Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 19th, 2012

In yesterday’s post I discussed 2 reasons why routine is important in recovery, which were to promote stability and prepare a person for more responsibility. Today I will add a few more topics to the list.

Routine helps lessen anxiety. When you have no intentions for your time, it is easy for a feeling of unease to set in and anxiety to increase. The mind starts to wonder, you may get bored, these things can lead to decisions that may not be the best for you. When you don’t have a recovery routine, you are much more likely to get sidetracked into things that are not necessarily supportive of your recovery. This can be a recipe for disaster. However, if you have established a routine that is supportive of your recovery, it is much easier to avoid these triggers as you will either be doing something, preparing to do something, or looking forward to doing something. It’s reassuring knowing you have fulfilling things to do with your time. This is especially important in early recovery, when anxiety is already high. Knowing you have a plan for the day is reassuring and encouraging.

Now, let’s say something triggering DOES happen. We all know recovery isn’t all ice cream and rainbows. There are days when you just don’t want to get up, you are stressed out, things just aren’t going the way you would like them to or maybe you are just overwhelmed. It happens to everyone. But in times of hardship or crisis, your recovery routine is something you can rely on. If you have a well established routine that is concrete, it helps you be accountable for yourself. You have responsibilities you need to tend to. In hard times, you can use your routine to keep yourself on track. Routine helps you develop a sense of purpose and meaning in your life. These things are very important in recovery and life in general.

And finally, maintaining a routine will help you build your self esteem up. Low self esteem is an issue with everyone who is going through recovery. Maybe you have lost jobs, dropped out of school, disappointed your family, friends or loved ones, or more importantly, let yourself down in some way. Having a recovery routine can help you build your self esteem back up. You will become more confident in yourself as you build yourself back up bit by bit. As you continue to maintain this schedule, you will see that you are worthy, that you can do it and you are making it happen.

Tomorrow I will add the final 2 things to this list about why routine is important in recovery. What is your routine? How does it serve you in recovery?