Routines are Vital to Sobriety
Boredom and instability can both lead to relapse and negatively affect mental health. On the flip side, overscheduling can lead to high stress and burnout. This is why it is important to build a daily routine that works for you. The key is creating a schedule that balances your needs and obligations with an appropriate amount of downtime. Here is a template to get you started on the routine that is perfect for you.
Routines Are Your Foundation
Daily routines are essential to organizing your needs and addressing obligations. Having a daily routine and schedule can help make sure you do not over budget with time, or leave too much open for boredom. This way, you are able to balance your free time, needs, and obligations. These obligations could include things such as work, aftercare, familial obligations, chores, and errands. A daily routine can keep you from falling short of expectations that others have for you or that you have for yourself.
Life after treatment can become busy very fast. You might be re-entering the workforce, attending aftercare meetings, and scheduling time with your therapist. The best way to manage the extra stress is to make sure you have a stable schedule and routine that allows you to prioritize your needs and be at your best.
Daily routines can also help you reinforce good habits. Recovery focuses on replacing bad habits with good ones. It can be harder to be mindful of your habits if you are not tracking them. Incorporating your good habits into your routine can give you space to relearn these habits and grow. It is easier to build up a new habit if you include it in your morning or nighttime routine, giving you time to do it every single day.
Consider Your Needs and Goals
When creating a daily routine, think about what is most important for you to accomplish. Where are you falling short? What is missing from your daily life? What you add to your daily routine can help you meet goals at a healthy pace. It can also ensure that you budget time to take care of your personal hygiene and commit to a stable sleep schedule. If you are drawing a blank on what needs should be prioritized, or you are unsure about what goals can be accomplished daily, write a list of needs and goals. Most needs can be taken care of in less than five minutes, while time set aside for a goal can be 30 to 45 minutes of your day.
Including your goals in your daily routine can help you stay on track and succeed at achieving them. You will not be bogged down with your everyday life, struggling to find time to do what motivates you. You are then able to do what you need to complete your goals because you have prioritized them.
Incorporate Daily Exercise
It is recommended to exercise at least 150 minutes per week. Daily exercise can help alleviate stress and regulate sleep. In your daily routine, you should set aside at least 30 minutes of your day for moderate or vigorous exercise. This can be anything. Workout ideas can include yoga, martial arts, jogging, and weightlifting.
Remember to Eat
If you tend to have a busy schedule, it is important to include eating times. It is especially important to have eating times that fit a consistent schedule. Eating at the same time every day can help your metabolism and make sure that you eat a healthy amount. A consistent schedule can also help you plan what you will eat before you get hungry. Planning in advance can ensure that you make conscious choices about what you are putting in your body instead of choosing the most convenient thing.
Include Chores in Your Routine
While you do not have to keep your home spotless, keeping up with daily chores can reduce stress. A clean home can help you feel less overwhelmed and focus on what you need to accomplish that day. Before or after work, set aside some time to wash the dishes, make the bed, or pick up around the house.
Find Time to Wind Down
What often gets overlooked is downtime. This is especially true in a culture that promotes hard work and rejects relaxation, viewing it as a form of laziness. Downtime is crucial to mental health because it allows you to come down from a stressful day. At the end of your day, make sure to schedule a time that is just for you. This can include watching a few episodes of your favorite show, taking a bath, practicing yoga, reading a book, or playing video games.
Set a Bedtime
Having a consistent sleep schedule helps your brain know when to release sleep chemicals, like melatonin. Set a bedtime, and create a night routine before it. These night routines can give your brain the signal that it is time for sleep. It is also important to wake up at the same time, including the days you are off of work
How to Keep Track of Your Routine
When setting a routine, it is essential to have the routine available for you to see. You can keep track of your routine on a physical or digital calendar. You can set your calendar to notify you when it is time for the next task, making sure you do not get off track. You can also write it down on a piece of paper and keep it where you can see it, or download a phone app that helps you keep track of your routine and daily habits.