There are some things in life that are okay to tackle without any thought or direction. But, when it comes to entering recovery, not having a plan is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Recovery is likely going to be the single most difficult thing you may encounter in your life – you will not want to take it lightly. In fact, it requires a lot of strength and confidence to handle it successfully. Thankfully, having an addiction recovery plan can give you just that.
As you prepare to enter recovery, get yourself ready by following these 8 steps. You will discover that the more you do, the happier your recovery journey will be.
Gather Information and Get Organized
Before you can put any plan together, you have to gather information. You will want to discover everything your plan needs, such as how to put it together and important contact information. And, because you absolutely will not want this useful information lying around in a mixed-up fashion, then you will want to get yourself a binder or other means of organization. This will help you keep things where you need them – and help you keep track along the way.
Make Note of Your Feelings
As you enter recovery, you will want to monitor your feelings. It is incredibly common for you to have a wide range of emotions as you juggle this process. You will want to keep a written record of these feelings. When doing so, include thing such as:
- How you are feeling mentally and emotionally.
- How you are feeling physically.
- What you are doing when the feeling came about.
- Who you were with at the time.
- Where you were at the time.
This step gives you a record that will be a clear way for you to see patterns.
Look at Your Whole Person
When designing your plan, you want to look at your whole person. Addressing your recovery solely will not help you if there is an underlying medical or mental health condition. You need to make sure all these aspects are part of your plan.
After treatment, continue to see a therapist and your medical doctor for regular check-ups. This step requires you to monitor your progress as you go through recovery. Make a list of your plans to visit and the time frame involved, such as once per week, twice per month, etc.
Recognize Your Triggers and Maintain a Plan of Attack
There are some triggers that you know and others that you may not even suspect until they are upon you. Your written, organized addiction recovery plan is the perfect place to keep all of your information together.
For this step, start by making a list of your triggers that could put you at risk for using. And be specific. If there is a certain place or person or activity, list it. Then, take it a step further and put together the list of follow up things that you need to do, addressing each trigger. In other words, what specific steps will you take to avoid having to face these triggers?
This step is going to take some time and require a bit of thought. It is going to require to re-wire yourself, from the friends you used to have, the places you used to visit, and the things you used to do. Developing new, positive habits can increase your chances for a successful recovery.
Take Care of Yourself
Feeling good will help you make better choices. In recovery, you will have to take care of yourself by adopting healthy routines that fuel your mind and body. In this step, you will create a plan for taking care of yourself.
Believe it or not, the things we eat, do, and our sleep can have a huge impact on our recovery. Address these and how you will nurture your body.
- Choose to follow a healthy diet of whole foods with minimal processing and avoid things such as fast food and other junk that can negatively impact you.
- Discover an exercise routine you can stick with, whether it is going for a daily walk, run, or bike ride – or it is joining a local adult sports league.
- Get at least 8 hours of healthy, solid sleep every single night.
Learn to Rely on Your Coping Skills
In treatment, coping skills are almost always taught as a means of, well, coping. But, what good are they if you don’t use them? In this step, make a list of the coping skills you have learned and when you will use them. Keep this as a specific list that you can refer to when you need a reminder, such as when you are feeling stressed or anxious.
This is also the perfect opportunity for you to monitor your usage of the coping skills. Keep notes on when you used the skill and why – and how effective it was. The more you know what works best for you, the better opportunity you have for success.
Design a Relapse Crisis Plan
As much as we don’t like to talk about it, relapse is very common – especially when you are fresh in recovery. And, maybe you won’t need it at all, but just in case, you should design a relapse crisis plan.
Should the situation arise, who would you call or where would you go? Make sure you have a thought-out plan that you will take – and that you have the support of all involved. Should you ever need to use it, this step will see you through.
Implement Your Plan
Put the plan into action! You have taken the time to design an addiction recovery plan that will be with you every step of the way. Its organized and carefully constructed – all you have to do is implement it.
Are you ready? Once you feel ready to take the next step, use your recovery plan to stay proactive in your recovery. Let it be an organized reminder of confidence. You have learned all the tools you need for a successful recovery, all you need to do is use them.