Independent Living Skills

 In Articles

No one is born with a complete knowledge of the independent living skills that are required for healthy functioning in everyday life. Most of the time, we learn these skills as we grow up. But those who have struggled with addiction to alcohol or other drugs may have practiced many years of bad habits rather than picking up on these necessary skills for later on in life. Part of the healing journey requires re-learning how to care for themselves, their bodies, wallets, and interpersonal relationships.

The following is a checklist of independent living skills that will be important to have as you continue into sobriety and adulthood:

1. Preparing healthy meals

You need to know how to prepare healthy meals, and the basics of nutrition to be successful in your adult life. Your health is your responsibility.

2. Exercise and fitness

You don’t have to go to the gym every day for you to be fit. There are exercises that you can do while at home that don’t require any machinery. Schedule time for your exercise and fitness routines so that you can stay healthy and keep your body moving.

3. Household maintenance

A well-cared-for home is a happy home. It is important to maintain a standard of cleanliness because the spaces in which we spend our time greatly affect our mental health.

4. Financial preparedness

You must learn how to budget, pay bills on time, invest in your future, and save in order to maintain the kind of lifestyle you desire.

5. Effective communication

You cannot go far in this world without having good communication skills.  It is important to learn how to communicate and be able to express ideas, thoughts and feelings appropriately.

6. Workplace behavior

Dress and speak appropriately while you are at the office and follow the expected code of conduct.

7. Time management

Avoid bad habits like being late for meetings, procrastination and the like. All these behaviors will give others a bad impression of you. Value others’ time and they will likely value it in return.

8. Personal appearance and hygiene

Take care of your body and remember good hygiene. Brush your teeth. Wash your clothes. Generally, consider how you’re presenting yourself to others.

9. Health

Learn how to recognize and describe symptoms of diseases like flu, cold or other common health problems. Engage in preventative care and go to the doctor when you’re sick.

10. Transportation

Know the basic forms of transportation in your area, and how to get around. Learn bus or train routes and orient yourself to the basic landmarks in your city.

11. Know community resources

Know where the nearest supermarket, drug store or bank is located. Know who to call in the event of an emergency.

12. Job seeking skills

Know how to fill out a job form, write a resume and even what the minimum wage is. Also seek to understand the educational requirements for that position, and what your options are to achieve them.

13. Interpersonal skills

Learn how to introduce yourself to new people, identifying friends and responding to simple questions.

14. Family Planning and Parenting

Have an understanding of options for birth control and sexual safety as well as some basic knowledge of parenting resources available to you once children come into the picture.

While this is not an exhaustive list, these fourteen items are a good selection of the independent skills that you will need for everyday life. As a recovery residence, Launch Centers is committed to helping you transition between a higher level of care, and independent living by learning the step-by-step implementation of these skills, and giving you the opportunity to test them out. We can help you to build the confidence you need to succeed on your own. Give us a call today to find out more!

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