What is a recovery routine anyway, and how do you do it? I go to bed around 4 a.m. I wake up around 9 in the morning … the in between is filled with cleaning poop, proofreading, handing out snacks, managing, food prep, writing, and animals. So. Many. Animals. At 4 years sober, how on earth do I fit a routine in recovery into my jam-packed schedule? And why on earth does it involve poop?
My recovery has blessed me with the privilege of running an animal sanctuary. I am also an editorial manager for a financial company and a content manager for this awesome website. I live a full and wild lifestyle that I am only able to accomplish by keeping a daily routine for a person in recovery … and planning – time management is my savior.
What’s in your toolbox
Having a routine in recovery is one of the most beneficial things a person can implement to achieve sobriety. I like to think of it as the toolbox holding all my recovery tools — meetings, coping with triggers, calling my sponsor, prayer, therapy, daily readings, enriching sober relationships … the whole shebang! Listing off all fundamentals of staying sober from day to day sounds overwhelming. There is a lot to execute in order stay healthy. This is where your toolbox … your routine in recovery … comes into play.
Having a daily routine in recovery
A common misconception about recovery is that getting sober is a temporary cure-all to drugs and alcoholism. Some think that attending 90 meetings in 90 days or a 30-day rehab facility is where all the work is done and bam! You are cured. However, this is hardly the case. Ideally, during those times, an addict is collecting tools to achieve sobriety and getting time away from their last drug or drink. They then need to actively practice what they’ve learned in day-to-day life. The bottom line is that getting sober and having a healthy well-being requires work, which a routine in recovery will nurture.
Why is a recovery routine important
According to AppleGate Recovery: “Addiction is the result of habit formation, and the formation of positive habits is necessary to stay strong in dismantling chronic substance abuse. Building healthy routines into your life is the first step toward achieving your goals for sobriety and your new life as a whole.”
Time management is essential to your routine in recovery. It will help you accomplish everything you need to day to day or week to week in order to stay sober. Also, by laying out everything you need to plan for sobriety, it will help you prepare for the unexpected triggers or uncontrollable life changes that come your way. It’s safe to say that having a routine in recovery can save your sobriety — and even your life.
What does a daily routine for person in recovery from drug abuse entail
Consider your routine in recovery a sobriety plan. This outline of day-to-day tasks will assure you complete the necessary components to living a sober life. First, lay your foundation for success in preparing for this change by following these 10 tips (Credit: AppleGate Recovery).
Once you have this groundwork in place, it’s time to elaborate on taking time for your recovery. Consider the aforementioned tools: meetings, coping with triggers, calling my sponsor, prayer, therapy, daily readings, enriching sober relationships, etc. What that looks like for you is between you, your High Power and maybe even a professional.
What does a routine in recovery look like for me
As an example, I will share what my routine in recovery looked like in early sobriety. After a raw relapse, I was working at the front desk of a spa, had no car, was responsible for significantly less animal children than I was accustomed to and was on probation. I completed 45 days in treatment, where my routine was laid out for me so I learned firsthand that it was beneficial to keep to a routine in recovery to better myself.
- Morning: After waking up to my alarm, the first thing I did was pray and do some daily meditations. I had some tangible books and some online material I enjoyed reading. Next, I contacted probation to see if my color was called for a urine sample. This was mandatory, but the structure held me accountable and allowed me to clean up my side of the street. (This section of my day was dedicated to cleaning the animals I was blessed to still have. There were a handful of them and, Lord, was I ever grateful for them.)
- Afternoon: I made sure I called my sponsor and also multiple supports to let them know where I was at. This action allowed me to be authentic and establish relationships. So when I was having a hard day, I had people I could turn to that I was comfortable opening up to.
- Evening: I attended meetings and saw my therapist. This was built into the end of just about every day. I would close my nights with some more meditation and prayer – after feeding and spending time with my kinkajous, cats, and ferret. I always thanked God for another day sober and continue to do that today.
That is just a basic outline, but you get the idea. In and around my routine in recovery, I was living my life by going to work and doing the things I enjoyed. I am happy to say that years later, the routine has altered as I’ve grown as a sober woman. However, overall the basics are still the same. I know these are the tools I need in order to stay sober.
A successful recovery is growth
I encourage you to map out your own routine in recovery. Stick with it. See how is evolves as you grow into a sober individual. I’ve been privileged to grow into a sponsor and watch my sponsees grow with their own sober plan. It’s a pretty magical cycle if you establish your foundation and never pick up a drug or a drink.
When you have your recovery head on straight, the possibilities are endless. I never thought I would be using my English degree and running an organization I dreamed up. My recovery has blessed me with a life literally beyond my wildest dreams … filled with wild animals and opportunities for endless growth.
Want a resource to help? Check out our book 100 Tips For Growing Up! It’s got great tips, notes to self, and room to journal!