Life after rehab can feel intimidating. Sober living facilities offer guidance and structure that helps clients confront their problems and work on creating a healthy lifestyle. However, going through detoxification and achieving long-term sobriety are two different challenges. To achieve the latter, the individual must find a way to create structure outside of rehab.
Daily schedule creation is essential for recovery treatment for many individuals recovering from drug or alcohol abuse. There are many aspects of recovery treatment, and every journey looks different. Still, everyone in recovery will need to organize their lives unless they want to succumb to the temptations of relapse.
Addiction is a lifelong disease. Because there is no cure, living with addiction while pursuing a sober lifestyle can be extremely difficult. Unregulated living conditions will bring about new temptations and increase the chances of relapse. The real world is very different than rehab, but understanding how to approach each day is essential to long-term sobriety.
Excessive free time and a lack of structure can cause someone to slip back into a lifestyle of drug and alcohol usage. To avoid relapse, addicts must understand the importance of a daily schedule. Planning the day and giving purpose to free time are essential aspects of recovery treatment. A preventative drug and alcohol relapse schedule helps to create structure, even after someone leaves a sober living environment.
By promoting healthy habits, coping mechanisms, and meaningful activities, individuals can create meaning in their life and begin to understand how to live without a need for drug or alcohol use. Here are the top 5 reasons why everyone in drug and alcohol recovery should utilize a daily schedule to help them stay sober.
Increased Focus and Interest in Life
Substance abuse can damage every aspect of the user’s life. Financial turmoil, emotional dysregulation, and legal trouble are all common consequences of drug use, but the problem with substance abuse is that it damages the cognition region of the brain. The damage leads to cognitive impairment, which makes it hard to focus. Therefore, it is difficult for addicts in recovery to comprehend new information. In addition, drug addicts and alcoholics grow dependent on substances, making them feel like they cannot focus or function without using drugs or alcohol.
At GateHouse Treatment, our in-patient treatment program has an easy solution that makes a world of difference: the daily schedule. While it may not seem like much, creating and following a daily schedule can help individuals in recovery improve their cognitive capabilities and make better choices. The National Institute of Drug Abuse has recommended this clinically proven method. It has a strong track record of making a positive difference in the lives of those struggling with addiction.
Addiction does not end with a person’s discharge from a treatment center. Recovering addicts must prepare themselves for ongoing struggles and be ready to avoid and overcome any potential triggers they face. Relapse triggers are the internal and external cues that cause an addict to crave drugs and eventually seek them out. Triggers can be internal, such as an intrusive thought or a random memory, but in many cases, they are external.
For example, seeing a prescription medicine bottle at a friend’s house or watching a movie depicting drug use can trigger a deep craving for drug consumption. The severity of any given trigger greatly depends on the person. What may be a slight desire for some can feel like an overbearing craving for another person in recovery. Each recovering addict should take a moment to discover their triggers before creating a preventative relapse schedule.
Creating a daily schedule helps recovering addicts prioritize their goals and focus on creating their future. The schedule can help recovering addicts see the big picture and give them something greater to work towards. By setting new goals and actively working towards them, an individual is making a huge step towards building a healthy, sober, sustainable lifestyle.
Improved Mental Health
A common symptom of withdrawal is anxiety. Many recovering addicts struggle to stay sober because they’re experiencing extreme anxiety, causing them to seek a familiar form of relief. Confronting daily struggles in a sober mindset can feel impossible, and anxiety attacks can quickly lead to other mental health problems, such as paranoia.
In addition to this, a lack of a daily routine can lead to depression and loneliness. Everyone needs time to decompress, but too much downtime can become bad, especially for someone in addiction recovery treatment. Isolation and idle time can quickly lead to severe depression, which may lead to relapse.
Bad days are inevitable, but having a daily schedule filled with healthy activities will undoubtedly promote a healthy mindset. Planning the day can give a recovering addict something to look forward to. Instead of dread, the individual can feel hope and renewed interest in life.
Healthy Habits and Positive Growth
Creating new habits is the only way to combat bad habits that lead to addiction. If an individual relapses after leaving a sober living facility, they risk destroying the progress they made. Sometimes, they may return to rehab only weeks or months later. Therefore, we recommend recovering addicts create a schedule for a daily routine that encourages positive, healthy habits. Give purpose to each hour of the day and develop a calming routine for mornings and evenings. The recovering addict can take back control of their life and how they want their future to look.
Reclamation of One’s Purpose
Taking full ownership of each day allows people to find purpose in their lives. Individuals can create the future they want by committing to healthy living and daily productivity. Creating and following a daily schedule allows addicts to put the power back in their hands and create a whole new life filled with habits that will lead them to their goals, not their addiction. Making a schedule is the best way to ensure a positive outcome in the future. Through mental discipline, stability, and consistency, an individual in recovery can see great changes over time.
GateHouse Treatment | Addiction Recovery Treatment
Creating a daily schedule is not enough. Individuals in recovery must be willing to follow this schedule daily, even when it may feel rigorous or inconvenient. However, you don’t have to do this alone.
GateHouse Treatment provides a safe and reliable way for individuals struggling with addiction to get the help they need. We provide clients with sober living facilities where they can consult with physicians, therapists, and others who are going through the same thing. As one of the leading alcohol and drug rehab centers in America, we serve Tennessee and New Hampshire, providing elite treatment for those struggling with substance abuse and drug addiction. For more information, contact us today at 855-448-3707 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.
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