Substance abuse is incredibly disruptive to every area of a user’s life, including their eating habits, sleep schedule, fitness regimen, work duties and family responsibilities. Eventually, your time will become structured around drinking and using drugs, to the exclusion of other things that should be taking a priority instead.
After allowing substance misuse to control your life for years, one of the first things you’ll need to learn in recovery is how to create a structure for yourself. Fortunately, the rehab environment is often highly scheduled, with specific times of day designated for meals, therapy sessions, exercise, leisure activities, etc. Once you become accustomed to this structure, you will want to continue it after your discharge from treatment.
Why Recovering Addicts Need Routine
Like many other animals, humans are creatures of habit. We prefer when things happen at consistent times. That’s because your body has circadian rhythms, aka an “internal clock,” that regulates activities such as when you feel alert or sleepy and when it’s time for you to eat. If these rhythms become imbalanced, you may struggle with insomnia, wake up exhausted or have trouble falling or staying asleep.
Working with your natural body clock to create a daily routine is smart because it helps you do things your body and brain normally want to do anyway. Having a routine will bring more balance and harmony into your life, and help prevent you from having too much downtime in your schedule. Boredom and idleness represent significant addiction and relapse triggers for many people, so making sure you are actively working on various aspects of your recovery throughout each day can help you stay focused.
What Does a Positive Daily Routine Look Like?
Though you don’t have to account for every minute of every day, your written routine should account for activities such as:
- A consistent wake-up time each day
- Work or home responsibilities you have to accomplish that day – for instance, if it’s your day off from work, what cleaning tasks or errands will you do?
- Nutritious meal preparation and eating
- Recovery-oriented activities such as participating in therapy, 12-step meetings, meditation or inspirational reading
- Time with family and friends
- When you will start preparing for a full night of sleep
Sobriety Represents a New Beginning
In many ways, recovery is your opportunity to make a fresh start and discover who you are when you aren’t letting drugs and alcohol rule your life. At first, it might feel like you need to break away from everything you once knew, which can feel scary. However, the flip side of the coin is how liberating it will be when you commit to your sobriety.
At New Found Life, we can equip you with the tools and life skills you need to discover lifelong healing and become confident in your recovery. To learn more about how you can benefit from our evidence-based continuum of care, contact our admissions staff 24/7 for confidential help.