Substance abuse disorders affect millions of Americans. While we’re still learning so much about the disorder and how it affects a person’s brain and body, doctors agree that the disease is indeed treatable. Working with addicts to counteract the powerful disruptive effects of drug and alcohol abuse makes the road to recovery possible.
Treating addiction is multi-faceted and extremely personal. Various treatments may work for some but fail for others. Some common examples of addiction treatments include:
- Medically monitored detoxification– used as a first step
- Short-term counseling
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Peer support and group therapy
- Family therapy
- Art-based therapy
- Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) therapy
- Neurofeedback therapy
- Biochemical Restoration and Nutrition
- Mindfulness meditation
- Animal therapy
Routines and Recovery
While each individual must find their own path to recovery, finding a routine is one of those things that benefit everyone trying to overcome addiction. Routines promote stability while easing anxieties that often lead to relapse. Having an idea of what each day will bring can also build self-confidence while establishing responsible habits that take the place of destructive behaviors.
Creating a routine while on the path of recovery doesn’t have to be complicated. It starts with small and achievable goals.
A Healthy Sleep Schedule
Waking up and going to bed at the same times every morning and every night helps establish the framework for your routine. The average adult should get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. As a person going through recovery, getting enough sleep is even more important. Being well-rested helps your brain and body function so you can handle stress and anxiety without relapsing.
Eating a Balanced Diet
Your body needs healthy food as much as it needs rest. The right fuel regulates blood sugar and hormones, which can help prevent mood swings and energy dips that can distract you from your goals and throw you off your routine. A healthy diet includes plenty of low-fat protein, a variety of produce, whole grains, healthy unsaturated fats, antioxidants, and probiotics. Limit saturated fats, excess sugars, portions, sodium, and processed foods. In addition to eating well, drinking plenty of water also helps to promote a strong and sound body and mind.
Regular physical activity promotes feel-good neurochemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin that become imbalanced with substance abuse. Exercising is a great way to release stress and promote self-confidence. Adding exercise to your routine can help give you a natural high that makes getting through difficult days easier.
Prayer and Meditation
It’s important for those going through addiction recovery to tap into something– anything— they can turn to as a source of strength when they can’t find it in themselves. Prayer and meditation also help to promote mindfulness, which can put things in perspective when you are feeling overwhelmed. Beginning and ending each day with these small and simple rituals doesn’t just help provide structure, it also helps provide peace of mind.
Sometimes, the most difficult part of the day can be those few hours between work and bed. Finding a healthy hobby can help fill those hours. Hobbies also help you establish goals and build social connections you can turn to for sober support.
While each person needs his or her own unique plan to recover from substance abuse, we can safely say that just about everyone can benefit from the structure of a daily routine. Doing little things the same every day provides the structure that reduces anxiety and builds confidence. From getting up at the same time every morning to working on a hobby during your free hours, the right routine can keep you on the right track.
Ms. Peterson’s mission is aligned with that of RecoveryPride, which is to celebrate sobriety and those who achieve it.