One of the sayings that people are told in rehab is that the things you did yesterday are not going to keep you sober today. What this means is that recovery is an ongoing process, and it is easy to go off track unless you are constantly working to build a new life for yourself. The most effective way you can ensure this continued work is to develop some daily practices.
What are Daily Practices?
Daily practices are simply things you do every day that are designed to improve your life. These activities benefit your life in some way, and the fact that you are doing them regularly means they are constantly adding value to your life. The list of potential daily practices you might want to do could be practically endless but here are a few possibilities: meditation, yoga, journaling, walking, aerobics, keeping a gratitude list, prayer, dietary practices, spiritual practices, or practising generosity on a daily basis.
The Importance of Daily Practices
Daily practices can be important for a number of reasons. In the paragraphs below, we have listed some of these.
In order to benefit from most healthy pursuits, you need to be doing them over a period of time. The effort you put into these activities begins to mount up, and you start to see some impressive returns from your effort.
One of the other nice benefits of doing something so regularly is that it becomes a habit. This means that instead of having to put in the effort to make yourself do the task, it just becomes something you do automatically. It usually takes about 28 days to create a habit but once you have done this, even stuff like going to gym can feel as effortless as getting up each morning and brushing your teeth.
It usually takes lots of practice before you become good at these practices – this is particularly the case with physical activities like yoga. They say that it takes about 10,000 hours to become really good at something, so by doing an activity every day, you will be well on your way to hitting this target.
There will be days in recovery when you feel extremely stressed and overwhelmed. Your daily practices can provide you with something solid to grasp on to when you are dealing with these tough times. It is good to think of a daily practice as being like putting money in the bank each day. Your daily deposits might not be that large, but it all mounts up over time. This means that if you hit hard times, you will have this reserve to fall back on.
Daily practices can be particularly important in early recovery because they provide structure to your life. This means you will be less likely to become bored and, therefore, far less likely to relapse. The fact that you have a daily practice will also increase your level of discipline so that you find it easier to create new, solid structures for your life.
Tips for Creating Daily Practices
- It is best to start with small daily practices that you can maintain rather than taking on too much, which will just encourage you to give up.
- One or two small daily practices are better than no daily practices.
- Remember that after about a month, it will become much easier to sustain this daily practice because it will have become a habit.
- Tell other people about your daily practices because this can make you feel more accountable for doing them.
- See if you can get other people to join you in your daily practices.
- If you do miss a day, return to the practice right away.
- Try to have a good mix of activities that cover your physical, mental, and spiritual needs.