Many people mistakenly associate the word routine with an activity that is boring and repetitive. When you’re in recovery, however, the word takes on entirely different connotations. The truth is that establishing and adhering to a routine can help someone in recovery in many different ways. What are those ways? How does routine help in recovery? The Ranch TN can take you through how routine helps in recovery and get you started on a path to lasting sobriety.
Routine Helps Ease Anxiety
If you wake up each morning and don’t have a plan for the day, no matter how good your intentions, you may stray off into directions you hadn’t intended. Just drifting along adds to a sense of unease, and anxiety is likely to increase. When you don’t know what you’re going to be doing any given hour – or even first thing in the morning – you’re stacking the deck against effective recovery. Instead, if you have a routine that you’ve established as productive and that fits within your overall recovery plan, stick to it. This is especially important in the early phase of recovery during the first few weeks and months.
This is the time when your body and mind are still in the healing stages from your addiction or dependence on substances or other addictive behavior. You need the predictability of knowing exactly what you’re going to do each day to help ease your transition into longer-lasting recovery. Being able to look at your daily routine helps decrease some of the anxiety that comes when you’re unprepared for the day ahead.
Routine Helps Promote Stability
When someone is said to be in recovery, the best thing that can happen is that they begin to exhibit stability. This comprehends all aspects of the individual’s life, from having and going to a job daily to taking appropriate care of oneself and family. When others regard you as stable, it means they feel they can count on you to do what you say, to handle your responsibilities without being prodded or nagged, to tend to your obligations with a sense of accomplishment. Stability isn’t something that someone else can give you. While you may be offered a job or be welcomed back to your existing job after treatment, it’s up to you to make good on doing the work that job entails.
In other words, you have the opportunity to succeed – but you also have the choice to fail. How do you succeed? In the sense of promoting stability, success comes from the routine of being on time for work each day, doing what’s expected of you, looking for ways to be more efficient – without putting yourself at risk of being over-committed, and being a resourceful, productive employee. Routine also entails having a regular regimen that you do at home, such as preparing meals for the family or for yourself. It encompasses making sure you pay your bills consistently, having established a time when you take care of this obligation.
Also included in routines you have at home is laundry, cleaning, restocking food items, taking care of or having necessary repairs done, and other household chores. While it’s you that establishes your routine, it isn’t only you that benefits but your loved ones as well.
Routine Gives You Something to Rely On in Times of Crisis
Everyone knows that being in recovery is not all good times. There are going to be days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed when you’ve had too much stress at work, or any one of a thousand minor crises adds up to be overwhelming. Maybe you’re confronted with a major crisis, one that you feel knocks you back and threatens your hard-earned sobriety. Having a routine that you can turn to gives you something concrete that you can do that is positive and will help you make it through the rough spots.
Let’s say that you’ve gotten some very bad news. You may have lost your job due to downsizing, or you’re falling behind in mortgage payments, and the bank is threatening foreclosure. Maybe you or someone in your family needs medical treatment for a serious illness, or there’s been an accident, and the medical bills are piling up. You don’t know what to do about all these things happening at once – just when you’ve started to feel good about maintaining your sobriety. At times like these, use your routine to help get your equilibrium back. Call or see your sponsor and discuss what’s going on with you. Go to your 12-step meetings. Talk with your loved ones or your boss to see how things can be worked out. Don’t just stew in your misery.
Routine Helps Prepare You for More Responsibility
No one wants to remain the status quo. We all want to make progress, to see something come from all the effort we’re exerting. This is as true for those in recovery as it is for everyone else. You’re sticking to your routine, doing the best you can day in and day out, and you want to see where all this is leading. Sure, your overall goal is to maintain your sobriety. You’re in this for the long haul. But life is more than just refraining from using alcohol or drugs or engaging in other addictive behavior. Truly effective long-term recovery means that you have created a whole new life in recovery, one that encompasses creating goals and following your dreams.
When you stick to your routine, you will know when you are ready to tackle more responsibility. You will feel when you’re capable of asking your boss for increased responsibility. If things are coming easier to you at work because you’ve learned how to manage your time, not get distracted, how to compartmentalize and prioritize tasks, you’ll be well equipped to go to the next level. That may mean working toward a promotion, asking for additional projects, or a chance to show your talent. You will have the self-confidence of your months of routine at work, and the results of your steadily improving productivity. This is bound to impress your boss and others who may be in a position to help you move ahead.
The routine may be one of the best ways to show others that you are not only sincere about your commitment to sobriety (those who know that you are in recovery) but also to demonstrate that you are a viable candidate for more responsibility.
Routine Can Lead to Increased Self-Esteem
Along with the increased self-confidence that you receive from sticking to your routine and doing it well, a routine can also lead to an increased sense of self-esteem. Lack of self-esteem is a big hurdle to overcome by many in recovery from addiction. It’s more prevalent for some than for others, but every person in recovery suffers from some level of low self-esteem. They’ve been down, maybe did some very bad things, lost home and family and job and felt that they’re starting over. They’re at rock bottom. That’s about as low self-esteem as you can get.
But routine is a ladder from which you can crawl up from the bottom. Rung by rung, day by day, doing your routine is something that you alone can do to convince yourself that you are worth it, you can do it, there is hope for you. Note that if you’ve been abused or a victim of violence or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for example, it may take considerable time to boost your self-esteem. You may benefit from additional counseling or a form of psychotherapy known as eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
How Routine Helps In Recovery With The Ranch TN
When you feel good about your contributions in your daily life, this leads to an overall sense of accomplishment, deserved pride, and a sense of well-being. For those of us in recovery, a routine can help by boosting our supply of self-confidence, self-esteem, increasing our stability, allaying our anxieties, providing support in times of crisis, and ultimately adding joy to our lives. No, it’s not going to happen overnight. It may take many months of adhering to a routine for you to begin to feel – and see – progress. But it will come if you stick to it. Always be in a mode to recognize and receive the opportunity that presents itself to you. At The Ranch TN we offer several ways to help such as:
Opportunity may be hidden within some of your daily routines, or it may appear in the course of you pursuing some new element that you’ve decided to add to your daily regimen. You will meet people who may be instrumental in introducing you to an opportunity you’d never have known about or considered yourself capable of. So reach out to The Ranch TN today at 1.844.876.7680 and learn how to make your recovery lasting.