A big part of a successful recovery from addiction is making healthy lifestyle changes. This includes things like getting enough sleep, getting regular exercise, eating healthy, and keeping up with your recovery plan. These things have all been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, increase your energy, and help you think more clearly. The problem is that making these changes isn’t always easy. However, a regular routine can make this much easier and has other benefits as well.
Recovery should be a little boring at first.
When most people think of having a regular routine, it can seem a bit boring. You’re essentially just doing the same things every day. While no one likes to be bored, there is some value in knowing exactly what to expect, especially early on. Routines reduce surprises. You know more or less what your day has in store for you. This reduces stress and anxiety, which can be challenging for people new to recovery.
Routines reduce your need for willpower.
People often mistakenly believe that willpower is the key to a successful recovery. If you can just control yourself long enough, they think, you can stop using drugs and alcohol. This is mistaken for a number of reasons. Addiction has psychological, social, and physical factors that have to be accounted for. And willpower is a limited resource. It can get you through a tough situation, provided it doesn’t too long, but no one can stay sober or make healthy lifestyle choices consistently using willpower alone.
Having a regular routine essentially allows you to automate good choices. Once you’ve established a regular routine, you no longer have to decide when you’re going to go to bed, when you’re going to get up, what you’re going to eat for breakfast, whether you’re going to a meeting, and so on. You follow your schedule and do those things in a regular order with a minimum of mental exertion. That way, you can save your willpower for unexpected challenges.
Routines ensure steady progress.
When you’re working on your recovery, you can’t wait for inspiration to strike. You won’t always feel like doing the work. You probably won’t feel inspired most days, but if you want to make any progress, you have to do the work anyway. The best way to do this reliably is to make it part of your schedule. Have a regular meeting, have a regular time to exercise, pray, or write in your journal. Even if these feel like chores, you will still make a little progress every day.
Pinnacle Recovery specializes in inpatient rehabilitation, trauma recovery, AA programs and AA alternatives, experiential therapy, dual diagnosis, family therapy, co-occurring and dual diagnosis addictions. We also offer a wide range of sober living and intensive outpatient treatment programs. Call 1-866-301-0573 today for more information.