Oftentimes, people in recovery grow accustomed to the simplicity of being in treatment. During treatment, patients have a pre-determined daily schedule that helps them remain disciplined and dedicated to their recovery. Most of the time, daily routines while in treatment include breakfast, individual and group therapy sessions, and scheduled therapeutic activities with their peers. Unfortunately, when an individual is leaving treatment they are also leaving the safety net of having an established daily routine.
Recovering addicts and alcoholics typically thrive when they have productive and enjoyable daily routines. Additionally, sticking to these daily routines in recovery helps provide individuals with a sense of accountability. Without a routine, it may be easier for recovering addicts to fall back into self-destructive behaviors. Therefore, knowing how to develop a daily routine that is easy to abide by is extremely vital for men and women in recovery.
The Difficulties of Developing a Sober Lifestyle
When you first leave treatment it can be difficult to remain accountable in regards to your sobriety. In treatment, patients have strict rules about what they can do along with random drug screening tests. This provides patients with accountability and takes away the option of using drugs when they feel a craving.
Once a patient begins transitioning back into their normal life, they lose this sense of accountability and have to make rules for themselves. Having more freedom and time on your hands makes drug or alcohol cravings difficult to control. In order to avoid a relapse, creating a daily routine would remove boredom and provide the accountability needed to stay sober after treatment.
The challenges of developing a sober lifestyle through creating a daily activity include:
- Choosing consistent times of going to sleep and waking up
- Creating time for daily exercise
- Meal planning and cooking
- Making time for recovery meetings or interacting with sober peers
- Scheduling time for basic self-care
- Developing a chore schedule to keep your living environment clean
- Maintaining personal hygiene
- Attending school or work
- Consistently learning new skills
Creating a daily routine that does not feel hectic or impossible to complete is very important. Daily routines are tools meant to lessen one’s anxiety about completing daily responsibilities while scheduling in time to take care of your personal needs. In the beginning, it may seem impossible to create a schedule that works for you. However, with patience, organization, planning, and commitment – you can create a plan that works for you.
The Benefits of Having a Daily Routine in Recovery
Early recovery is all about learning how to maneuver around daily stressors without resorting to self-medicating your problems. One of the best ways to begin to balance your daily responsibilities, the maintenance of your sobriety, and self-care activities is to create a daily routine. When you have a daily routine established, you do not have to stress over what your next activity should be.
In addition, there are several other benefits to creating and sticking to a daily routine:
- Developing a sense of purpose
- Learning time management skills
- Better stress management
- Improvements in self-esteem through completing important daily tasks
- Reduced chances of relapsing
Creating a daily routine will allow recovering individuals to improve many aspects of their lives while simultaneously protecting their sobriety. In fact, Dr. Kerry Resler, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School, stated that having a daily routine has positive impacts on health, brain function, and development.
What to Consider When Creating a Daily Routine in Recovery
Developing a daily routine may seem like a daunting task. While it may be difficult in the beginning, you can easily perfect a daily schedule with a little trial and error. When you are considering what to include in your daily routine, writing out responsibilities by importance is a must.
Common tasks included in daily routines for individuals in recovery:
- Outlining breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week keeping your nutrition in mind
- Including time for daily exercise or sports
- What time you have to wake up and go to sleep in order to maintain a healthy sleeping schedule
- Making time for daily and weekly chores like laundry or vacuuming
- Scheduling time for social activities
- Work or school schedules
- Self-care activities like reading a good book, meditating, or taking a hot bath
- Recovery meetings, therapy sessions, or time with your sober support
If sticking to a schedule is difficult for you, it may be best to start off by focusing on your mornings. For example, write out a schedule for when you will complete morning activities such as hygiene routines, prayer or meditation habits, and eating a healthy breakfast. Once you begin to stay dedicated to your morning routine without any issues, you can start to plan out the rest of your day. Most of the time, developing time management skills and personal accountability does not happen overnight. If it takes you time to adjust to sticking to a daily routine do not be hard on yourself or give up. Like anything in recovery, the more time you put into learning something new, the better your outcome will be.
Recovering at Agape Treatment Center
Developing a daily recovery routine can take a lot of time and effort. However, the finished result will prove to be extremely rewarding. Daily routines can help to minimize stress, improve productivity, and prevent unnecessary relapse. With the accountability and structure that daily routines provide, early recovery can become less stressful and more enjoyable.
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about the benefits of routine in addiction treatment and recovery, Agape Treatment Center is available to assist you. We take pride in the effectiveness of our treatment programs that are specially crafted for each individual patient. Call us today if you would like to build a strong foundation for recovery and long-term sobriety.