Spruce Up Your Recovery Routine This Year

30 August 2018
Reviewing your recovery routine during National Recovery Month

In recovery, sometimes what used to work to maintain our sobriety may no longer be serving us. We learn in the recovery process that change is inevitable and vital to our progress and that even though it may be exhausting, those growing pains can provide crucial lessons and reveal new paths to us. How can you make the necessary revisions that will take your sobriety to the next level?

Your Past Year in Review

A great way to gauge how our recovery routine is faring is to take an inventory from last year’s National Recovery Month to now. We can take a step back and review the year by writing down what has worked as well as what feels like it could be weighing us down. Here’s a basic list to ask ourselves when conducting this appraisal:

  • Do I have a support group that I’m still in contact with regularly?
  • Am I attending enough mutual support meetings?
  • Do I have a good balance of work, recovery, and leisure?
  • Am I in need of a therapist or is the one I’m currently seeing working for me?
  • Do I feel like I need more accountability such as drug tests or an outpatient program?
  • If I am spiritual, do I feel connected to a higher power?
  • Are my friendships and familial relations flourishing or have I been isolating?
  • If I’m in a romantic relationship, has it become codependent or do we have set boundaries?
  • Am I taking care of my physical health and nutrition?

There are many more aspects of our lives that we could place under scrutiny, but the prior questions can help us focus on some of the major areas and allow us to branch out in to more specific affairs.

What’s Your Game Plan?

Awareness is key but improving our recovery won’t happen without action. Creating a realistic strategy can make the process of change easier and even fun! Here are some tools that we can utilize to bring our recovery routine to life:

  • Use a calendar app on your phone or carry a planner with you
    • Calendar apps and planners allow for customization and creativity so you can balance your life and what you need to get done in a functional and exciting way.
    • For both Android and Apple, we recommend the Google Calendar app which can be used across both platforms and multiple devices.
    • For Apple, the built-in iCloud calendar application on their devices is also cloud based and will work on all your Apple products.
  • Create a mind map
    • A mind map is a way of organizing all the different areas of your life that you’d like to improve. It lays out what you would like to accomplish with specific ways of doing so and can help to keep you on track throughout this upcoming year.
    • You can find detailed information and directions for how to create your mind map by clicking here.
  • Allow others to hold you accountable
    • Whether you want to go to the gym more or attend more mutual support meetings, having a buddy who you do these things with can create accountability and make accomplishing your goal more enjoyable.
    • Finding someone you trust to check-in with you on the individual progress you’re wanting to make can be helpful too. Make them aware of your goal and set a periodic time for you to “report” back to them on the work you’re doing.
  • Just do it… even when you don’t want to
    • Even in times when you feel unmotivated, if you just get up and do what you set out to do, your mind will eventually follow.
    • Research tells us that it takes 21 days to build a new habit, but only one day to break the routine. Staying committed to these changes sometimes means that you will often have to take action when you’re not feeling it.

You Owe it to Yourself

We can all take out time this National Recovery Month to recommit to our sobriety and the work necessary to maintain a drug-free life. Addiction breeds many negative habits that we often bring into our recovery that we can learn to break once we get clean and stable. We find new, positive things to do in our recovery routine and may find ourselves either doing too much of them or not enough, but if we sit down and honestly reflect, we have a chance at finding balance and growth hidden in places we never thought to look. What are you going to do to recommit to your recovery?