Those who struggle with substance use disorder go through a lot of changes when they enter a rehab facility. These changes include shifting to a healthier lifestyle, living in a new environment, and sometimes residing in a different state. Some patients believe that a complete change in scenery will assist in their recovery. For example, they can be a permanent resident on the East Coast but choose to enter an Arizona drug rehab facility to enjoy a warmer climate.
The best way to cope with the changes is by following a routine that you can replicate after completing your rehab program. This will help create a structure to support your recovery. Since you will be going through a lot of changes, these patterns and routines give stability to your new lifestyle. Routines also help in establishing healthy habits while reducing unpredictability, which can disrupt early recovery. This is why it is important to create healthy daily habits to ensure long-term recovery success.
Benefits of a Daily Routine
Daily routines and healthy habits promote balance and support a more sustainable recovery. When you leave rehab, you will be in a less controlled environment, so you are more likely to experience occasional changes. To maintain stability and help you stick to your recovery plan, following a daily routine is vital. Some other benefits of sticking to a daily routine include the following:
- Keeps you from feeling restless or bored — A daily schedule will prevent you from having too much idle time that can make you feel restless and bored. These two emotions can risk derailing your progress.
- Helps you with stress management — Relying on regular routines establishes stability and prevents you from feeling overwhelmed by the changes happening in your life. Setting a daily schedule lets you tackle one task at a time.
- Gives you better sleep quality — Nothing beats a good night’s rest, and you can only do this by setting a sleep schedule. As you train your body to get proper rest, you also improve your overall health.
- Improves your productivity — Schedules keep you on track and on top of your workload. This helps realign your purpose and gives a sense of accomplishment. Thus, it motivates you to stay sober.
How to Establish Habits While in Recovery
Routines are a good start to establish healthy habits. As you get accustomed to following them, the regular schedule will become second nature for you. Experts say it takes about 21 days to develop new habits. This means the first weeks in recovery are critical to establishing a sustainable healthy lifestyle. To make sure you succeed, start building healthy habits with these tips:
- Watch what you eat — Previous substance abuse could have taken a toll on your body, so you need to fortify it with a healthy combination of protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables daily. You can also recover faster by eating your meals on time.
- Set a sleep schedule — A consistent sleep schedule will not just be good for your physical health, but also for your mental well-being. It promotes productivity and allows you to meet work and family obligations.
- Make time for socialization — Socializing with friends and family is important. This is also a time to mend any broken relationships. When you spend time with friends and family, make sure to do it in a safe environment free of temptations that may cause you to relapse. This means avoiding bars and restaurants that serve alcoholic drinks, as well as places with access to illicit substances.
- Get regular exercise — As part of allowing your body to heal from substance abuse, a good exercise regimen can improve your health. Also, exercising causes your body to naturally release endorphins, which can lift your mood. But remember to go easy on yourself in the first weeks of recovery. It is enough to take a 20-minute walk outside or on a treadmill.
- Work — This means going to work or looking for a job if you don’t currently have one. You have to remember that part of recovery is taking responsibility for yourself and your expenses. Also, it is easier to stick to your routine when you are employed because you have a work schedule to follow.
- Practice self-care — Following a regular schedule doesn’t mean being busy all the time. Add various self-care activities such as walking in the park or reading a book. It can also mean setting a time for yourself to meditate and reflect.
- Explore interests and hobbies — The perfect time to explore new interests is during the early days of recovery. You now have the opportunity to engage in activities you previously didn’t have time for. You can join a cooking class or a book club, or you can even take up knitting.
- Engage with your recovery support group — You need to stay close to your recovery support network, whether by attending a meeting or chatting daily with a person also in recovery. It is very important to remain in contact with them as they can understand what you are going through. They can also offer support and advice for when you are facing challenges.
A daily routine helps you make progress every single day, and keeps you on track with your sobriety. The structure it gives will ease any feeling of being overwhelmed as you transition into your new lifestyle. Moreover, when you stick to a routine, it helps you see your purpose, set new objectives, and stay motivated.