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Importance of Routine in Recovery

Early recovery is considered the most dangerous time as far as relapse is concerned. A study on JAMA suggests that the first year of recovery has relapse rates resembling other diseases such as type II diabetes: between 40 and 60 percent. It is therefore crucial that relapse prevention strategies are followed closely during this time. The importance of routine in recovery will be discussed in this article.

3 Minute Read | Published Sep 17 2023 | Updated May 29 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by

Relapse Prevention: The Importance of Routine in Recovery

Purpose of Treatment

The ultimate purpose of treatment at a rehab is to identify problematic behavior in an addict and then give them alternatives to help them find a new, healthy lifestyle. Addiction itself can be viewed as a person repeating the same routine, making the importance of a new routine in recovery essential. A routine in this sense is a set of daily activities that are geared toward a healthy life.

What is in a Routine?

To better understand the importance of routine in recovery, we will look at what elements are usually in a healthy routine. Of course, it varies depending on what a person’s needs to get accomplished on a daily basis, such as a person who is unemployed compared to someone with a job and family.

A daily routine in recovery might have some of the following:

  • A time to get out of bed.
  • A time to get to sleep.
  • When to exercise and for how long.
  • If the person uses meditation as a part of their recovery, their daily routine in recovery will have a time allocated for that.
  • A daily schedule for eating.
  • Time set aside for enjoyable things, such as a hobby.
  • Time dedicated to being social.
  • If working, a time to leave for work.
  • A time set to go to support group meetings.
  • Time set aside for self-improvement such as through reading a book.
  • A time to help your kids with homework and the like.

The Importance of Routine in Recovery

So, why is routine in early recovery so important you may wonder. A defined structure and routine helps to provide a great deal of comfort and familiarity. Right after stopping substance abuse, the previous routine becomes obsolete. A recovering person may be overwhelmed with the amount of free time they have, which can add stress.

Insomnia is a common symptom of early recovery. It can be managed with a proper routine in early recovery.  Eventually, you’ll feel tired at the same time and sleeping will become easy to do.

A fitness routine can be especially important as many people have poor health due to their substance abuse. Getting back in shape has the added benefit of reducing stress and making a person feel happier. But it can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise without a routine.

A routine can help a person to improve their productivity. It is easy to get caught up doing one thing for too long and forgetting about everything else you wanted to get done. Following a routine helps to eliminate wasted time.

Boredom can be one of the most dangerous emotions in recovery. It causes a person’s mind to wander to negative ideas, which are then obsessed about since there’s nothing else to do. A routine can help to keep you busy and keep your mind on productive things. By the end of the day, you’ll feel accomplished as opposed to bored and hopeless.

Loneliness is another emotion that can be difficult to deal with in recovery. A routine can help to get you out of the house and talking to other people, such as at a meeting or with friends.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at (800) 429-7690.

Resources

bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018).
"Building a Strong Recovery: Taking Care of Yourself During Early Recovery."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020)
"Treatment and Recovery."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
bullet American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2021).
"Definition of Addiction."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020).
"Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021).
"Treatment and Recovery."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
bullet Mayo Clinic. (2021).
"Addiction Recovery: Creating a Daily Routine to Prevent Relapse."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020).
"Overcoming Addiction: Paths toward Recovery."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021).
"Recovery and Recovery Support."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
bullet American Addiction Centers. (2021).
"Addiction Recovery: Importance of Establishing Routine."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
bullet Psychiatric Times. (2019).
"Recovery: Building a Routine in Early Recovery."
Retrieved on May 14, 2018
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