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Recovery can be a life-changing experience for those who choose to embrace it. It is a transformative process that takes time. It requires dedication, commitment, and full engagement in one’s recovery experience. 

Whether you have years of sobriety behind you or have just begun your journey in a treatment setting, having a recovery routine to rely on is essential in achieving long-lasting recovery from mental illness or substance use. 

No two journeys look the same, which means that no two recovery routines will look the same either. Find a routine that works for you and helps you to prioritize your mental and emotional health. 

Why Is Having a Routine Beneficial?

There are known benefits to having a morning or a nighttime routine. Routines offer a way to promote better health and well-being through organization and structure. They allow you to dedicate a specific amount of time or attention to tasks aligned with your goals and values. 

Without a routine, you are more likely to feel stressed out. You have more options for what you could be doing with your time and are more likely to feel overwhelmed. Not having a routine can increase everyday worrying about if or when a certain task will ever get done. 

A routine is also beneficial because it encourages healthier dieting, sleeping, and exercising. Individuals that do not have a routine often lack a sleep schedule, which directly interferes with their body’s circadian rhythm. Unhealthy dieting becomes the new normal if there is no regular time dedicated to grocery shopping or meal prepping.

A recovery routine can foster greater dedication towards activities that increase your health and well-being. It can also give you solutions to situations that may surface cravings or triggers, and lead you to achieving healthier responses when confronted with stressful situations. 

Diving Into Your Recovery Routine

Creating a recovery routine gives you a step-by-step plan that you can follow as you are transitioning away from substance use or learning to navigate behavioral dysfunction. A recovery routine will provide structured guidelines for how you should engage with your environment as you prioritize your recovery. 

If you have recently completed treatment at a mental health facility, your mental health professional may have already helped you to create some guidelines for how to transition to life at home. No matter where you are in your recovery, there are some factors you should consider making a part of your recovery routine:

  • Diet, such as meal prepping, grocery shopping, and setting boundaries for how often you eat out
  • Sleep schedule, including going to bed and waking up around the same time every day
  • Treatment schedule, such as attending all therapy sessions and considering other treatment engagement opportunities to help prevent relapse 
  • Identifying common triggers that you should avoid (such as cutting ties with old friend groups or limiting exposure to situations that involve substance use)
  • Recognizing realistic and manageable strategies that you can use in triggering situations (such as attending sober events or finding new friend groups)
  • Incorporating self-care into your daily routine
  • Finding new coping skills that can help you to prioritize your recovery (such as anger management or mindfulness techniques)

How To Write Out Your Recovery Routine

Consider writing your routine in a way that you will understand it best. If you are a person that needs immense detail when relying on a routine, consider adding an adequate amount of detail when you address different aspects of your daily tasks.

For example, consider the category of self-care. When you are thinking of how to incorporate self-care into your recovery routine, avoid just listing ways to engage in self-care. Instead, give yourself one thing to do every day that will allow you to establish greater love for yourself. Provide structure by giving yourself a day and time frame that you can dedicate to self-care. For example:

  • On Monday from 5 pm – 6 pm, immerse yourself in a nature walk. Use mindfulness techniques to practice being fully present in the moment. Connect with the nature that surrounds you. Maybe you choose to focus on the sounds you are hearing or the nature you are seeing. 
  • On Tuesday from 10 am – 11 am, listen to an uplifting podcast about self-love and recovery. Set an intention for about how you can engage in a more intimate relationship with yourself in the upcoming week. 

Continue compiling a list for every day of the week. Consider doing this for every category listed above.

Remember that finding a recovery routine is going to be subjective and unique for your mental health situation and circumstances. What works for someone else may not work for you. Do not feel guilty for setting boundaries that might be necessary for your mental health and well-being. Always put your recovery first.

A recovery routine is important for anyone that is looking to achieve long-lasting recovery from substance use or mental distress. A routine helps you stay accountable and responsible for your actions and responses, especially when it comes to addressing triggers, cravings, or otherwise stressful situations. When you are creating a recovery routine, it is essential that you understand your own unique recovery journey. West Coast Recovery Centers is here to help you create an individualized treatment plan alongside an individualized recovery routine. We understand how important it is to identify and address triggers and cravings when they surface. With the help of a recovery routine, you will feel less overwhelmed at the thought of battling your recovery alone. Let us help guide and support you through your entire treatment experience and beyond. For more information about the resources and treatment options we offer, give us a call today at (760) 492-6509.

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