One of the many life-changing benefits of a residential recovery program is the reintroduction of a daily routine. While enrolled in the program the tightly scheduled day-to-day regimen allows the individual to regain a sense of predictability about their days, while also providing a sense of accountability to peers and staff members. The treatment program can provide a sense of security and structure, which is a welcome change after living with a substance use disorder.
Once the recovery program has been completed, retaining the new sober lifestyle may be more challenging than expected. Without the imposed structure that is present in the treatment environment it may be difficult to adhere to a daily routine, especially in early recovery. Even so, it is important to press on and develop the daily habits that will significantly improve recovery success in the long run. Since new habits take about 21 days to solidify, it means those first weeks in recovery are critical to establishing a healthy daily routine at home.
Why is a Routine Important in Recovery?
Daily routine rituals offer predictability and balance throughout the day, which are essential aspects of maintaining a sustained recovery. During a time of significant change, a regular daily routine helps provide stability as the individual transitions to a totally new lifestyle, which enhances the recovery process.
Some of the benefits of adhering to a routine in recovery include:
- Preventing feelings of restlessness and boredom. Progressing through the scheduled daily activities gives structure to the days and helps avoid the risk of too much idle time.
- Better management of stress. Keeping a regular routine actually reduces the sense of being overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities. Having a daily schedule improves stress management by allowing you to tackle one task at a time.
- Improved sleep quality. By setting a regular sleep schedule you will train the body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates the sleep cycle. This improves the quality of sleep, which has immense overall wellness benefits.
- Increased productivity. Sticking to a daily schedule keeps you on track both at home and at work. This leads to a sense of purpose and accomplishment that has the added benefit of increasing self-confidence.
- Better physical health. People thrive on having a regular predictable routine as it helps alleviate stress, which benefits health. Adding daily exercise into the routine only amplifies the positive physical health effects.
- Recovery efforts benefit. Placing recovery at the top of the priority list means scheduling in continuing care activities as part of the daily or weekly routine. Prioritize recovery meetings and outpatient therapy by including these important activities in the to-do list.
While daily routine rituals are indeed beneficial to individuals in recovery, be sure that the schedule developed is a reasonable one. If a routine is too stringent or difficult to follow it only leads to added stress, which can undermine recovery.
Examples of Daily Routine Rituals
Understanding the benefits of maintaining health lifestyle habits as conducive to successful recovery, the following are some examples of daily routine rituals to consider integrating into the day:
- Set regular times for going to bed and waking up
- Attend to personal hygiene
- Plan a daily list of tasks to be accomplished
- Cook healthy meals
- Set aside time for self-care as needed, such as relaxation activities
- Go to work, attend classes, or look for work
- Plan regular workouts
- Make time for socializing with friends and family
- Plan down time for meditation, prayer, or reflection
- Schedule 12-step meetings
Adopting healthy habits benefits people in a multitude of ways. Sticking to a regular routine of daily rituals helps nurture emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing, which translates to a sustained recovery.
Ashley Addiction Treatment is a luxury residential treatment center for individuals desiring freedom from a substance use disorder. For more information about our innovative program, please reach out to the team today at (866) 697-8802.