While in rehab, you might have been engaged in a structured daily routine that included meals, exercise, group therapy, individual therapy, and time for chores, school, work, etc. This routine is necessary while in recovery because it takes up your time and keeps you on a continual recovery journey. The challenging part is when you leave rehab and suddenly find yourself having to schedule your own time and activities. Now you are finding yourself having to plan your meals, exercise routine, support groups, and everything in between. This can be difficult to do on your own initially, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to continue progressing in your recovery every day.
Why is a Daily Routine Necessary in Recovery?
Transitioning back into daily life outside of treatment can leave you feeling overwhelmed and anxious, unsure what life will be like now that you are clean. There are strict rules and a structured daily schedule to keep you on track and held accountable in your sobriety while in treatment. Now that you are out of treatment, that accountability falls to you.
Having more free time outside of treatment leaves the door open for you to fall back into using drugs or alcohol again. This is why a structured daily routine is needed to help control cravings and keep you from isolating. It will also help alleviate feelings of boredom, a common trigger for relapse.
The Benefits of a Daily Routine
Various benefits come with developing your routine in recovery, which can help keep you motivated and accountable as you get used to life after rehab. Each benefit is there to progress your recovery forward, so creating a schedule that works for you that you can maintain is essential. Benefits of a daily routine include:
- Better able to cope with stress
- Improved brain function
- A sense of purpose
- Less risk of relapse in the future
- Boosted self-esteem
What Should I Include in My Routine?
Following a routine in treatment is more comfortable because it is already laid out for you; you just have to follow the schedule on paper. Now that you are outside of treatment and back to your daily life, the responsibility of creating a routine now lies in your hands. Here are some things that should be included in your daily routine to boost your recovery and hold you accountable in your sobriety:
While you were amid addiction, sleep was probably not your top priority. In treatment, you most likely had a consistent sleep schedule by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. Now that you are out of recovery, you need to maintain this sleep schedule to ensure you are getting enough each night. Lack of sleep can lead to health problems such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, kidney disease, and more. Ensure you leave enough time to get ready for bed and have an alarm to keep you on track.
Exercise is a necessary part of recovery because it helps reduce stress, increase your energy, and improve your overall health. It does this by releasing endorphins, which are the chemicals in your brain that bring you pleasure. Over time, your self-esteem and body image may improve as you see the changes in your body due to exercise. Find an activity that you like to do, such as running, swimming, yoga, skating, etc.
A healthy diet is crucial to recovery, which is why many treatment centers focus on serving nutritious meals to their residents. Now that you are on your own, you need to buy healthy foods and prepare nutritious meals for yourself. Eating well can help combat depression symptoms and give you the necessary energy required to participate in various recovery activities. Find healthy foods that you enjoy eating and prepare for yourself regularly to get started.
Now that you are home, you might be going back to work or school. Ensuring you have enough time in your schedule to take care of all your responsibilities without leading to stress or burnout is critical. Create a block of time in your schedule to account for work and school so you can maintain a healthy balance.
Your routine should include time for aftercare appointments and activities, such as meetings with your counselor, going to a support group, or calling your sponsor. Aftercare is a necessary part of recovery because it holds you accountable and can ensure you are in a healthy state and not at risk of relapse. Keep your aftercare appointments in your schedule to ensure your sobriety is on track.
Recovery doesn’t have just to be appointments and external responsibilities; it should also include fun sober activities that you can take part in. Trying out new hobbies or engaging in sober activities that you enjoy can bring joy to your daily life while also preventing relapse. It will also bring you closer to other sober individuals. Consider what activities you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to try new things!
Creating your routine after leaving rehab can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Breaking it up into small sections by including what you know is necessary to recovery will help you get accustomed to your schedule. A daily routine is important because it fills your free time, keeping you from isolating and boredom, two common relapse triggers. A structured daily routine also has benefits of improved cognitive functioning, an improved ability to cope with stress, reduced risk of relapse, boosted self-esteem, and a sense of purpose. Your routine should include things that will keep your sobriety on track, such as exercise, nutrition, a consistent sleep schedule, time for work or school, aftercare appointments, and sober fun. By finding what works for you, you can modify your routine to ensure you can maintain it over time. The key is to start small and build up from there. If you need help creating your routine after treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to Everlast Recovery Centers. Give us a call at 866-DETOX-25 today.