Addiction Recovery Checklist

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Addiction Recovery Checklist: A Guide to a Daily and Weekly Checklist for Recovery

Relapse is the main concern for any addict in recovery. A study that examined the relapse rates for addicts in their first year of recovery placed the relapse rate for addiction at levels similar to hypertension and diabetes; 40 to 60 percent. This is why an effective relapse prevention plan is so important. In this article, we will explore a daily and weekly addiction recovery checklist to ensure that you stay on top of your recovery. 

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Daily Addiction Recovery Checklist

The best way to approach addiction maintenance in recovery after a rehab program is to take it one day at a time. Looking too far ahead can make a person feel overwhelmed, but looking to just prevent relapse on the day ahead of you can help to break your recovery into bite-sized bits.

The following section explores a daily addiction recovery checklist, which can be your daily go-to action plan for addiction recovery. Every day, you should be able to check off each one of the following:

1. Make Your Bed

Your daily action plan for addiction recovery starts with something as simple as making your bed. It may seem insignificant, but this simple act can set the tone for your entire day. Making your bed the first thing in the morning lets you start each day feeling accomplished, giving you a “feel-good” boost to start your day.

2. Meditate

Many people’s worries stem from things from their past that are being held onto and things that haven’t yet happened in their future. Mindfulness mediation teaches a person to embrace the moment, helping to dissolve stresses. Meditation has been proven to help reduce relapse in the long term.

3. Be Grateful

Another important part of your daily addiction recovery checklist is to remind yourself to be grateful for the position you are in today. A great idea to encourage gratefulness is to keep a photo journal. Take a picture of something that makes you feel grateful every day, such as a beautiful sunset or the supportive people in your life on that day. You can then look back on this album anytime that you need a reminder of why you are doing this.

4. Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy

By eating healthy food and staying properly hydrated, it can actually improve your mood and reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Don’t skip meals, even if you just have a snack.

5. Get Some Exercise

Even basic physical activity such as walking can be an asset during your recovery. Exercise helps to release natural endorphins into your body which can help to lower stress and improve your overall mood. Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine.

6. Do Something You Enjoy

The buildup of stress and other emotions can be a major contributing factor to a relapse.

However, some of the things that give us stress, anxiety, or make us depressed are as a result of things in our life that we can’t change at this moment. As such, it’s important that you do something that you enjoy and that relaxes you every day. Dedicate at least 20 minutes to an activity such as painting, reading a book, or even just having a relaxing bubble bath.

Weekly Addiction Recovery Checklist

Daily activities are important for your recovery, but a weekly checklist can help with longer term goals you may have in recovery. The following section is a recovery self-evaluation checklist that you can utilize to monitor your long-term progress in recovery. Find some alone time each week to go through the recovery self-evaluation checklist and tick off each part that applies to you, and then work on the parts that you didn’t manage to complete that week.

Your weekly checklist should be similar to the following:

  1.  I went to at least one recovery support group meeting this week.
  2. I created and reached positive goals this week.
  3. Daily recovery concepts were applied this week.
  4. I had contact with my sponsor at least once this week.
  5. I spent some time with others on leisure activities this week.
  6. I had a fun time with friends that support my recovery goals this week.
  7. I did something to support a positive relationship with my partner or spouse this week.
  8. I avoided my triggers successfully, such as the places, things and people that aren’t conducive to my recovery.
  9. I had a positive time with my kids this week.
  10. I had contact with someone else in recovery this week.
  11. I spent some time reading literature related to recovery this week.
  12. This week was good for me emotionally.
  13. I had an object with me this week that reminded me of my resolve to stay clean and sober.
  14. I handled all of the physical health problems I had this week.
  15. The food I ate and exercise I did over this last week promoted my recovery.

The weekly checklist is an important one. If things start to go awry, then the weekly checklist will reveal it to you so that you can use that information to resolve it, such as not dealing with stress appropriately resulting in you contacting your sponsor or someone supportive to talk about what’s bothering you.

A good practice is to create a list of things that you want to achieve in the coming week based on what you managed to achieve or didn’t achieve in the last week.

Additional Items that Should be on Your Recovery Checklist

The following section deals with other things that you can add to your daily and weekly checklists that will help to promote your long-term recovery.

  • Accept that you have a disease known as addiction and that it needs to be managed
  • Learn to ask for and accept help
  • Get used to saying “no”
  • Develop a level of compassion and acceptance of others, including yourself
  • Make new friends that will encourage your recovery
  • Keep tracking and adjusting your lifestyle with the goal of improvement
  • If you are experiencing post-acute withdrawal syndrome, then reach out to someone that can help
  • Practice honesty with yourself and other people in your life
  • Learn to celebrate all of your accomplishments and victories, no matter how small they are
  • Helping and giving to others can help you to grow, too
  • Never forgot about the acronym HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, and tired)
  • Be prepared for a marathon, not a sprint; addiction recovery is a long-term process after all

With the right tools and help from professionals, friends, and loved ones, the journey to long term recovery can become easier. If at any time you need to talk to someone for more help, then feel free to contact Better Addiction Care at 1-800-429-7690.