Especially in early addiction recovery, getting into some type of daily routine can be very beneficial to staying sober long-term. For many addicts who have just finished treatment at their addiction treatment centre, ‘real life’ can seem very scary. And too much free, unscheduled time can lead to thoughts about using again.
And while it is important not to over schedule yourself, creating unneeded stress in your life, it is good to have daily routines that will assist you on your road to recovery.
Your Daily Rituals for Successful Addiction Recovery
It is true that not every method works for every person, but the following daily activities will most definitely help any recovering addict stay sober — especially when incorporated within the first year of recovery.
#1. Make your bed.
This may sound like a silly, overly-simple task that should have nothing to do with recovery. But in fact, making your bed each morning has many benefits for all people, not just those in addiction recovery. Firstly, it gives you a sense of accomplishment, giving you a ‘feel-good’ boost throughout the day. Being able to stick to a simple task such as making your bed each day, and seeing the positive effect that just a moment of your time can make on the rest of your day, you will be inclined to pick up other habits such as putting your dirty laundry in the hamper instead of on the floor. Plus, it feels so much nicer to climb into a well-made bed at night instead of a messy one.
#2. Remind yourself to be grateful.
Each and every day, take a photo of something that made you feel gratefull and upload it into an album. Whether it is a beautiful sunset, a photo of your friend that you went to dinner with, or a bird you saw chilling in the park. Finding something each and every day to be thankful for will help you find the good in even the worst of days and help you keep a positive outlook on life. Plus, it will be a great way for you to look back on your life in years to come.
#3. Go for a walk.
Whether you go for a walk around the neighbourhood, head to the gym or take a dance lesson, incorporating some type of physical activity into each day is important. Physical activity has incredible healing powers for the mind, body and soul and will accelerate your progress in addiction recovery if you let it.
Mindfulness meditation has been proven to increase chances of long-term sobriety for those in addiction recovery by giving addicts the tools necessary to take life one moment at a time. When you live life in the moment, you will experience much less stress and anxiety because you rid yourself of worrying and negative thought processes. Just 10-15 minutes of mindfulness meditation can increase your chances of a successful addiction recovery.
#5. Talk to someone.
Hang out with people you love. Call your sponsor. Have dinner with a fellow recovering addict. Whatever you do, reach out and connect to someone who is important to you each and every day. Sharing things such as how your day went and how you are generally feeling will help you keep from bottling feelings inside, causing unwanted stress and anxiety. Plus, if they are having a bad day it feels great to be someone who can help cheer them up too.
#6. Make lists.
Every night before bed, write down your schedule for the next day. Make a list of things that need to be done, and then schedule them. The more structure you have to your days, the less likely you are to run into stress by forgetting to do things or running out of time. Stress is one of the most significant relapse triggers, so anything that keeps stress at bay is helpful in addiction recovery.
#7. Eat right and hydrate.
Food is fuel for your body. And just as you would only put the highest grade of petrol in your Maserati, you should only put the highest grade of food in you! Eating right and staying hydrated by drinking lots of water will not only relieve stress, but it will make you feel great from the inside out – ready to conquer each and every day!
#8. Do something you enjoy.
Reserve at least 20 minutes of each day to do something that relaxes you. Whether it is painting a picture, reading a book, doing a crossword puzzle or taking a bubble bath, it is important to take time each and every day to just let yourself go.
#9. Make meetings a priority.
Meetings are important. Whether you are feeling down, recovering from a cold or simply do not feel like going to your recovery meeting – just go. Especially in early recovery, it is important to keep up with meetings. Read “Do I Need Recovery Meetings to Stay Sober?” for more information.
#10. Remind yourself why you are in addiction recovery.
Last but definitely not least, take a moment each day to remember the reasons that you are in addiction recovery in the first place. Why is getting and staying sober important to you? Write a list and keep it on your mirror or in your wallet and take a look at it each and every day.
Living Sober in Addiction Recovery
It is important to remember that addiction recovery will be most difficult in the beginning. But over time, if you incorporate all of these daily practices, and anything else that you find calming into your daily life, you can achieve success in recovery.
If your or someone you know are struggling with recovery, or may be heading for a relapse, it is important to speak to an addiction counsellor as soon as possible. Together with hard work, recovery is attainable!