Addiction creates bad habits. Fortunately, recovery is about creating healthy ones. Your habits will become the foundation of your recovery. Good practices can improve your health for the long term while also giving you the building blocks needed to achieve your goals. This article will discuss developing healthy habits to support your recovery.
The Challenge of Building Good Habits
We live a life of repetition in which we repeat behaviors almost daily. This routine and familiarity can offer a sense of stability and security. Your actions can make you feel comfortable regardless of whether they are good or bad. Often, people overthink building good habits. Keeping up a new practice and sticking to it can be tricky. There’s a chance that it won’t stick, and you’ll give up doing it. Consistency can be challenging if you struggle to stay focused or lose interest from boredom, lack of stimulation, or feel-good chemicals. This is why it’s essential to work with those feelings and needs. Find healthy ways to stay engaged if you struggle to do so. If you need repetition, find a way to keep it up.
Start Simple: Make Your Bed
One major mistake people make during this habit-change process is doing too much. During treatment, you’ll learn many excellent practices to help you. It’ll be much easier in a treatment environment because you’ll have a regimented schedule and people holding you accountable. When you leave the treatment center, it won’t be as easy.
Many recovery centers impart the importance of routine with the simple act of making your bed every day. It might seem silly or small, but the point is to build yourself up through daily disciplines that enable you to put one foot in front of the other. As you grow emotionally, you can build up and add more positive actions to your day.
Focus On Habits That Work as a Foundation
A great activity to get in the hang of is a morning routine. Morning and nighttime routines will become the building blocks of your foundation. There might be other routines you set up later, such as working out, winding down after work, and how you work. These routines give your day structure. These are times when you can sneak healthy little habits into your day. If you don’t have a morning or night routine, you can start a pattern of following one.
Organize Your Habits Around Your Goals
Goal setting is an enormous part of recovery. Goals allow you to seize the moment. They can give you the chance to improve something that isn’t working in your life or give you the motivation to change a negative behavior or start a positive one. Some goals require repetition, especially if it’s about improving a skill or a multi-step project.
Let’s say you want to learn how to be conversational in Spanish or run in a 5K. Both require practice to reach that goal. Practice involves repetition, which requires habit. Organizing a routine around a goal motivates you to form that habit. You want to learn Spanish, but you need to practice every day to get there. If you’re going to run in a 5K, you need to be hitting that pavement every day to achieve that goal. It might feel like a huge undertaking, but you know once you get there, you’ll feel amazing.
Have an Accountability Partner
It’s easy to stop engaging in a positive practice if you don’t have someone cheering you on. It isn’t to say that you need a parental figure to ensure that you are doing what you need to be doing, but it can help to have someone to talk to about the habits you want to form. An accountability partner can be a friend, a therapist, or someone else trying to develop positive momentum in their life. They can ask you about your goals and progress and be an ear to listen to any frustrations or concerns you might have.
Don’t Give Up if You Begin to Slack
One thing that causes people to give up on keeping good habits is feeling discouraged or falling short. It’s okay if you slip up and miss one day. Everyone has bad days. The important thing is to try again tomorrow. You might have days when you aren’t feeling motivated or feel emotionally low. Those are the days that you give yourself some lenience and focus inward on what’s causing you not to want to continue.
It also takes time for a habit to stick. It won’t happen overnight. People often say it takes thirty days to form one. There will be days out of those thirty where it’s hard to keep up. Focus on your needs and what’s missing, and try again tomorrow.
Habit-making is a foundational part of addiction recovery. Addiction can cause people to form bad habits that worsen their mental and physical health. During treatment and recovery, you will need to take a hard look at what habits aren’t serving your goal of living a life of sobriety.
Then, you’ll need to replace them with good ones. Patterns do take time to stick, but with perseverance, you’ll find them sticking and your life turning around. As long as the routines you set to serve your goals trend toward positivity, and it’s something that you want to incorporate in your daily life, you will be able to continue onward. Practices that improve your mental and physical health are the ones that should be your priority. Start small and grow once you build up those habits.
If you would like to learn more, please call Villa Oasis San Diego today at (323) 739-8673.