— Life in Early Recovery
When people first become sober they can feel a bit overwhelmed by their new reality. They now have to face life on life’s terms, and they will no longer have the option of running away to their chemical refuge. Life can be tough initially for people in recovery, but the situation can be improved if the individual develops some type of routine early on. This will provide them with a bit of structure and that can be comforting. So long as the individual does not become too obsessed with their routine it can be a wonderful asset.
— Routine Defined
A routine can be defined as a prescribed, detailed, course of action to be followed regularly. For most people a routine is a set of tasks that they perform on a regular basis. A daily routine is a plan that the individual will try to follow each day. There may be occasions where they have to deviate from their daily routine, but it will provide a general structure for their day.
— Elements of a Daily Routine
- 6.00 AM : Wake up
- 6.30 AM : Morning Tea
- 7.30 AM : Yoga and light exercise
- 9.30 AM : Breakfast
- 11.30 AM : Orientation classes
- 1.30 PM : Lunch
- 4.30 PM : Evening tea
- 5.00 PM : Pranayam / outdoor games
- 6.00 PM : Snacks
- 7.00 PM : Interactive session
- 8.00 PM : Group discussion
- 9.30 PM : Dinner
- 10.30 PM : Lights off
— Benefits of Routine in Early Recovery
Those people who are in early recovery can benefit from establishing some type of routine. The advantages of doing so include:
A routine gives the individual a structure, and this provides familiarity and comfort. The newly sober person will be experiencing a great deal of change in their life so any type of stability is welcome.
Insomnia can be a problem for people when they first become sober. If they establish a regular routine for going to bed and getting up it will help them adjust to a normal sleeping pattern sooner.
Most people who enter recovery will be in poor health and have low physical fitness. A regular fitness routine will help to get them back in shape – this is important because an unhealthy body can hold people back.
People will tend to be much more productive when they follow a routine. Without such a plan the individual can waste too much time worrying about what to do next.
A routine breaks tasks up into well ordered patterns so that they appear more manageable. If the individual is faced with all the things they need to do, without a plan, they can easily become overwhelmed.
A routine means that people actually get things done. If people do not have scheduled activities they are more likely to procrastinate.
A dangerous emotion for people in early recovery is boredom – it is a common relapse trigger. If the individual has a plan for their day to day living they will be less likely to have periods where they are bored.
Loneliness is another dangerous emotion for people in recovery. A routine can insure that they individual gets to regularly spend time with other people.