Moving to residential treatment is a major transition. Leaving the familiarity of one’s home can bring several stresses, even in people who are looking forward to the changes towards a sober life that the program offers. Residential treatment is a part of recovery that brings a great deal of change, and being prepared for what one’s first day may look like heading into this new phase of one’s recovery can help ease some of the stress associated with the transition. Knowing what to expect can help one start this stretch of one’s journey with confidence, hope, and as much comfort as possible.
Mentally Prepare Yourself
The idea of change, no matter how beneficial the proposed changes may be, is still stressful. Before moving to residential treatment, take the time to emotionally and mentally prepare for one’s normal routines to be disrupted and supplanted by new practices, people, and environments.
Addiction recovery and residential treatment are incredible experiences, and keeping an open mind about what one’s time may look like is crucial for getting the most out of the opportunity. Constant reminders that this is a time of transition for all means that it can also be a time to begin to redefine one’s identity with a fresh start on one’s sobriety and a new group of supportive peers.
Pack Only What You Need
Moving into a residential facility isn’t the same as getting a new apartment, and only one’s essential items may be necessary. The residential space itself may already have many amenities available, both in the forms of therapeutic options and leisure activities, kitchen space, and much more, meaning that only personal care items, clothes, and a few keepsakes may be needed.
A curated, home-like atmosphere is designed to help provide a space of safety and comfort while mitigating stressors, so there won’t be as much space to set one’s room up to look like one’s old bedroom. However, this is part of the point and helps to draw distinctions between one’s past use and present sobriety.
On one’s first day, it is also important to be prepared for staff to go through one’s belongings. This is done to ensure that nothing that could be a potential stressor to the residents is being brought into the safe space or to ensure that these objects won’t prove to be a detriment to one’s own strides during this phase of recovery.
You’ll Meet Staff and Peers
There is more going on than just being shown to one’s room and being left there. There will be time dedicated to helping a person navigate the new residential space and introductions to the people with whom one will be living and spending time. A tour of the residence and a description of each room’s functions or where group sessions take place will all be outlined during this time. This tour is also a great time to ask questions and get a feel for the environment.
Introductions can take a while, and the information can be a lot to remember at first. However, this time is designed to showcase the support that is available at any given turn, allowing for aid in multiple forms as a person transitions into this new living space and culture.
This can also be a great time to begin exploring one’s goals for their time there as well, helping a person imagine how they will fit into this recovery environment while getting directions to the amenities and activities that may best and most directly support these specific, unique goals.
Timing Is Everything
One of the most significant changes that an individual may experience on their first day in residential treatment is the level of curated and organized events that are taking place. Days can be tightly scheduled, providing ample opportunities for group therapy, individual sessions, group activities, therapeutic excursions, experiential learning, physical therapies, and other activities. Daily schedules can be quite filled and, depending on when an individual arrives, they may have time to get their bags in and then be just in time for a group session to start. While this can be an adjustment, it furthers the idea that an individual doesn’t need to bring too many of their own belongings as their days will still be filled with things to do.
However, after one’s first day adjusting to these schedules, it is totally normal to be tired. Making any number of lifestyle changes is exhausting, so it is important to remember that each of one’s peers that are living with them has all gone through the same transition, making them invaluable resources for navigating one’s first few days in residential treatment.
There Will Be Time to Relax and Have Fun
These tightly regimented days can seem like they would fill up the entirety of one’s time. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Being able to relax in a home-like atmosphere and engage in self-care is just as much a priority as any other therapeutic practice. Rest is a crucial element and, despite the stress of the transition phase, there will be time to sit back, relax, and take in the supportive and calming environment of one’s new residence.
Your first day in residential treatment can feel like a major change, but each of the changes is designed to help you discover and establish a new identity and mentality in sobriety. At Everlast Recovery, we champion our comfortable, homestyle atmosphere in our residential program, working to strike a balance between your continued efforts and strides in recovery with the backdrop of an intimate, supportive, and comfortable environment. Your time with us can be further personalized to help you find your own best practices. We offer an array of approaches from specialized goal-setting, 12- Step programs, equine therapy, and establishing life skills and self-confidence. Professionals and peers work together to help you develop your own sober identity while learning new skills and preparing for the transition to the next recovery phase while instilling relapse prevention skills. For more information on how we can help you take the first steps towards your sober future or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 338-6925.