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Developing a Habit Plan in Addiction Recovery to Reduce
Relapse Risk in the Process

In addiction recovery, it’s common to feel anxious and stressed. Even the most optimistic person would find it challenging to maintain a positive outlook 24/7. However, there are ways to reduce that stress and build a stronger, more solid foundation for your recovery. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a habit plan in your daily life to reduce relapse risk.

Creating a habit plan includes identifying specific activities or tasks you can engage in more often throughout your day to help you maintain abstinence outside of treatment and keep yourself drug-free. Engaging in these activities on a regular basis will become almost second nature over time, making them easier to continue outside of treatment as well as when you return for one-on-one therapy sessions with your mental health professional.

What You’ll Need for a Habit Plan in Addiction Recovery

Habit plans are easy to create once you figure out what tools work best for you. Below is a list of options for cultivating a habit plan in addiction recovery. 

A Journal/Paperwork Notebook 

The first useful tool is a journal/paperwork notebook. If you don’t have one yet, you can purchase a notebook with lined paper and a bookmark. The journal/paperwork notebook you choose should fit your needs and preferences. Some find bullet journaling quite helpful in structuring their habit plans but a regular weekly calendar works just as well. 

Alcohol/Drug Detox Plan

During your addiction recovery, you’ll likely experience symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol/drugs. The sooner you address these symptoms and seek treatment, the better. Most detox facilities have options to guide you through building new habits through their treatment programs.

Alcohol/Drug Detox Medication 

Depending on your condition, you may also experience symptoms of withdrawal from medications. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to consider medication to help ease symptoms while you navigate early treatment.

Daily Schedule/Timeline 

When creating your habit plan, consider including a schedule/timeline of your daily habits. This will help you stay organized and build a structured schedule around your treatment plan. 

Identify the Activities/Tasks You Want to Engage in More Often

Once you’ve discovered what tools work best for you, it’s time to identify the specific activities/tasks you want to engage in more often throughout your day. Make a list of at least five activities/tasks you’d like to pursue in recovery. While it may be difficult to switch up your daily routine, you can make it easier by trying to add one new task per week. When making your list, be sure to consider the following: 

Where do you want to engage in this activity? 

Is one part of your home more suitable for this activity than the other? If so, you may want to rearrange your space to accommodate the new activity. 

What do you want to engage in with this activity? 

Is there a particular activity you’d like to incorporate? For example, if you’d like to include some form of exercise, then make sure to include it on your list. Alternatively, if there’s a specific hobby you’d like to include in your recovery, then include it as well. 

How often do you want to engage in this activity? 

Accommodating a new activity or hobby can be challenging if you’ve already got a pretty packed schedule. Be careful not to overwhelm yourself by trying to take on too many new habits at once. Decide on a frequency that you’re comfortable with at a pace that is nonstressful to you.

How to Develop a Habit in Addiction Recovery

There are multiple ways to develop a habit in addiction recovery. If you’re new to the process and would like to get a better sense of what works, consider implementing some of the following suggestions. 

Create a routine

Create a daily routine for waking up, eating, and engaging in your new habit. Routine helps you avoid falling back into old habits and keeps your mind on a singular task. This doesn’t have to be daily but habits will develop easier if they are performed on a daily basis.

Be Consistent 

If you’re developing a habit of meditation, then you’ll need to be consistent with this as well. Once again habits do not have to be performed daily to be successful. However, consistency becomes more important the less frequently a new habit is performed. If your new habit only occurs once a week, consistency is all the more important in maintaining the habit successfully.

Plan for Bumps and Setbacks 

If you plan to engage in a new habit plan in recovery, you’ll also want to plan for bumps and setbacks. Some may think of this as planning for failure but it’s healthy to be realistic about your goals. If or when a trip up happens—like skipping a day in your new routine— take it in stride. Just because you missed a day doesn’t mean your goal has changed or is any less achievable. 

Detox With Briarwood

Briarwood Detox Center offers detox treatment for alcohol, opioid, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, and much more. Our experienced clinical staff provides round-the-clock monitoring throughout the detox process and our therapy team provides support to help manage the emotional response to treatment. Additionally, we have detox facilities located in Austin, Houston, and Colorado Springs with state-of-the-art amenities.

Briarwood is dedicated to facilitating a healthy and safe environment that empowers people to make significant and lasting changes in their lives. We look forward to supporting you or your loved one on the journey to recovery. Call (512) 277 – 3103 today for more information on our programs and admission process.

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