How Developing a Healthy Routine Helps in Recovery
For people in active addiction, using drugs and alcohol becomes a lifestyle. One part of the reason recovery is such a challenge is because quitting the lifestyle of addiction means quitting the countless bad habits that have been formed around the activity of prioritizing drugs and alcohol, often over everything else.
This is why it’s so important for people in rehab to access treatment in a place where they can build life skills, form healthy habits, and follow a structured routine — because the only way to break unhealthy habits is to replace them with healthy ones.
The Importance of a Structured Lifestyle
Often, people in recovery will go from having no structure in their life outside of their substance use to appearing overly disciplined and devoted to a daily routine. This is actually a common relapse prevention technique. In rehab, clients are encouraged to follow a routine where certain activities are a consistent presence each day, providing structure and removing the unpredictability that can sometimes lead them to revert to using addictive substances.
The Ingredients of a Sustainable Routine
It’s important that, if you’re looking to build a routine that will help you stay sober, the activities that make up your new lifestyle are activities that you can sustain.
If you’re providing structure to your life by running long distance outdoors, for example, you may find that it’s difficult to maintain this structure when the winter comes. Similarly, if your recovery routine takes the time to cook a daily four-course meal, you may not be able to continue doing that once work or family start to get in the way.
Here are some activities to use to build a routine that are simpler to work into your daily lifestyle:
- Setting an alarm for the same time each day
- Finding at least 15-20 minutes, either in the morning at the end of the day, to take a walk or exercise
- Eating meals at the same times each day
- Setting aside a block of time every day to read or work on a hobby
- For longer blocks of time, if you have a job or a class, try to start and end at the same time each day
A sustainable daily routine shouldn’t feel like a series of obligations — it should feel like you’re organizing your life into achievable stages that still provide the fulfillment and reward of accomplishing something. Once you’ve developed a routine, you can start to add elements to it that provide some variety without damaging the structure you’ve come to rely on.
Routine-Setting with Prosperity Haven
At Prosperity Haven, we make it a point to meet clients where they are in their recovery. No two people’s journeys will be the same, and everyone requires their own lifestyle to feel fulfilled in life. We make it a point to help our clients add structure to their lives with therapy, life skills, and career development — in a way that’s sustainable after treatment — as part of the full continuum of care we provide in our Cleveland-area rehab center.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t wait — give Prosperity Haven a call today at (440) 253-9915.
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