Having a healthy routine makes recovery easier. Instead of having to constantly expend energy thinking about what to do next, then prodding yourself into actually doing it, a routine allows you to go from one good habit to the next with a minimum of effort. This begins with a good morning routine to get you up and going. Here are some things to consider to start the day right.
Get up at a regular time every day.
Ideally, get up when the sun comes up because the sun is a natural cue for your body to wake up and it’s best to take help where you can get it. It’s not always practical to get up with the sun during the winter, but you can offset that somewhat by getting up at a regular time. When you always get up at the same time, your body gets into a rhythm and knows what to expect. If you have to get up when it’s still dark, consider buying an alarm clock that gradually wakes you up with a full spectrum light instead of an annoying screech. Also, try to resist hitting snooze. Having that last broken fragment of a sleep cycle only makes you feel worse when you finally get up.
Make it as easy as possible to get going.
For example, if you want to exercise first thing in the morning, have your exercise clothes and shoes right by the bed so you don’t have to go digging around. Have your work clothes for the next day ready. Your evening self is usually more coherent than your just-rolled-out-of-bed self, so use the time before bed to smooth the way for the next morning.
Meditate or pray.
Instead of heading into your day like you’re jumping onto a moving treadmill, take a few minutes to collect yourself in whatever way that works for you.
Spend a few minutes writing.
One thing that helps wake up your brain and orient yourself toward your day is to spend a few minutes writing. It could be anything–dreams you remember, worries about the day, what you’re looking forward to, affirmations, plans, or what you will do if you experience a craving.
Not everyone likes to exercise in the morning, in fact, almost no one does. Even if you would prefer to have a little extra sleep, exercising first thing in the morning has several benefits. First, you get it out of the way. If you get too busy with other things, at least you’ve gotten some exercise in. That’s important because, second, exercise lowers stress and increases energy. Whatever happens during the day will be a little easier to deal with. It also improves your willpower and makes you more proactive, so you won’t feel like you’re putting out fires all day.
Castle Craig Hospital is a landmark of addiction and mental health treatment in Scotland, serving the UK, the EU, and patients from all over the world. Our commitment to long term abstinence has created a successful programme of clinical and complementary therapies for mind, body, and spirit. Serving over 10,000 patients for more than 25 years, the Castle Craig model is proven in changing lives. Call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line for information: 0808 231 7723. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 29, 2020