Establishing a sense of structure is key after escaping an abusive relationship with drugs. A good way to accomplish this is by setting up a personal schedule. Habit is an integral ingredient of a growing addiction; why not use it for recovery, too?
An effective timetable for an addict shouldn’t simply be strict, but adaptable as well. When transitioning into a sober lifestyle, an individual may not hit all of his or her goals at the intended times. Personal needs will change over time as well. The initial 90 days of recovery should be spent troubleshooting problems that arise and revising them as necessary. Long term success in recovery is a daily focus for recovering adolescents and a clear schedule with flexibility can help to navigate the potential landmines.
Create a Flexible Schedule to Support your Recovery
Build a hierarchy of needs — On a daily basis, list basic responsibilities. Having meals, taking medication, practicing meditation, or checking in with a loved one—these are all basic needs to which the addict can return in the event of disruptions.
Designate specific times for focusing and relaxing — Moments of leisure can alleviate stress levels and create a sense of balance in one’s life. Recreation should be an activity too, since free-time is necessary but can lead to complacency.
Create daily, weekly, and monthly schedules – Being mentally and physically prepared for these breaks in routine is the best way to prevent excess stress and, hence, the potential of relapsing
Prepare impromptu activities for craving-control — Cravings are inevitable, but also short-lasting. When they occur, it’s good to distract and occupy the mind with filler activities until they go away.
Plan for crises – You may be wondering: How can you plan for a plan not to work? By securing a support system such as friends and family—making sure they know your schedule too. When a person loses track of his or her own schedule, this allows those people to help.
While making your schedule, consider just how much time you will devote to each of the activities and responsibilities. Make sure that you include all the healthy, helpful habits and routines – the ones you learned in treatment – even if it’s something as simple as taking a moment to breathe and quietly reflect.
Time management is difficult for most everyone, not just addicts. Even after rehab, many people continue to utilize time tables and day planners for their job, their school, or just the mundane. In the weeks and months following treatment, every day is somewhat of a battle, and for every battle, you need a battle plan.