“Life Skills” is a term we often see, a term which begs the question, “What does it mean?” The two words imply skills one would learn to help navigate more effectively through life. This is the area we focused on intensely when developing our residential program.
We asked ourselves, as sober men in recovery, “What were the skills we wished we had learned in early recovery?” We reached agreement on what we wanted to teach our residents during their immersion with us.
A mental and spiritual tune-up
Discipline is at the head of the list — a disciplined schedule from the time we get up until we go to bed. And the necessity of getting up at the same time five days a week, establishing spiritual disciplines of prayer and meditation upon awakening.
It is our intent that these practices be firmly entrenched in our residents so they will continue with this discipline when they leave. We stay clean and sober through being in fit spiritual condition. The spiritual disciplines of Steps 10 and 11 bring this process into our reality.
Mastering financial sobriety
We also teach our residents about money, covering areas such as:
- What does financial sobriety look like?
- How do we learn to be responsible for money management?
- How do we incorporate good money management into our daily lives?
Along this same line we talk about goal setting, teaching important strategies regarding:
- Why it is so important to recreate our lives using goals and intent
- How to be organized and stay focused
- Understanding time management so stress does not overwhelm us
- What attitudes and beliefs we hold about work and career, and how they need to be changed
- Are we waiting for somebody to take care of us, or are we going to assert ourselves as men?
Creating an environment of fitness
Residents thrive in our nurturing immersion program which teaches improved skills for a better life, including:
- The necessity of learning about nutrition
- Cooking / how to plan and prepare meals
- How to clean
- Hygiene and essential self-care
- CPR and first aid certification
- Training about the muscles and organs of the body
- How physical activity can enhance recovery
- Systematic exercise
“All of these life skills are essential and vital in early recovery, and the more I internalize them, the greater my chance of permanent recovery.” – Mark Houston