Establishing a routine after addiction treatment is one of the greatest keys to success in recovery.
During treatment, most clients learn the importance of balance and prioritizing self-care and wellness. Returning to an independent lifestyle requires discipline as it is up to the individual to maintain a healthy regimen without supervision or accountability.
Even though it may be challenging, establishing a healthy routine is invaluable on the road to recovery.
Why Routine is so Important
One of the biggest threats to recovery is boredom. However, stress is also a major cause of relapse.
To find the balance between being idle and becoming overwhelmed, those leaving addiction treatment are encouraged to establish and maintain a schedule that will help them thrive.
Routine provides necessary structure for those in recovery. Addiction is often very destabilizing as it interferes will healthy habits, and rebuilding a wellness practice can take time.
But once a routine is established, it can act as a strong foundation when disruptions such as illness or loss occur. Rather than turning to substances, the person in recovery will learn to focus on healthier coping mechanisms they’ve already built into their new lifestyle.
Routines with an effective balance between work, hobbies, and relationships provide a sense of purpose and direction by setting new goals and interests.
Those maintaining these lifestyles are less at risk for relapse as they’ve developed healthy outlets and pursuits for the future.
6 Tips to Establish a Routine for Recovery
Establishing a routine is as simple as outlining a general schedule to follow every day that begins from the moment you wake up to the final minutes before bed.
While a person’s routine may vary from day to day, it’s best to keep as much consistency as possible.
Keep in mind that there is no single perfect routine. What works best for some might not work for others, so be sure to keep your individual needs and wants in mind when creating your own routine.
Below are some guidelines to get you started.
1. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
By getting out of bed around the same time each day, you are enforcing a sense of natural rhythm into your life.
It’s important to maintain this schedule even on the weekends, so be sure to pick a realistic time to begin each day.
At first, you will likely need to use an alarm clock, but your body will soon begin to adjust to the schedule and wake up naturally.
2. Establish an Exercise Routine
Exercise is important for everyone, but it’s especially vital for those in recovery. Along with its benefits for physical health, an active lifestyle also has a positive impact on mental and emotional health.
Exercise relieves stress, promotes better sleep, and strengthens immunity.
3. Prioritize Recovery Meetings
Carving out time for recovery meetings is an absolute must… even on the days when you aren’t in the mood to attend.
Surrounding yourself by a supportive community of people who can understand and relate to your struggles is the best defense against relapse.
4. Set Aside Rime for Daily Chores
It’s easy to get caught up in the current of the day and fail to stay on top of simple maintenance tasks like cleaning, tidying, and cooking.
Create a window of time in which to do these things each day. Not only will this practice help reduce stress and anxiety, it will help you foster a healthy environment conducive to recovery.
5. Practice a New Hobby or Skill
Identify something that brings you joy and make sure to fit this in to your daily schedule. Engaging in a new hobby or developing a new skill is sure to bring you joy, a sense of purpose, and something to look forward to.
6. Make Time for Friends and Family
Connection and community are the greatest defense against relapse.
As you adjust to your independent lifestyle, remember to include the people who have supported you in your recovery journey. Make it a point to connect with them each day whether it’s over coffee or just through text messaging.
Even though maintaining a daily routine may sometimes require great self-discipline, remember that a sense of consistency and regularity will help you stay sober.
Always put your recovery first and trust that making healthy decisions will become easier over time. Take your new life step by step and do the best you can each day.