Guest Post by Michelle Peterson
It’s not unlikely for the word “routine” to elicit groans. The idea of doing the same things day in and day out seems boring on the surface. The truth is, a healthy routine provides structure, discipline, and essential support when it comes to accomplishing your goals. If your goal is continuing your life free from addiction, a routine is essential. Having an idea regarding what your day holds prevents anxiety and boredom that can trigger drug or alcohol use. Furthermore, a routine is helpful for the people in your life such as spouse, children, roommates, coworkers, and other friends or family. Knowing what to expect and where to find you is a refreshing change compared to the chaos and secret behaviors elicited while in the throes of addiction.
How Routines Help
- A routine makes you a more efficient person. Having a time to start and stop an objective motivates you to get it done. Planning a day full of such objections leads to a day well spent.
- Planning a routine gets you out of your head. You don’t have to sit around thinking “what do I do next?” when you already have the answer on the agenda.
- Knowing how you are going to spend your time means less of it is wasted.
- A daily routine full of good choices instills healthy habits in your life. Good habits tend to replace the bad– like the ones you develop through drug and alcohol abuse.
- A routine allows you to keep track of your success on your path to reaching your goals. You can work in daily initiatives and spend a little time on a project every day until you achieve what you want.
Healthy Habits for Your Routine
Habits that Manage Stress
As mentioned above, having a routine can help manage stress on its own. You can also implement specific stress management tactics and habits into your routine to further the efforts. You can’t eliminate stress from your life altogether, but you can help your mind and body stay ready for dealing with what life throws at you. Getting enough quality sleep is an easy way to reduce irritability and brain fog that makes it difficult to handle tough situations. Have a set time you wake up and go to bed and stick to them daily– even on the weekends. You can also use mindfulness exercises and intentional breathing as ways to get through stress when you are in the midst of it.
Habits that Rebuild Relationships
Addiction takes a toll on your relationships with friends and family. On the other hand, the support of loved ones is essential for recovery. That’s why it is so important to implement habits into your routine that help rebuild damaged relationships. Call your spouse or partner at an agreed upon time daily just to say hello and see how their day is. Make dinner with your family a priority every night. Join a weekly intramural sports league with friends and commit to being there for every practice and game. On the other hand say “no” to invitations to old haunts or social events where you will be tempted to drink or use drugs. Show your loved ones that you are committed to your sober life and in time your relationships will regain their strength.
Habits that Save Money
Drugs and alcohol are expensive. Combine their financial costs with things such as rehabilitation fees, lost wages, and medical bills, and chances are you could stand to save a few pennies. Find ways to save money everyday and keep track of the amount you save to keep you motivated.
Some easy habits that help save money include:
- Prepare healthy and delicious meals yourself instead of spending cash on take out.
- Walk, ride a bike, or use public transportation to get where you need to go.
- Look for the best deal on an item before buying.
- Use your free time to establish a side hustle that makes you some extra cash.
- Withdraw a fixed amount of cash each morning and don’t spend more than you have throughout the day.
Routines provide structure and reduce feelings of boredom and anxiety. All these things are perfect for those going through addiction recovery. Establish a routine with habits that manage stress, rebuild relationships, and save money to stay on the right track.