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Why Do You Need a Consistent Routine in Recovery?

The early days of addiction recovery are the most dangerous. If you have been in a rehab facility you will find yourself adjusting to a new environment at the same time as you try to adopt a healthier lifestyle. A consistent routine can help you deal with these changes as you move forward. Here are some things to keep in mind as you establish a daily routine.

Schedule maintenance activities first. Always prioritize the things that will aid your recovery. Make sure you get enough sleep. Schedule exercise and therapy. Make sure you’re eating right and doing something you enjoy. Schedule time for prayer or meditation if those help you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll just fit these things in somewhere.

A routine reduces decision fatigue. Every decision you make takes a little bit of effort and makes you a little bit tired. Over time this actually strengthens your will power, but at first you need to focus on recovery. If your day is scheduled ahead of time and one thing always follows another, you don’t have to constantly make decisions. You will have more energy for dealing with triggers and avoiding temptation.

A routine reduces uncertainty. When you don’t know what to do next it creates a bit of anxiety and stress. Anxiety and stress lead to relapse. Having a set routine allows you to know what’s ahead. Unscheduled time can also lead to boredom, which is another danger.

Don’t schedule too much. On the other hand, scheduling too much can also create stress. The important thing is to prioritize the things that will contribute most to your health and recovery. Don’t overextend yourself. When your routine is well established and you feel comfortable, then you can try adding a little more.

Take baby steps to the next scheduled activity. They say you’re supposed to take recovery one day at a time, but sometimes even a day seems like too much. Having a clear schedule gives you micro goals to aim for. If you wake up feeling terrible, focus on making it through breakfast. If after breakfast you still feel terrible, focus on the next thing. Maybe you have a meeting in an hour and you can focus on that. Little by little you get through the day.

The Serenity Recovery Center at Encino Medical Hospital is offering your loved ones a new way to begin their journey of recovery. Excellent clinical care, medical management, and the highest levels of comfort are our priority at Serenity. Call us today for information: 866.294.9401