Packing for your stay at rehab doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow these tips to ensure you bring only what you need – instead of tons of things you don’t.
Packing for a vacation is a difficult task. Packing for rehab, with your head in a drug or alcohol-induced fog, can seem a nearly impossible task.
Good news is – it’s definitely not impossible, and the following guidelines will ensure that you’re well prepared – without going completely overboard and bringing everything but the kitchen sink “just in case”
1. Comfortable Clothing
You’re going to be spending a lot of time in group sessions discussing your feelings and getting emotional. Making sure your deriere isn’t showing when you sit down, or tugging at your shirt all day is a stress you don’t need to add to your life in rehab. Bring comfortable clothes. Also pay attention to the climate where your rehab centre is located and be sure to pack appropriately. You don’t have to bring your entire wardrobe either. There WILL be laundry facilities onsite.
2. Workout Gear
You may feel like exercise is the last thing on Earth that you even want to think about at the moment, let alone do. However, exercise is an excellent tool in recovery, and your counsellors will most definitely encourage you to do some form of physical activity each day. Might as well look like you can pump some iron even if you can’t, right?
Grab all your favourite toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant etc. Avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes, as they will be taken from you upon arrival. That being said, different centres have different rules regarding razors so be sure to ask. Just don’t let toiletries stress you out. You’re not going to the moon. If you forget an important item, or run out of shampoo, you CAN purchase it from a local shop once you arrive.
4. Nice Clothes and Makeup
Putting on makeup and nice clothing might feel like the world’s biggest chore at the moment. However, when you’re feeling better (yes, it will happen!) it may boost your morale to throw on some clothes that make you feel sexy or powerful. For the ladies (or men), you may even want to put on a bit of makeup. Runway makeup not neccesary, but a bit of blush or mascara might be all you need to take you from feeling ‘drab’ to ‘FAB!’
5. iThings, Books and Laptops
In other words – distractions. You’re going to spend a lot of time dealing with your innermost demons and you’ll really appreciate being able to listen to music, play your never-ending simulation games, or read a light-hearted book to unwind at the end of an emotionally gruelling day. Every rehab centre has different rules when it comes to these items, however, so it’s best to check with your facility beforehand. Worst case scenario – they lock it up until you’re done treatment.
You don’t need millions (if you have it, bonus!), but you will need enough to cover things like additional toiletries, cigarettes, snacks, souvenirs or anything else you might fancy while you’re there. Depending on where you’re going, you may need to plan ahead with traveller’s cheques or international banking cards.
7. Something to Make you Smile
Whether it’s your favourite journal, a picture of a loved one or a favourite blanket – bring something that makes you feel relaxed, secure, and gives you a will to succeed. Your stay at the rehab centre is not going to be easy, so bring what you need to comfort yourself. Sorry, no dancing dogs or other pets allowed! (Aw, maaan!)
8. An Open Mind
It may sound cheesy, but it’s incredibly important. Whether you have made your own choice to go to rehab, or someone has made it for you – coming to the centre with an open mind is the best thing that you can do. You’re not expected to dive right in to the ‘festivities’ like a kid in summer camp, (if you do, that’s great) but instead it’s enough to just open your mind to the things and people around the facility when you arrive. You’ll be thrown into a group of people who are baring their souls for all to see, and I’ll tell you right now – it will be exhausting and sometimes terrifying. But it will also be amazing if you let it.