that brings you joy.
The most challenging part of recovery begins after rehab. Along with treatment programs, therapy, and support groups, individuals are indefinitely required to inculcate a set of life skills into their lifestyle to maintain long-term sobriety and make the road to recovery smoother.