The early stages of an addiction recovery program in New York or Princeton will encourage you to make changes in both your behavior and lifestyle. Once you remove alcohol and drugs from your daily routines it can leave a large void in how you spend your time. Time that was previously spent using alcohol or drugs and recovering from the use is now left unfilled, but idle hours and social isolation can lead to relapse, especially in the first few weeks or months of treatment.
It’s important to fill these empty hours with positive, healthy habits that counteract negative feelings that may trigger alcohol or drug use. It’s important to plan your days carefully, strategizing where you will be, what you will be doing and who you will be doing it with during every hour of every day. It can be difficult to replace a lifestyle dominated by alcohol and drug use with a lifestyle that promotes a healthy recovery, but having a structure and routines in place can be very helpful. Some healthy ways to fill your time may include:
- Exercise. Physical activity is one of the most positive things you give to your body. In addition to helping you relieve stress and depression, exercise can introduce you to engrossing new hobbies. Try different activities and continue to challenge your body in new and exciting ways.
- Spend time with family. Addiction likely robbed you of many precious moments with your family members. Your addiction recovery program is the perfect time to grow closer to your family and spend time doing activities together that may have been impossible during periods of heavy drug use. Often, family therapy can also be a valuable aspect of your treatment program.
- Meditate. The practice can be a valuable stress reliever, but it can also be an excellent form of self-reflection. Spend time meditating and learning other introspective techniques that help you cope with the many challenges of addiction recovery.
Although your addiction psychologist will help you decide how to budget your time during recovery and avoid high-risk situations, devoting yourself to healthy habits like those above can help you avoid the troubling emotions and free time that may hinder your progress.