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How to Learn Life Skills in Early Recovery

life skills in early recovery

For anyone struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, early recovery can be a difficult time. In recovery, you will learn so much, whether that is how to manage your emotions, understanding your triggers, or your relationship with your family. Especially during the Early Recovery period, there are many different life skills that you will learn.

Build Healthy Relationships

This is a difficult skill to learn, but one of the most important. While in recovery, you will learn how to rebuild the relationships with those you love and that love you back. Your new life of being sober will allow you to sit back and think about your actions on others and how it has affected their lives. In doing this, you will see how you hurt people, and how you can avoid relationships that were enabling your addiction. 


Learning to meditate can be very calming. It may bring you peace in times where you are struggling. Make sure to meditate somewhere that you feel supported, accepted, and loved. You can even try going to church, attend an addiction recovery support group, or spend time out in nature.

Create Healthy Habits

Healthy habits are important to develop. While actively feeding an addiction, your body has been through a lot and you will need to show it some TLC. Be sure to wake up at a normal hour every day and go to sleep at a reasonable hour as well. Always shower, brush your teeth and brush your hair. Try to get to the gym, and eat healthy meals. Routine is key.

Keep a Clean Living Space

It takes effort to have a clean home, but it can make you feel a lot more organized and situated. Make a list of chores each week to keep yourself on track. These might include:

  • Clearing away clutter
  • Wiping away dust
  • Doing the dishes after using them
  • Sweeping
  • Taking out the trash regularly
  • Doing your laundry
  • Buying groceries and cooking instead of take-out

Learn How to Manage Stress

No one says the recovery process is easy. During this process, you will learn how to manage your emotions. Stress can make it easier to get sick, it can trigger you, and can force you to relapse. There are many ways you will learn to manage stress in recovery:

  • Take long and deep breaths
  • Exercise
  • Go for a walk
  • Listen to music
  • Eat something you enjoy
  • Take a nap
  • Call a friend or family member

Follow a Budget

Mastering money management is difficult for everyone, but handling money responsibly can be an especially hard task to learn for an addict. You will need to learn how to budget your rent, utilities, bills, groceries, and try to have some savings.

Communicate Effectively

Building relationships with family members, friends, co-workers, and new people is not possible without effective communication. Recovery provides you with the steps to speak how you feel, be open to points of view that you do not agree with, and how to fully listen. Recovery can aid in many different life skills. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, get help before it is too late.