Top 3 Life Skills You Cannot Live Without

a man cooking a meal.

Top 3 Life Skills You Cannot Live Without

Just as every skill you learn throughout the recovery process is important, it is essential to develop simple life skills. Understanding how to cope with your emotions, prevent relapse, and manage cravings are all commonly covered through addiction recovery; however, focusing on life skills is often forgotten.

The following skills are crucial for transitioning from treatment to living on your own. While living in a sober living home, you have an opportunity to learn these skills and adapt them to your everyday life to set you up for success in your future. There are many other skills to learn, but these three core skills can go a long way.

#1. Cooking

Cooking often comes across as common sense to many people. Nearly anyone can put some leftovers or frozen meals in the microwave and call it good. Developing healthy nutritional eating habits can play a significant role in your health moving forward from recovery. As simple meals with little effort seem to be a smart meal choice, they often lack the nutritional value that your body needs to function at its best.

Learning how to cook does not mean you need to become the next master chef. By learning how to cook simple home-cooked nutritional meals, you can save money and ensure you are getting the nutrients your body needs to succeed. Cooking can seem intimidating, but there are many resources available online to help you begin this process.

Start by making rice, chicken, and a vegetable you enjoy. Each is simple to make and can start you on a path to discovering new recipes. As you begin to follow different cooking methods, you may discover specific spices and additions you like to add to your meals. Start with something simple that you feel somewhat comfortable with. As you continue your journey, you will slowly improve your cooking skills and widen the options available for home-cooked meals.

Of course, always be mindful of food allergies and sensitivities. Just because something is healthy or looks delicious doesn’t mean you should jeopardize your health. 

#2. Budgeting

Followed by the importance of cooking skills is knowing how to save money. If you and the other individuals in your sober living home are consistently eating out, you may notice that your food expenses add up quickly. By buying in bulk at a grocery store, you are getting a better price for each serving. Together, you can discuss purchasing rice, chicken, or other foods you all enjoy in bulk and splitting the cost.

Many individuals find that they struggle to manage their finances when first living on their own outside of recovery. One benefit during this stage is you no longer have a chunk of your funds going toward substances. With this in mind, you still have to be mindful of your finances and set yourself up for future financial success.

To set yourself up for financial stability in the future, you need to budget your current expenses. Set time aside to create a list of each expense you have incurred in the past month. Categorize them by food purchases, entertainment, rent, utilities, phone bills, gas money or transportation, or any other category you feel is necessary to add. By observing the amount of money spent within each area in a given month, you can compare your costs to your income.

When doing this, many individuals find that they are spending more money than they have coming in each month. If this is the case, find areas of spending that you could cut back on to help keep your costs down. Try to stay within this budget moving forward and reanalyze each month. Financial experts also highly recommend putting around 20% of your income into a savings account. This may seem like a significant amount to contribute if you are not used to saving, but start small and work your way up to more.

#3. Social Skills

Many of the skills you have learned through the recovery process can help with social interactions; however, many of these skills arise from transitioning skills from treatment to the outside world. Many individuals notice that they are drastically lacking social skills when in a sober living home. 

Try engaging with the other members of the community at the sober living home to practice positive social engagements. When you go outside for groceries or out in public, focus on interacting with the strangers around you. Simply saying hello with a smile or opening the door for someone can help you feel more comfortable in your interactions with the community.

When working on your social skills, it is important to be aware of others’ boundaries. When people are in a situation out of their comfort zone, they often forget to apply the social skills they have gained and may lack consideration of others’ boundaries. If you are ever unsure of their comfort zone, you can politely ask and reassess your actions to ensure you are positively interacting with the individuals around you.