Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 20, 2012

In my last 2 posts I discussed why having a routine is an important part of recovery. I talked about how routine for recovery helps to ease anxiety, promote stability, how it gives you something to rely on, prepares you for more responsibility and leads to increased self esteem. If you haven’t read these posts yet, part 1 is here and part 2 is here so click on over and check them out! This is the final post in this 3 part series, so here are a few more things about routine and why it’s important in recovery.

Creating and following a routine in early recovery can be really difficult. It may be hard to  remember to do the things you need to do everyday at first. You are just learning to really take better care of yourself and your responsibilities. Maybe part of your routine for recovery includes dealing with other people, and that can be really hard when you aren’t feeling that great. In early recovery, I had a lot of days when I just didn’t feel good or just felt really resistent to dealing with others and putting myself out there. But it really is very important to building a strong foundation in recovery and sticking with it long-term.  Here are some suggestions for dealing with the newness of having a routine in early recovery.

Start off slow, don’t overextend yourself. In the first few months of recovery, just do what is necessary to really take care of yourself. Do self care, eat, sleep, get a little exercise, go to work if you have a job and of course, go to your classes, groups and meetings. Try to limit any unnecessary extra activity that isn’t related to one of these things. Keep it simple, each day that you keep to your routine for recovery you will start to feel a little better. You are building self confidence. Eventually it will become natural to you. And you can start to add extracurricular activities as you’re feeling more comfortable. But in the beginning, listen to yourself and honor where you are at, no matter where that is.

Recovery takes time and so does adjusting to a new routine! It won’t all happen at once, and sometimes it will seem like it’s not happening fast enough, but just stick with it. It might take months of sticking to your routine to really notice a shift. But in the long run, it will definitely be worth it and it will make longterm recovery so much more easily achievable. Work up an honest and supportive routine and let yourself rely on that to guide you through your days and in no time it will just be your normal daily life. Allow yourself to be open to possibility, the potential for greatness lies everywhere, even in the normal daily activities we participate in.

How has routine guided you through your recovery?