5 Ways to Create Sober Routines in Recovery

5 Ways to Create Sober Routines in Recovery

Life after addiction is no time to improvise. To successfully continue with a life of sobriety, the best option is to sit down and develop a plan that will help you or your loved one spend time in healthy activities and routines.

The importance of this method relies on replacing a life centered on drug use with a drug-free lifestyle. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, in its consideration of effective recovery approaches, states that continuous care is needed after the treatment program to develop a healthy and sober lifestyle. By taking into consideration all aspects of the addict’s life and his routine, options of aftercare can be analyzed to understand their effectiveness in each case.

The Benefit of Routines in Recovery

Incorporating healthy routines into the recovery process can be extremely beneficial to recovering addicts. Such an approach has been studied and tried for many years now. Since 1987, for example, high schools designed to focus on students with a history of drug use have become a resource of continuous care for students after their treatment programs have ended. It was found that a therapeutic routine of education was successful in reinforcing what was learned in treatment to sustain sobriety.

This example shows that a drug free routine designed around an entire sober lifestyle can be very beneficial in order to avoid a relapse and, at the same time, strengthen the determination for lasting recovery. The main goal of addiction recovery is for the patient to stay sober as long as possible, ideally for life. These are five ways in which a person can create sober routines while in recovery:

  • Participate in relaxing activities – One of the most common underlying causes of addiction is stress. Many patients have found that activities focused on achieving relaxation are an effective way to release stress and maintain a positive attitude. As can be seen in an article by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, yoga is a good example of a practice that can become a coping strategy and a way to remain focused on wellbeing. Other common examples are exercising, playing sports, and religious activities.
  • Become a productive member of a group – Being productive does not necessarily mean having a full-time job. Some patients in addiction recovery have found much benefit while participating in voluntary work. Others have found part-time activities that allow them to continue with other programs of their treatment. Making a job or a similar activity a part of your routine will give you a sense of accomplishment and will also keep you focused on your responsibilities.
  • Learn more – Taking courses can be effective in both gaining new skills you can use for work and developing new interests that can provide both satisfaction and a good way to spend your free time. Some students have opted to go back to school after their addiction treatment program to recommit to their goal of having successful life after addiction.
  • Support groups – Attending support groups regularly as part of your routine is one of the most common ways of planning aftercare as a strategy to stay sober. As you keep on participating in support groups such as 12-Step meetings, you can learn from the example of others and share your own experience, thus helping others who are in a similar situation. These groups are also a good place to develop interpersonal skills and learn about healthy habits that have been effective for others.
  • Addiction counseling and therapy – As explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, counseling sessions are one of the most effective ways to help a person stay sober. One of the goals of continuous addiction counseling sessions is to recognize triggers and develop coping skills. These coping skills, in turn, develop into new healthy habits that become a part of the sober routine. Topics discussed in these sessions range from relationships to spirituality, depending on the patient.

A routine also has to be understood as a plan that needs to be followed. One of the best ways to do this is to write it down and put it in a visible place. By constantly being reminded of the importance of following your routine, it is easier to develop a sense of responsibility and determination.

Supporting Recovery with a Well-Planned Routine

Some patients have found that, by sticking to a sober routine particularly in the first stages of recovery, they have an easier time handling cravings and urges that would otherwise result in a relapse.

And of course, it will always be most productive to develop a routine filled with satisfying activities that reinforce in our minds how much better life can be free from substance abuse and addiction.

Need Help to Develop a Plan for Addiction Recovery?

You don’t need to feel alone when planning a route for recovery. Our lines are open 24 hours a day and one of our recovery specialists will be glad to give you the assistance and advice you need. Our information services are free of charge and we can help you find family counseling, detoxification and relapse treatment, aftercare programs, intervention services, and treatment for people who want to stay sober. Call us to learn more.