When you first start living in sobriety, adjusting to your new reality can feel a little bit overwhelming. You will have to learn how to face the daily stresses and challenges of life without falling back into unhealthy habits, which is why it can be invaluable to set a new routine early on. Structure can be comforting and help provide you with a way to fill your hours without resorting to drugs or alcohol. You’ll be experiencing a time of transition in your life, and any form of stability can give you something to rely on if you start to struggle.
Elements to Include in Your Daily Routine
Replacing self-destructive behaviors with positive ones won’t happen overnight. Though you may have heard it takes 21 days to form a new habit, recent research suggests it will take longer than that to cement something in place. Be patient with yourself and others while you are working on this.
Your daily routine should not only include things like when you wake up and go to bed, but also when you eat meals, exercise, meditate, clean your house, go to work, socialize with friends and attend your recovery group meetings. In the earliest phases of recovery, you might find it helps to make a written plan that has a prominent placement in your bedroom or elsewhere in your home. That way, you will be able to see it and check your progress throughout the week.
The Benefits of Routine in Early Recovery
Having more structure in your life can be enormously advantageous for people in early recovery. Consider the following advantages of establishing and adhering to a routine.
- Newly sober people often struggle to get good-quality sleep. Getting up and going to bed at the same times every day is one of the best ways to re-establish your sleep health.
- Many recovering addicts have neglected their health and fitness for years. A regular exercise routine will help you get back into shape and become more mentally healthy, as well.
- Establishing a routine will help you be more productive and decisive. Having a plan for each area of your life can keep you from becoming overwhelmed with worries about what you should do next.
- Structuring your days so there are no gaps in your schedule will prevent you from feeling bored, lonely or stressed, all of which are common relapse triggers.
Do Not Get Hooked on Your Recovery Routine
Having structure in your life can be a beneficial tool, but be careful not to become fixated on your routine to the point where it stops working in your favor. Remember, successful routines must be flexible enough to adapt to your changing needs, not the other way around. If you notice yourself becoming upset or uncomfortable when you need to shift something around on your schedule, it is a warning sign that you’re becoming too strict with yourself.
A healthy routine brings balance to your life and encourages you to grow and develop in your recovery, instead of holding you back. If you accumulate several years of sobriety without updating your patterns of living, you have become stuck in a rut – which can compromise the progress you’ve made.
Making Sobriety Your Top Priority
Protecting your sobriety should be your utmost goal, especially in early recovery. You will need to work on it daily to restore your health and move past your obstacles. At Vista Taos, we can help you begin the process with a complimentary, confidential phone consultation. If you are living with addiction, you can overcome it with professional help, and our accredited recovery center is the place to begin. Contact us today.