Following escape from an abusive relationship with drugs and alcohol, the establishment of a sense of structure is the key to long reaching success in recovery. A personal schedule can bring balance and accomplishment to this task through development of positive habits. The power of healing lies in making better choices, one of which is to develop a flexible schedule in recovery.
Adaptability in Recovery
An effective timetable must be adaptable to be utilized to the utmost success. Schedules are most effective when the following guidelines are followed:
- Consistency with person’s abilities
- Schedule is reviewed prior to starting an activity
Guidelines for a Flexible Schedule in Recovery
The following additional guidelines can provide opportunities for an individual to successfully manage time in recovery. It is important to note the ability to be flexible and not focus too much on rigidity which can lead to frustration when goals are not met. The guidelines may include the following:
- Keep things tentative. At least at first, during transition into a sober lifestyle, an individual may not hit all goals straight away. In addition, personal needs change over time. Use the initial 90 days of recovery to troubleshoot problems which arise and revise as needed.
- Build a hierarchy of needs. On a daily basis, list responsibilities and other bare necessities to maintain wellness. This may include taking medication, practicing meditation or checking in with a loved one or professional. An individual in recovery can return to basic needs if personal disruptions take place.
- Develop specific times to focus and relax. Allow for moments of leisure to manage stress and add a sense of balance and well-being. Make recreation an activity of importance to avoid too many gaps in free time leading to boredom or even relapse.
- Create daily, weekly and monthly schedules. Be aware of special events coming up such as family trips, holidays and doctor’s appointments. Be mentally and physically prepared for breaks in routine to eliminate excess stress and potential for relapse.
- Create impromptu activities. Cravings may be recurring but only last a certain amount of time. When it happens, distract and occupy the mind with filler activities.
- Plan for crises. Have a crisis plan and give it to other family members and friends. Be sure to list personal needs clearly and share with reliable individuals who can keep a person accountable.
Carefully consider and decide how much time to devote to each of the activities and responsibilities which make up the daily and weekly routines. By consciously and deliberately making a schedule which focuses on positive activities, an individual can be sure to follow healthy, helpful habits and routines which assist an individual throughout sober living into long lasting recovery.
Healthy habits start with recognizing the need for help. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and need assistance to get sober, contact us for support. We have information and resources at your disposal to help develop plans and move towards a sober lifestyle and recovery.