Riding the Wave: The Power of Routine in Early Sobriety
Developing and sustaining healthy routines can be a powerful tool to help you maintain your sobriety, especially in the early stages. These healthy changes help you challenge your old habits.
At first, building new habits is difficult. As you continue to work on them each day, they will soon become internalized, and you get used to the consistency. This makes it easier to build and maintain your new, healthy lifestyle. The power of routine in early sobriety is undeniable.
Understanding Early Sobriety
The early stages of sobriety are undeniably the most challenging. Your body and your mind are in a constant fight against your addiction. This can easily make you feel overwhelmed. There will be times when you feel like giving in. However, with a strong support system and a foundation of healthy habits, you can stay focused on your goals.
You will most likely experience both emotional and physical challenges during the early stages of sobriety.
As your body fights to overcome your addiction, you will most likely experience an emotional roller coaster. Mood swings and emotional outbursts are common for people in the early stages of recovery. Because of this, it’s important to have a strong support system and coping mechanisms that you can rely on.
Some examples of emotional coping mechanisms include:
- Deep breathing
- Listening to music
- Writing or journaling
In addition to the intense waves of emotions, your body will also face some significant physical challenges, especially during a time of withdrawal. You might experience some of the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Intense cravings
- Physical pain
Creating a Sobriety-Focused Routine
Studies have shown that people in recovery are most susceptible to relapse during times of unoccupied time. When you don’t have a structure or a routine in place, you can fall back on your old habits. Here are some practical tips you can use to help design a daily routine that prioritizes your sobriety and mental well-being.
- Have a consistent sleep schedule
- Schedule time for daily exercise
- Create a chore schedule to keep your area clean and organized
- Plan and prepare healthy meals
- Go to school or work
- Maintain your hygiene
- Attend a sobriety support group
- Attend regular therapy sessions
- Journal daily for self-reflection
- Learn new skills or hobbies
Stress, anxiety, and other negative feelings are common factors that lead to relapse. A healthy daily routine is one of the most effective ways to manage those negative feelings.
There are numerous benefits to sticking to a routine in recovery. These include:
- Preventing feelings of boredom. Having a daily routine with scheduled activities helps prevent you from feeling bored and giving in to old habits.
- Improved stress management. A daily laid-out schedule can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, which improves your stress management. A schedule also allows you to focus on one task at a time.
- Improved physical health. With lowered stress and a routine that includes self-care and exercise, you should see an improvement in your physical health. This could mean you lose weight, improve your muscle tone, and other physical health benefits.
A Sober Living Home Can Help You Find Routine in Early Sobriety
One of the primary goals of a sober living home like Ethos Recovery is to help our residents build a healthy, daily routine. We know how important routines are, especially in the early stages of recovery. If seeing the same familiar surroundings and triggers is overwhelming your recovery goals, a sober living home might be the right choice for you.Contact Ethos Recovery today to see if we are the right fit for you.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.