Learning a New Way of Life
Look, we get it. Your counselors are getting on you to make it to group on time. The house manager is banging on your door before your alarm has even gone off, yelling about getting your chores done. And your sponsor keeps going on about making it to ninety meeting in ninety days? Whatever happened to down time? Why are these people so interested in running your life? Well, part of it is the nature of treatment. As we’ve all heard in meetings, “the only thing we have to change is everything.” And that means getting out of our comfort zones and learning a new way of life. However, there is another benefit to all these rules. This structured environment is a great way to start building a routine, and routine is essential in navigating the chaos of early recovery.
A Sense of Structure and Purpose
Brain chemistry is out of control in early recovery. Years of powerful drugs play havoc with natural chemical levels and, as those return to normal, thoughts and emotions run wild. Our stress tolerance is at zero. We cry over television commercials and get angry over even less. However, the problem goes beyond chemicals. When we were out living our old lives, we all had routines, whether we realized it or not. Listen to those in recovery long enough and you’ll start to hear folks talking about missing the ritual of the old days and feeling bored with their new lives. A strong daily routine can combat these feelings of emptiness by providing a sense of purpose and structure. We become goal-oriented and find that life is much more manageable than we had previously thought.
The Essentials of a Strong Routine
If you’re in recovery and don’t yet have a daily routine, we strongly recommend building one for yourself. If you’re at a loss on where to begin, let the following be your guide.
- Get on a regular sleep schedule – Going to bed and rising at the same time every day can lower stress, improve mood, and reduce insomnia
- Eat at regular intervals – Irregular eating can lead to increased sugar levels, which can negatively affect mood
- Hit the gym – This is another one that’s great at relieving stress, improving mood, and promoting healthy sleep
- Prayer, meditation, and journaling
- Attending meetings and spending time with members of your support network
Sometimes, however, the rollercoaster of recovery can be too much to handle on your own. Creative Care has a fully equipped staff that includes a consulting psychiatrist, psychotherapists, registered nurses, counselors, and other highly trained professionals. We personalize our treatment services and base them on your individual needs. Those services may include:
- Family or couples therapy
- Art therapy
- Nutrition therapy
- Equine therapy
- Yoga and other relaxation therapy
We work as a team to create your ideal recovery plan. If you or someone you love is suffering, start the recovery process today by calling Creative Care at 800-832-3280.