Being able to create and keep a schedule in recovery can make all the difference for those struggling with addiction. While it may not typically be a tactic that is at the forefront of the ideas or methods to aid in recovery, establishing routine can be the part of the process that makes addiction treatment last.
Why Having a Routine Works
· By having a schedule, there is less time for triggers and temptations. When a schedule incorporates a new way of life, the previous addiction no longer is a part of the day. There is not an opportunity to think about the vice when your schedule is full of activities and events that enrich your life.
· Establishing routine fosters productivity and eases anxiety. There is nothing better than having a checklist completed. By having a tangible schedule, you can actually see what you have accomplished during the day and look forward to what lies ahead. You can look at the checklist and feel productive. Tomorrow’s schedule eases anxiety since you know exactly what tomorrow will look like.
· Creating a schedule can encourage positive new habits. There are many parts of a person with addiction’s life that incorporate negative habits. By replacing these old habits with new hobbies and routines, a person can see how their life is positively changed by making their own meals, going for hikes or even learning a new trade.
What Should be a Part of a Schedule
Besides attending therapy and support groups for recovery, there are other ways to supplement your schedule. Given that your former life was not benefiting you, it is important to create a schedule that gives you time to grow, relax and explore.
· Learn to Cook
· Learn a Craft (knit, crochet, sewing, woodworking, etc.)
· Create a Cleaning Schedule
· Take Classes (GED, College, Languages, Exercise, etc.)
· Read a Book
· Take a Nap
· Get a Massage
· Call a Friend
· Go on a Hike
· Try a New Restaurant
· Go to a New City
What Should NOT be a Part of a Schedule
Establishing a schedule is important for recovery, but there are some activities that should not be a part of this new lifestyle.
· Do not allow time to think about past habits. By incorporating an opportunity to crave what you have worked so hard to recover, you are eliminating the good things that come from creating a schedule. While you do have time to relax, make sure it allows the mind to be occupied.
· Do not become a slave to the routine. On the flip side of the previous point, do not be afraid of straying from the schedule on occasion. If someone asks to go to dinner or to a movie, do it. If you are not feeling well one day, take the day to recover.
· Do not be alone. Having a person to help you not think about your previous habits is a great way to ensure recovery. However, being alone too often gives you the chance to let your mind wander. With that in mind, do not go anywhere by yourself either in case you feel the urge to drive back to what lead you to recovery in the first place.
· Do not incorporate “friends” who were a part of your addiction. Hanging out with people that encouraged or created your previous habits cannot be a part of your new schedule. While you might think of them as friends, if they are not going to be a beneficial part of your recovery, they are not your friends right now.
At Newport Beach Recovery in Costa Mesa, we will provide the tools to create a schedule and help reclaim the lives stolen by addiction. Come see us today.