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Building a Healthy Recovery Routine: Tips and Examples

Creating a Healthy Recovery Routine

Recovering from addiction can be a challenging journey, but having a routine may help. Having a set of activities to do each day can help create structure and prevent boredom, which can often lead to cravings.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of a routine, how to develop a customized routine, and provide examples of healthy routines to try in recovery.

Importance of routine in recovery

When you navigate the early stages of addiction recovery, everything is new and unknown. You’ll have ups and downs, and it can be challenging to find a balance.

Having a routine can provide structure and a sense of comfort in the process. When you establish a routine, it can create positive habits that help you stay accountable and on track.

By having a routine, you can focus on what’s most important for your recovery, such as attending support groups or therapy sessions.

Developing a routine that works for you

Every person’s journey through addiction recovery is unique, which means their recovery routine should be customized. Try to avoid following someone else’s routine; instead, experiment until you find the activities that work best for you.

Replacing alcohol with activities that provide similar enjoyment can be challenging, but it’s an essential part of recovery. Start by thinking about things you’ve always enjoyed or might be interested in trying.

Consider activities like reading, painting, listening to music, or exercise. Try to keep yourself busy and distracted from your addiction triggers.

Examples of healthy routines to try in recovery


Being present and aware of our thoughts and feelings is known as mindfulness. Mindfulness practices can be particularly helpful in managing stress and anxiety.

Try incorporating meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi exercises into your daily routine. If you’re not into any of these activities, you could try simple breathing exercises or practicing mindfulness throughout the day.


Regular exercise provides numerous physical and mental health benefits.

Exercise can boost your mood, ease anxiety, and make you feel good about yourself.

Start by setting achievable exercise goals and keep it fun. You could try jogging, lifting weights, swimming, or playing a team sport.

Remember, there’s no wrong answer when it comes to exercise; it’s all about finding activities that are enjoyable and sustainable.


Spending time with loved ones and making new friends can help support your recovery efforts. Surrounding yourself with positive people can help boost your mood, provide accountability, and give you a sense of community.

Start by reaching out to loved ones or acquaintances you haven’t spoken to in a while. You could also attend support group meetings or volunteer for causes you care about.


Engaging in activities that keep your mind busy, such as hobbies, can make a significant difference in your recovery. It can distract you from addiction triggers, enhance cognitive functioning and creativity, along with providing a sense of accomplishment.

Try practicing painting, playing a musical instrument, gardening, or cooking.

Evening ritual

Establishing an evening ritual can be an important part of a healthy recovery routine. It can help you relax and decompress from the day, signaling to your mind and body that it’s time to wind down.

Try incorporating activities like taking a bath, reading a book, or practicing gentle yoga.

Incorporating Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to paying attention to the present moment intentionally. By becoming mindful, you can develop a keen awareness of any negative patterns that may arise and find new and more constructive ways of coping.

It’s essential to integrate mindfulness into your daily routine, making it a habit rather than a chore.

Benefits of mindfulness

Research suggests that mindfulness can have a positive impact on our mental health by reducing stress, enhancing focus, and improving memory. It’s also been found that practicing mindfulness can promote structural changes in the brain that enhances emotional regulation.

Examples of mindfulness practices

Some examples of mindfulness practices include meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi. Meditation is about developing and sustaining attention and awareness.

Yoga incorporates postures, mindful breathing, and meditation to manage tension and increase focus and balance. Tai Chi combines slow movements with focused breathing techniques to cultivate a relaxed and calm state of mind.

Try practicing for a few minutes each day to develop your mindfulness habit.

Importance of incorporating mindfulness into a routine

Integrating mindfulness in your routine gives you the opportunity to develop healthy and sustainable habits. A daily mindfulness practice can help reduce anxiety, improve focus, and increase overall well-being.

Try to create a space in your home dedicated solely to practicing mindfulness. Fill it with calming elements such as indoor plants, a diffuser or sound machine, and comfortable pillows to provide a serene environment.

In conclusion,

Having a healthy recovery routine can provide structure, support, and a sense of purpose during the addiction recovery process. Start by developing a routine that works best for you, replacing negative habits with healthy new things.

Incorporate mindfulness practices to promote emotional and mental regulation, develop a sense of calm, and overall well-being. Remember, the journey to addiction recovery is diverse, and everyone’s recovery method is unique.

Create a plan that is sustainable and maintainable for you.

Exercise for Sobriety

Incorporating exercise into your addiction recovery routine can provide numerous benefits to both your mental and physical well-being. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of exercise for sobriety, finding enjoyable exercise activities, and the importance of making exercise a regular habit.

Benefits of exercise for sobriety

One of the main benefits of exercising during addiction recovery is the decrease in alcohol consumption. Studies suggest that regular exercise can help decrease the number of drinks consumed by people who drink heavily.

Additionally, exercise is a natural mood booster, releasing endorphins that improve your overall mood and can help combat feelings of depression or anxiety that often arise during the early stages of sobriety.

Finding enjoyable exercise activities

It’s crucial to find enjoyable exercise activities to make exercise a sustainable habit. Experiment with different activities until you find the things that work best for you.

Some great activity options include cardio workouts like running, cycling or swimming, playing sports and taking group classes. Home workouts have become especially popular during the pandemic, with the Peloton app offering a wide range of cardio workouts.

The important thing is to find activities that you enjoy, so you’re more likely to stick to your exercise routine.

Importance of making exercise a regular habit

Making exercise a regular habit is critical because consistency is key to achieving long-term benefits. By committing to a routine, you’re building not only physical fitness but also mental strength and resilience.

It’s essential to start small and gradually build up the intensity and duration of your workouts. Start with a minimum of at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day and aim to increase gradually from there.

Having an exercise buddy to hold you accountable can make a significant difference in making exercise a habit.

Building a Support Network

The road to addiction recovery can be a lonely one, but having a support network can make all the difference. In this section, we will discuss the importance of community in recovery, overcoming barriers to socializing sober, and finding and joining social groups.

Importance of community in recovery

Building a support network is a significant part of addiction recovery as it helps to avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness. Having a community of people who understand what you’re going through and can offer support and advice can help tremendously.

Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and recovery-specific online communities can help you establish productive relationships and promote accountability.

Overcoming barriers to socializing sober

One of the biggest challenges in addiction recovery is socializing sober. Chances are that your old social circle involves drinking or drug use, which can trigger cravings and make it hard to maintain sobriety.

Overcoming this barrier requires vulnerability, being honest with yourself and others about your struggles and opening yourself up to the possibility of new relationships. Push your boundaries to meet new people and engage with others who share common interests and goals.

Finding and joining social groups

Finding and joining social groups can be an excellent way to make new sober friends and establish lasting relationships. Attending a church or religious group can provide a supportive environment that aligns with your values and promotes accountability.

Additionally, 12-step groups such as AA and NA offer a strong support system and the opportunity to connect with others who understand your struggles with addiction. Online recovery communities, such as SMART Recovery and In The Rooms, offer support groups and online events so that you can engage with people anywhere at any time.

Meetup groups also allow you to find people who share a common bond, whether it’s over a sport, hobby, or interest and can be an excellent way to make friends and build a support network.


Incorporating exercise into your addiction recovery routine, finding an enjoyable activity that works for you, establishing a regular exercise habit, and building a support network are all essential pieces of the overarching puzzle of recovery. Finding resources on physical health enables the body to regain its strength, while finding support from individuals in your community can help you create a sense of belonging and accountability.

Remember, recovery is an ongoing process, and these tips can help you navigate the journey successfully.

Engaging in Enjoyable Activities

Stress and anxiety are common triggers of addiction, and finding enjoyable activities that promote relaxation and a sense of fulfillment can be an essential part of addiction recovery. In this article, we will explore the importance of having hobbies and interests, examples of enjoyable activities to try, and experimenting with different hobbies.

Importance of having hobbies and interests

Engaging in hobbies and activities that bring us enjoyment can improve mental health, life satisfaction, and overall well-being. Having activities that provide a sense of fulfillment can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression that can lead to substance abuse.

Examples of enjoyable activities

Different people find enjoyment in various activities. Explore some activities that are meaningful and enjoyable to you.

Examples of hobbies and activities that can promote relaxation, provide a sense of fulfillment and joy, include, paint-by-number kits, volunteering, and gaming. Paint-by-number is an enjoyable activity that provides a sense of achievement and can help alleviate stress.

Volunteering provides an opportunity to improve the lives of others while engaging in something fulfilling. Gaming provides an escape and provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in new and exciting worlds.

Experimenting with different hobbies

Experimenting with different hobbies can be an excellent opportunity to try new things and discover your interests. Try out different activities and hobbies that spark your curiosity, even if they seem outside of your comfort zone.

The exploration process can be challenging at times, but it can provide a sense of fulfillment and a way to destress. Remember, it’s essential to engage in activities that bring enjoyment, and finding these activities requires experimentation.

Creating a Soothing Nighttime Routine

Alcohol use is often associated with nighttime, and creating a soothing routine can help individuals cope with triggers when they arise during the night. In this section, we will explore coping with triggers, examples of nighttime activities, and the importance of making a soothing routine a regular habit.

Coping with triggers associated with alcohol use at night

Triggers associated with alcohol use can arise during the night. Establishing a soothing nighttime routine can help minimize these triggers and create a sense of relaxation before bedtime.

Moving away from screens and electronics is an essential step to unwind before bedtime. The blue light emitted by TV, phones, and tablets can prevent us from experiencing deep sleep.

Find soothing activities that help you relax, such as taking a bath or practicing meditation, can be beneficial in dealing with nighttime triggers.

Examples of nighttime activities

Practicing self-care activities before bedtime can reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Examples of nighttime activities include drinking a cup of tea, playing a video game, journaling, and watching TV.

Drinking tea before bedtime can soothe the nerves and promote relaxation. Playing a video game engages the mind and can provide an escape from reality.

Journaling provides a way to get your thoughts and feeling on paper. Watching TV while winding down can be enjoyable, but it’s essential to turn off the electronics and turn to something soothing before actual sleep.

Importance of making a soothing routine a regular habit

Establishing a soothing nighttime routine can help alleviate stress and promote restful sleep. Making a routine part of your everyday life can establish a healthy sleep habit that can have added benefits for your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Aim to make soothing activities a daily practice but don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day, the critical aspect is to get into the habit of prioritizing sleep.


Engaging in enjoyable activities outside of substance abuse, conducting experiments with different hobbies, and establishing nighttime routines are all essential elements of addiction recovery. Finding activities that provide fulfillment, relaxation, and joy can help reduce stress and promote positive mental health.

And creating soothing nighttime routines can lessen triggers and promote restful sleep habits, which ultimately benefit overall well-being. In conclusion, finding purposeful activities and creating a calming routine can be beneficial in addiction recovery.

Hobbies and relaxation techniques can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and kick-start life satisfaction. Similarly, nighttime routines can minimize triggers associated with alcohol use, promote relaxation before bed, and contribute to restful sleep habits.

Remember, addiction recovery is a unique and challenging journey, but the support of friends and family, healthy coping mechanisms, and seeking professional help can make the journey more manageable and successful. Here are some FAQs to help address common questions or concerns readers may have:



What if I don’t have any hobbies or interests?

Try exploring different activities until you find something that sparks your interest.

2. How can I overcome barriers to socializing sober?

By being vulnerable, honest, and open to new relationships that align with your values and goals. 3.

How do I establish a nightly routine that works for me? Incorporate activities that relax you before bedtime, such as drinking tea, reading, or meditating.

4. How can I stay motivated to exercise regularly?

Set achievable exercise goals, find a workout buddy, and choose activities that you genuinely enjoy. 5.

What should I do if I feel triggered during my recovery journey?

Seek support from a therapist, support group, or trusted loved one and engage in healthy coping strategies.

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