Routine – The Scariest Word in Recovery

Routine – The Scariest Word in Recovery


The one word that scares most people in recovery is … routine

Routine is one of the most important things for clients in recovery, yet is often the most resisted concept to put into action. And why? Because routine has had bad marketing. More often than not, people associate routine with boredom and conformity.

When you ask most clients about routine, they often offer a negative connotation: “it’s boring”, or “it’s mundane”. Most people want excitement and a life filled with fun. However, because they don’t create a routine that works for them, it is often filled with things that they don’t want and then that becomes boring and mundane! Like we explain to clients, you will create a routine whether you like it or not – it’s either an unhealthy one that you fall into by default, or a healthy one that you create.

Developing a healthy routine is the best way to design a life that truly works for you. It helps you to develop a life that is highly functional, by incorporating the things that keep you healthy and the things that you love doing.

Once you have a list of what keeps you healthy, and what you love doing, then, you schedule those things into a “default diary” – which is basically an outline of what you want to include each week. When you do this, it means that you have just designed a life that actually works for you. Because quite simply the more moments in life you are spending doing things that you like doing, the healthier and happier you are in your life.

One of the biggest contributors to becoming healthy and substance free is a healthy routine because it provides the platform for the things that work and you can springboard from that. And conversely, one of the biggest relapse triggers is that “I forget to do the things that got me clean and sober”. And what supports clients in putting together a healthy lifestyle is routine.

Maintaining your routine isn’t going to be easy at first and there will be times when you feel like giving up. It’s important to have a strong support system in place and a structured routine that will keep your mindset in the right place and improve your physical and mental health.

Your routine may include:

  • Consistently waking up at a certain time every morning
  • Planning and cooking healthy meals
  • Exercising regularly
  • Establishing a chore schedule to keep your living space clean and organized
  • Regularly attending a support group or meeting with your support network
  • Taking time for self-care
  • Practicing a personal hygiene routine
  • Going to school or work, or perhaps even volunteering
  • Developing a regular childcare routine (if applicable)
  • Keeping a daily journal
  • Learning new things/skills or starting a new interest/ hobby

Getting started is the hardest part. Eventually, these things will become natural to you and will be an integral part of forming a reliable environment for you to thrive in.

If you would like more information on our sessions, courses and counselling, please just get in touch.

Phone : 1300 766 925
Location : Burswood
Email : info@whitehavenclinic.com.au