Life as an addict is haphazard but recovery may also get overwhelming if you don’t have a focused and structured plan. At minimum, you’ll need behavioral therapy and relapse-prevention treatment with a solid support system. You may also need medical treatment for associated mental health issues such as depression and find ways to manage stress. Ultimately, you’ll have to deal with all aspects of your recovery on top of the responsibilities of normal life, including holding down a job, managing your finances and paying for your bills as well as maintaining self-care.
If you’re unable to keep track of everything, it’s easy to find yourself slipping back to addiction. Use these 4 life management methods to help you plan your recovery and get things done.
1. Make a Daily Must-Do List
The first step to being productive is writing down all you need to accomplish within a day. Remember that support and therapy meetings should be a priority as they are crucial for your relapse prevention strategy. Slot these sessions and other treatments in between your everyday activities such as working or job hunting, studying, sleeping, eating and relaxing.
In order to succeed, make sure your schedule boasts a healthy balance between your recovery and self-care plans. If you don’t have a clear structure, you might do whatever comes to mind and a lot of important things won’t get done. Once you have your daily plan, note what you hope to accomplish within a week and within the first month. Keep planning your life day by day as you move forward.
2. Manage Your Time Effectively
Make sure you apportion a reasonable amount of time for each of your activities. If you’re short of time, try waking up earlier without missing out on 7 to 8 hours of sleep. You may also try cutting down time spent on social media, surfing the internet or watching TV. While these activities may help ease your stress, you can’t allow them to consume all of your free time. Instead, commit yourself to including other fun and interesting activities that both develop your life and promote your recovery.
3. Make Your Environment Clutter-Free
Your structured recovery plan can’t work well in a chaotic living space so strive for peace and order at home. Not only will this increase your sense of well-being, it will also solidify your commitment to a healthy and clean life.
Start by removing clutter in your bedroom and living room—places where you tend to spend time relaxing or reflecting. Get rid of anything you are unlikely to ever use, especially reminders of your past habit. Removing clutter in your life also means tackling your bills by organizing a repayment schedule with creditors or getting help from insurance, family members or other legally appropriate means. After all, coping with recovery is stressful enough without the added specter or unpaid bills.
4. Keep a Journal
Recovery becomes more manageable when you monitor yourself throughout the day. Take notes on everything you do, including your treatment visits and eating, sleeping and leisure patterns. Through daily monitoring, you’ll begin to see what is working and not working.
Pay special attention to how you’re feeling. When not dealt with properly, emotions can easily push you over to relapse. For example, if you find that you’re persistently hungry or exhausted during certain times of the day or at the end of an activity, take a moment to stop and re-adjust so you don’t wind up defeating yourself. Perhaps schedule a few minutes or hours to do something that will help you decompress. After all, your recovery schedule is hardly cast in stone. Keeping a journal helps you evaluate and refine your plan so you feel confident and better able to stick to your new life.
Commitment is the crux of your sobriety. So once your simplified recovery plan is in place, remember that evading certain tasks, procrastinating or leaving anything half-finished is counterproductive to all the effort you’ve already put in. By staying proactive and dedicated to progress, many of the activities crucial to recovery will eventually develop into invaluable skills that can help you succeed in various ways down the road.