Daily Recovery Checklist for a Sober Life

Written by Chloe Nicosia

If you’re newly sober, here is a daily recovery checklist to help get you started

Working to maintain sobriety doesn’t end when an individual completes an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program. Creating and maintaining a sober life takes effort throughout one’s lifetime. However, the first 90 days of recovery are critical. Research and statistics show that most relapses occur within this early period of sobriety. When someone in recovery is just returning home from treatment, he or she is expected to resume a normal life and deal with every aspect of it, including the stress of responsibilities, finances, social events, and relationships. It is important to make this transition as easy as possible, which is why creating a daily recovery checklist is recommended.

Before becoming sober, using substances as a way to cope and navigate through life is common among most individuals that suffer with addiction issues. Upon completion of treatment, it is easy to become overwhelmed when that crutch is no longer available. Therefore, creating a structured environment that includes a routine and consistency is the one of the most important steps in maintaining sobriety.  Below is a daily recovery checklist that includes tips for staying sober:

  • Time to wake up. Start with some basic stretches before getting out of bed every day.
  • Eat breakfast. Pay attention to your diet as well as sleep and physical activity. These three things are important to maintaining recovery and were likely neglected for a long period of time.
  • Exercise. Whether this takes place after breakfast or at another time is not relevant, but fitting at least 30 minutes of exercise in each day will create feelings of physical and mental well being.
  • Work/Study. Being productive and having a sense of purpose is its own accomplishment.
  • Attend a meeting for ongoing support in recovery. Meetings are not only necessary, but they should be a priority. For those new to recovery, one of AA’s tips for staying sober is to attend at least one meeting each day for the first 90 days outside of treatment. Attending meetings provides a way to preserve your sanity when things get tough and to get the support needed if you are feeling down or susceptible to relapsing.
  • Commit to one positive act each day. This could be almost anything, such as meditating, trying a new activity, making a list of goals, or calling a loved one and making an effort to restore your relationship.
  • Be thankful each day. Take a few moments each day to put everything into perspective and recognize what you are thankful for. Think about your   accomplishments and how far you’ve come.

Everyone’s daily recovery checklist will vary be customized with some items taking precedence over others. The main idea is to use the daily recovery checklist as a tool to stay organized, consistent, mindful, and positive.

What to expect at 90 days sober? A person who is new to sobriety may be feeling a lot of emotions. The first 90 days of recovery are a very vulnerable, challenging, and significant period. The life that was there before now needs to be rebuilt in a new way that accommodates sober living. The responsibilities that were once ignored will now be addressed, as well old fears and emotions. A newly sober person may feel they need a lot of support from their sponsor, friends or family. The early days of addiction recovery can be overwhelming. It’s hard to say exactly what to expect at 90 days sober, but it will definitely be a period of hard work followed by feelings of pride and accomplishment.  It’s a time for setting goals, practicing self-care, and building good habits.

Creating a daily recovery checklist will add structure to a period that can be a very taxing time on the mind and body. The development of a daily routine will allow the practice of recovery skills, it provides consistency, and will keep things simple during a time that can be daunting on a newly sober person. It will allow you to know what to expect at 90 days sober, because you will be taking control and doing the planning. Attending meetings and building a support network is one of the most useful tips for staying sober. This is especially important during the first 90 days, when it may be easy to become discouraged. Whether one attends 90 meetings in 90 days or not, it is important to attend as many recovery meetings as possible. It is important to set goals during this time, even if they change down the road. Setting goals provides a focus on something positive to look forward to. Finally, each day that is a day in recovery deserves gratitude. Take a moment to slow down, and just be grateful for the present. Using these strategies can help one cope during the first 90 days of recovery and establish a life in recovery worth living.