Professional drug and alcohol treatment is, in part, about creating a consistent and healthy routine for the person to recover in. Knowing what your day looks like at the outset, as well as having a constant routine to fall back on when times get difficult, is incredibly helpful when getting clean. That’s why we encourage everyone we see to create a daily routine they can follow that’s filled with healthy, enjoyable habits.
But why does building a routine help so much, and how do you create one that’s best for you? Life can be extremely erratic, and the idea of “rigidity” can be daunting. Without further ado, here are our expert tips on how to create a healthy, everyday routine.
Routine Doesn’t Mean No Freedom
For many people, the idea of a routine for day-to-day life is almost silly. How can anyone predict what you’ll want to do, and how can you anticipate what you’ll have time for? The truth is, you can’t predict what life is going to throw at you, especially when you’re battling an addiction, but that is all the more reason to create a routine in the first place.
Building a routine does not mean planning out every single minute of your day. It means creating certain times of day that belong to you, and structuring them in a way that helps you get through the day with a positive outlook. At Zen Detox, we use a solid routine to help treat substance dependency, because it can help people to get through aggressive cravings and negative thoughts.
Why A Routine Works
Routines build your day in front of you, making them as predictable as possible without conforming you to an overzealous schedule. For anyone with an addiction, a well-considered routine can be especially helpful.
Think about the dimensions of holistic therapy—mind, body, and soul. A lot of people neglect some or all of these aspects of themselves in their day-to-day lives because they feel they don’t have the time, when in reality, these need to be prioritised above all else. Creating a routine helps you work on strengthening each of these areas. Doing this facilitates recovery and helps you feel more balanced overall. It also keeps you from feeling too idle and slipping into a relapse out of boredom or loss.
Expert Tips for Creating a Routine for Yourself
First, think about the times of day that you have for yourself. If you don’t have any, make some. A key point here is to prioritise yourself—it doesn’t make you selfish. In fact, it’s a crucial step towards valuing your own health. Fill up your “me time” with activities that make you feel balanced.
Next, think about the three dimensions of the self: mind, body and soul. Each one should be touched on every day, and a healthy activity for each one can look different from person to person. Let’s look at some examples.
Mind: Spending two hours a day learning a language that you have always wanted to learn.
Body: Taking the time to cook a healthy dinner every evening and taking a walk outside afterwards.
Soul: Journaling about any struggles you have encountered that day before bed, taking a walk in nature, or reconnect with your religion (if you are religious).
This technique works for anyone who is struggling because it helps to establish a baseline that they can come back to. It’s calming, restorative, and stable, which is what we all need in our lives. So, invest time and effort into doing this, even if it might feel a little silly at first, and prioritise your own recovery. You can do this.
Experience peace and recovery with Zen Detox.
We are rehabilitation specialists in Auckland, with a focus on holistic assessment and treatment of substance abuse. If you are in pain, battling an addiction, and don’t know where to turn, you can turn to us. Experience the stability of a healthy routine, as well as the help of professional counsellors on call.