Improving Life Skills Starts With Self-Awareness

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Improving Life Skills Starts with Self-Awareness

For teens who struggle with mental health challenges or substance abuse, improving life skills is important. Treatment for mental health challenges and substance abuse at Sustain Recovery focuses on helping teens build life skills that will help them care for their needs and heal from mental health challenges, substance abuse, and trauma. However, the first step is to provide assistance that increases their level of self-awareness, which helps them understand their mental and physical needs.

What Are Life Skills?

Life skills are abilities that help a person manage daily life. Examples of life skills include the following:

  • Self-care
  • Emotional regulation
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving
  • Decision making
  • Empathy and social skills
  • Stress management

These skills are general abilities that give a person the ability to solve challenges that arise and deal with the stressors and difficulties that are part of a person’s daily life. Adolescence is the time of life when life skills are developed. However, for many teens, it is challenging to learn life skills. Fortunately, support from a treatment center can help teens develop and improve these skills.

Value of Improving Life Skills for Teens

Life skills are vital in many aspects of a person’s life. They help individuals deal with stress, make choices, and solve problems. Additionally, they help people build healthy relationships and care for their mental and physical needs. Therefore, improving life skills helps a person become more successful in their personal and professional lives.

For many teens, a lack of life skills plays a role in their ability to manage their mental health and heal from trauma and addiction. When a teen lacks these skills, they may end up struggling with mental health and addiction issues that they cannot change. As a result, teens do not develop these skills in this vital developmental phase, and therefore may struggle with mental health challenges and addiction far into adulthood.

Fortunately, teens can develop life skills. In doing so, they are more likely to heal. However, life skills are also important in daily life as an adult. Therefore, they also build a foundation of skills that make it easier for them to manage any challenges that occur at any point in their lives.

Self-Awareness and Improving Life Skills

Improving life skills at any point in life is difficult. However, it is particularly challenging for teens who struggle with trauma, mental health challenges, and substance abuse. This is because many teens often lack self-awareness, and issues with mental health, trauma, or substance abuse increase their lack of self-awareness.

Fortunately, teens can improve their self-awareness. This increase helps them build life skills, including self-care skills, social skills, and skills that help them become productive. As a result, teens are more likely to be successful in school/work, maintaining healthier lives, and building a healthy community.


When a teen learns self-care skills, they are more capable of improving and managing their mental and physical health. Self-care skills vary. However, self-care is defined as the ability to care for one’s well-being through self-control, self-awareness, and self-reliance. While this looks different for each person, it all starts with self-awareness.

Learning self-awareness helps teens understand what they need to do to improve their well-being. For example, noticing how they feel after eating certain foods or sleep deprivation can help teens understand the value of nutrition and sleep to their mental and physical health.

Treatment at Sustain Recovery helps teens recognize these differences in how they feel, think, and act. In doing so, teens learn self-awareness and the value that improving life skills has in their lives.

Social Skills

Having a community is important. However, building and maintaining healthy relationships and a community requires social skills. For many teens struggling with their mental health, addiction, or trauma, these social skills are lacking. However, by improving social skills, teens can improve their daily well-being.

Social skills include empathy, listening skills, and sharing. While some social skills rely on noticing and understanding others, such skills as having empathy and sharing require teens to be aware of themselves. When a teen learns to be aware of their thoughts and feelings, they can build true and authentic bonds with loved ones and friends.

Task Completion

Being able to complete a task for school or work is a very important life skill. It requires a teen to focus, know what to do, and solve problems as they arise. While for many this seems like an innate skill, it is not. It is a life skill that teens need to practice.

Task completion relies on a teen being self-aware. When a teen is aware of what they need, such as quiet, space, or support, they are more likely to complete tasks. Additionally, they are more likely to enjoy them.

For teens struggling with their mental health, trauma, or substance abuse, improving life skills is important. However, in order to do so, they need to improve their self-awareness. At Sustain Recovery, we believe that learning life skills is vital for teens to heal and be successful after treatment. Therefore, we help teens improve their self-awareness and learn life skills. We offer multiple levels of care that all incorporate self-awareness and life-skills building. If you are interested in learning more about our programs and how we integrate these skills into treatment, call us today at (949) 407-9052. We look forward to speaking with you and are happy to answer any questions you have. 

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Sustain Recovery changed my life in a way I never considered remotely possible. I arrived in a place where I knew nobody. Sustain Recovery gave me tools so that I never had to be alone again. I learned how to live like an adult and have genuine relationships with other human beings. I gained a sense of self respect, love, and pride from the challenges I was given by staff. I was able to work through the recent loss of my father and I achieved my goal of not taking any psychiatric medication.
I learned that life is an endless balancing act. I have to continually work on myself and my relationships with the people in my life. The staff at Sustain Recovery are all incredibly experienced and spiritual. They were available to me whether I wanted their help or not. Through their efforts and experience, I experienced the inner workings of having an intimate, loving relationship with a loving creator.
Sustain Recovery is “home” for me. I discovered a loving, caring family that helped launch me to a place I would have never dreamed and, if I would have dreamed it, I would never have believed I would be able to accomplish it.

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