Recovery is an opportunity to rebuild your life. It’s not had to see how the thought of this can feel overwhelming, since there’s so much that you need to change. The key is to focus on doing one thing at a time. The urges to use your substance of choice aren’t going to go away overnight, but establishing and sticking to a regular routine brings stability and can help you get a secure foundation. Set patterns of behavior can be especially beneficial if practiced first thing in the morning, because it helps set a tone of intentionality for the rest of your day. Here are some steps you can take to help get your sober day off to a good start.
1. Take a Moment
Sometimes, waking up can feel hard. Some people hit the snooze button until the last minute, wanting to stay in bed until they have to rush. You might still feel tired waking up, or experience a cascade of worrying thoughts about everything you may have to face during the day. A few moments of meditation can help to get rid of these weary, depressed, anxious or stressful feelings. Before doing anything else, take a few moments to breathe deeply, and get a sense of the feeling your body lying in bed. This will direct your attention to the present moment, and help you feel calm and relaxed. You might also want to think about things going well in your day, or things you are looking forward to, to set your day off with a positive mindset.
2. Drink Water
Coffee can have some benefit in helping boost your energy if you need it, but it shouldn’t be the only or first beverage you reach for. After a long night of no fluids, you need to hydrate yourself in order to feel healthy for the day. A glass of water is a refreshing way to wake yourself up. Water can flush out toxins, give fuel to your brain, and speed up your metabolism. Having a glass first thing will help you feel these benefits throughout the day.
Getting up and moving your body can be a great way to shake off grogginess and feel more energized for the day ahead. Working out creates endorphins in your brain, chemical signals that bring on feelings of relaxation and happiness. This can involve ten minutes of basic stretches, time spent in yoga or running, or a gentle walk or bike ride. Don’t feel like you have to push yourself to workout as hard as you can, because starting out gentle and slow is the best way to ease your body into being ready for the day.
4. A Good Breakfast
Cliches about breakfast being the most important meal of the day have a lot of truth in them. Especially if you exercise, it will be important to replenish your blood sugar. If you skip breakfast, you will find yourself hungry before it’s time for lunch, which can lead to snacking on foods with low nutritional value. Getting some food in your system early in the day provides you with energy and nutrients needed to concentrate and stay active. An optimal breakfast will include 2-3 foods, include a grain like cereal or bread, a dairy product, and a fruit or vegetable.
The previous steps can help get your day off to a good start, building a foundation onto which you can then think about what the day has in store. Moving from one thing to the next haphazardly can make it easy to forget something important, and give the day feel more chaotic, busy, and tiring than it needs to. Think through everything you have to do for the day. Do you have any appointments, time with friends, or work? Think through how you are going to accomplish and get to everything. It might be helpful to write down everything you would like to accomplish, and doing what is most important first.
By setting down a stable pattern of helpful morning routines, you can bring security and a self-esteem boost to your day, and you may find yourself surprised by how good you feel and what can accomplish.