Being in recovery is more than simply staying sober and working on your treatment plan. Active recovery for many people entails an entire lifestyle change, and one of the most important aspects of this is a daily routine.
During inpatient treatment, clients have a set routine, but once they leave the residential treatment structure of residential treatment, they may flounder and, with too much time on their hands. Many start drinking or using drugs again out of boredom (boredom is a common trigger for many recovering addicts). Today, we’re looking at why routine is so important for people in recovery and how to establish a healthy one for yourself.
Routine and Thriving in Recovery
Sticking to a routine helps people develop a greater sense of accountability, with certain rules about what you can and cannot do. Scheduling your day to remove the options and opportunity to use or drink can help reduce the likelihood of relapsing.
You may wish to develop your routine with your addiction counselor and talk about what each of these entries looks like for you in your daily life:
- Consistent times for waking up and going to bed, even on the weekend
- Daily exercise, even just a 30-minute walk outdoors
- Meal prep, planning, and cooking – healthy meals can help heal your body
- Attending meetings and developing sober friendships
- Scheduling time for sober self-care and hobbies
- Develop a chores schedule to keep your home clean
- Maintain personal hygiene
- Go to school or work
It’s important to balance a healthy routine, so you don’t feel hectic. All these tasks at once may seem overwhelming to some people, especially those who may be working through depression that was maksed by their active addiction. It may be difficult to work on all these elements in the beginning. Work with your counselor to prioritize different actions in your routine and gradually add others, like exercise or learning a new hobby later on.
Benefits of a Healthy Routine For People in Recovery
Early recovery is a time to learn more about navigating stressors and triggers in your life. A daily routine prevents the guesswork of knowing what to do next and can help fill the extra hours you previously spent drinking or being hungover.
Other benefits of a daily routine include:
- Gaining a sense of purpose
- Improve your time management skills
- Reduce your stress levels
- Improve your self-esteem by accomplishing important tasks
- Decrease your relapse risk
In addition, the physical components of a daily routine, like regular sleep and wake times, exercise, and healthy eating, help your brain and body health quicker from the damage that drugs or alcohol have done.
Getting Started With Your Routine
If developing a routine for the full day looks difficult, start with the mornings. Setting a consistent wake-up time is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Follow up with daily meditation and hygiene, and set a consistent time to start work or school. Focus on keeping your morning routine, then gradually incorporate other tasks during the afternoon and evening.
Developing time management skills is a learning process. If you know you struggle with these, don’t give up. Start small and remember that each day you can start again to stick to your routine more closely.
Recovery Services From Hickory Treatment Centers
If you or a loved one is struggling with drugs or alcohol addiction, we can help. Hickory Treatment Centers offers several levels of addiction treatment, including inpatient rehab and relapse recovery programs. Contact us today for a confidential, compassionate assessment of your treatment options.