Addiction can upend many aspects of one’s life, compromising not just one’s finances to fuel these destructive practices but also affecting one’s professional attendance, regular routines, and social life. Addiction can even impact their ability to maintain structure and schedule in their day — making their decisions influenced when and where addictive substances will be available. While deconstructing these scheduling notions is crucial for pursuing a sustainable, transformed lifestyle, one must also restructure their days in sobriety in turn.
Breaking Free From Previous Routines
Routines are created to add a degree of consistency and predictability to an otherwise stressful, frenetic pace of life. Those suffering from addiction may schedule their days around when they can get their next drink, if they have enough time during their lunch break to go to the liquor store, or when their dealer is available. These routines can be challenging to break from as they dictate much of one’s time management and mental state.
However, it is possible to distance oneself from these routines and introduce new, healthy schedules and practices. Creating new routines in sobriety is a difficult task, and, commonly, establishing these new routines will feel foreign or uncomfortable at first. Understanding that addiction informs one’s daily schedule and that it is intimately tied with all other aspects of one’s life is essential for breaking free from these destructive and enabling routines.
Setting a New Morning Routine
Morning routines carry a lot of influence over the rest of an individual’s day. Setting a consistent morning alarm and filling one’s morning with essential practices — such as a hygiene routine, a healthy breakfast, and time for self-care — is essential for changing one’s outlook on the day ahead.
By structuring one’s morning in a consistent manner, an individual can begin their days with an ever-crucial element of predictability, placing an emotional buffer between oneself and the more stressful, unpredictable aspects of the day, such as potential workplace stressors or social interactions.
This predictable time allows the mind to prepare for these stresses ahead of time. If an individual is waking up late and frantically trying to eat in the morning, one’s day can be dictated by this spirit of anxiety. An effective morning routine instead allows individuals to determine their own pace while providing space and time to practice mindfulness while mentally and emotionally preparing for the day.
Adhere to a Bedtime
Bedtimes are often forgotten as one reaches adulthood, forsaken along with the more juvenile aspects of one’s past. However, they are instrumental in scheduling one’s new, healthy lifestyle. Adhering to particular bedtimes not only allows each individual to ensure they are getting sufficient rest — something that is crucial throughout the recovery process — but it also helps an individual continue to avoid too much dead time throughout the day.
Boredom and loneliness, both commonplace if one is up late into the night, can birth stresses, urges, or cravings to reengage with addictive substances to refill the time. Keeping a consistent bedtime can further distance oneself from these destructive practices.
Use Your Lunch Breaks
Taking structured breaks is also important. Scheduling one’s lunch breaks or other times of self-care and respite can help scaffold the ability to balance one’s responsibilities and obligations. Looking forward to these breaks can serve as a point of motivation while simultaneously ensuring that each individual is treating themselves fairly. These breaks also help to further divide one’s day into much more manageable chunks, promoting the use of healthy coping strategies and stress relief.
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Translating Your Treatment Plan
One’s time in a treatment facility is highly structured, and there is a very good reason for this. Drug and alcohol inpatient treatment centers fill one’s day with a myriad of therapeutic activities, dedicated meal times, and blackout times for rest. This structure is instrumental in developing time-management skills and is something that is applicable both inside and outside of any treatment facility.
Translating one’s time in a treatment program back into the “real world” can be a great way to ease the transition between a facility and one’s home life, ensuring that this stressful time is still filled with supportive, familiar elements. Keeping one’s alarm set at a consistent time, beginning each day with a healthy breakfast and yoga, meditation, or other self-care routines, and going to bed at a consistent time are all foundational structures to cope with the ongoing stresses of addiction recovery. This is true if one is taking their first step toward a healthier lifestyle or looking to continue navigating their hard-earned sobriety as an alumnus.
Structure is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy routine. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand the need to construct a stable and effective routine both inside and outside our facility. Whether you are just beginning your sober journey or have graduated and are looking to continue building upon your sober skills and toolkit, our quality Hawaii inpatient recovery programs and alumni services can be personalized to help you create the best approach to sobriety in your daily life. Our supportive atmosphere of like-minded peers and professionals champion each person’s ability to construct their own best practices, all backed by our therapeutic techniques. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practices, and an extensive cultural and experiential therapy program are all available to you. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique needs and goals in recovery, call us today at (866) 390-5070.