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How to Balance an Outpatient Program With Life Responsibilities

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There are many ways that people become addicted. For some, addiction is the result of misusing prescription drugs. Other become addicted due to having many substance-abusing peers. Then there are those who were exposed to alcohol and drug use during childhood, making substance abuse seem almost normal to them. But as many ways, as there are to become addicted, there are likewise numerous ways to overcome an addiction, including inpatient treatment and our Utah outpatient program for addiction.

Recovery isn’t easy and it’s certainly not something that can be achieved overnight. Instead, overcoming an addiction requires a commitment of time and effort as well as conviction. However, when you’re in the process of completing our Utah outpatient program for addiction, it can sometimes become overwhelming as you try to balance your recovery journey with day-to-day responsibilities and obligations. Therefore, we have compiled a few key pieces of advice to help you or your loved one when with balancing outpatient treatment and the responsibilities of life.

Create clear plans and goals

As complex as human behavior often seems, human beings are deceptively simple people. We prefer tangible, finite solutions to our problems, which is partly why there are so many misconceptions about addiction and recovery. But when it comes to balancing our Utah outpatient program for addiction and day-to-day life, one of the best things you can do is to create clear plans and set realistic goals for yourself.

Obviously, anyone who is completing an addiction treatment program is likely to have “Get sober” as one of his or her primary objectives; however, balancing outpatient care and daily life will be much easier if you create a plan for your recovery journey by breaking it into distinct goals. There are many ways to go about doing this since your goals can be as large and broad or small and specific as you’d like. A prime example of how to do this is actually how twelve-step support groups track group members’ program; if you’ve ever attended Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, you’ll recall that the meeting leaders often hand out tokens to the group members to commemorate the amount of time that they’ve been sober. Members of twelve-step programs receive commemorative tokens for being sober for 24 hours, 30 days, a year, 2 years, and so on. These tokens represent checkpoints on an individual journey of recovery, allowing individuals to quantify their progress.

As with the sobriety tokens that are given to members of twelve-step groups, creating recovery goals will be immensely helpful with balancing outpatient care and life. These goals will help to break large periods of time into shorter and more manageable periods of time, which helps to keep people from feeling too overwhelmed about how far they have left to go in their recovery journeys.

Organization and time management

There’s a lot to be said for being a more organized individual. Of course, people who are creative often claim to thrive in a certain amount of “creative chaos,” but the problem with disorganization is that it can quickly breed undue stress and anxiety. Even if it’s something as seemingly small as misplacing the car keys, it can result in being late for work or missing a counseling session. So while being disorganized may seem like a menial trait, it can lead to some pretty significant hardships that make balancing our Utah outpatient program for addiction and life all but impossible.

Being more organized and diligent about time management can yield innumerable benefits. For one thing, it can prevent individuals from missing important appointments and significantly reduces the likelihood of things like being late for or outright missing shifts at work. For someone who wants to be more organized and better with time management, there are many ways to go about doing this. One way could be to invest in some type of portable planner or schedule in which to make a note of meetings, appointments, counseling sessions, group therapy, and shifts at work. Alternately, smartphones and other portable technologies have made it possible to put this information into mobile apps, which would be a good idea if you’d prefer not to have additional items of which you must keep track.

Take some personal time

When a person is overwhelmed, he or she becomes much less efficient and productive. Many of us find our days booked with shifts at work, important meetings, doctor appointments, and that’s not including all the counseling sessions and treatments included in an outpatient program. Rather than allowing oneself to become stretched too thin, it’s important to set aside some personal time here and there.

Having some personal time to oneself is rejuvenating. Rather than becoming overwhelmed on busy days, taking some time to breathe and relax makes a person much more capable when it comes to handling stress and adversity. In other words, making time for oneself or taking some personal time prevents people from becoming easily overwhelmed. Additionally, balancing our Utah outpatient program for addiction with things like work, family, and your other obligations much more manageable.

Pace yourself

Similar to managing one’s time efficiently and being sure to take a little personal time here and there, it’s important not to stretch oneself too thin. Recovery requires some serious effort and conviction; it’s not something you can achieve with minimal effort and attention. Likewise, most people in an outpatient program are sure to also be juggling numerous other responsibilities.

When trying to balance outpatient care and daily life, it’s important to know one’s limits. A person can only squeeze a finite amount of time out of any given day; overbooking yourself will only lead to intense stress and anxiety, particularly when you’ve committed yourself too much more than you’re physically capable of handling. As such, remember to pace yourself — don’t bite off more than you can chew — will help to keep you from becoming too overwhelmed. In short, both outpatient care and daily life will seem much more manageable when you’re not being pulled in many different directions simultaneously. Instead, prioritize your responsibilities and recognize when you’ve reached your limit.

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