In Early Recovery, What Should My Structured Environment Include?

When you are recovering from substance abuse or a mental health disorder, there are many factors that can serve as triggers for negative thoughts and emotions. For this reason, it is important to have a good routine and a structured environment that provides stability. When you feel comfortable and stable in your environment, you can accomplish more and begin to thrive in your recovery.

What Is a Structured Environment?

A structured environment is a mindful and purposeful plan for your daily life. Its purpose is to support your recovery by giving you stability. By establishing a good routine, you are giving yourself extra time and space to focus on your recovery. If you have a routine you can follow easily, it will help you feel better and accomplish more with your time. 

A structured environment also takes into account your physical environment as well. You need to make sure that your living space is calm and comfortable. It needs to be conducive to healing and growing while also being a place where you feel happy. Having ownership of your living space, even if it’s just one room, can provide a calming anchor point for your life.

What Do I Need to Thrive?

At Alter Wellness Care, we understand that there are several things that human beings need in order to really thrive in their lives. Wellness is about so much more than just physical health. It is a combination of factors that are based on basic human necessities. The dimensions that make up our well-being include: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental. All individuals need stability in these interwoven areas of life.

When considering what you want your life to look like in early recovery, you can use the dimensions of wellness as a guide. You can plan for your intellectual, vocational, and financial needs to be met at work, for example. The other dimensions of wellness can be built into your daily and weekly routines as well. By doing this, you can build a strong foundation for your life that is supportive of positive mental health.

Helpful Daily Routines for a Structured Environment

Your daily routine doesn’t need to be complicated or overloaded in order to meet your needs. It should be easy to follow and comfortable for you to complete at your own pace. If you start to feel overwhelmed or frustrated by daily tasks, it may be a sign that your daily routine needs to be adjusted to fit your needs more comfortably. Let’s take a look at the basics of a structured environment.

Meeting Physical Needs

Our bodies require certain things every day to help us feel our best. When we are meeting our physical needs, our body can support our mental health needs more efficiently. Consider the following factors that can benefit your physical health:

  • Sleep: You can make sure that your body is getting enough rest by making a plan to go to bed and get up at about the same time every day. Sleep is essential to feeling good and maintaining positive mental health.
  • Nutrition: Eating healthy, regular meals gives your body the fuel it needs to function properly every day. 
  • Physical activity: Our bodies are designed to move. If you can add some physical activity to your day, you will feel better. This can be anything from working out at the gym or going on a walk, to smaller things like stretching.

Meeting Emotional and Social Needs

There are small things you can do every day to make sure that your emotional needs are being met. Moreover, there are even things you can do that will meet your emotional and social needs at the same time. Consider the following:

  • Daily check-ins: Make sure to connect with friends or family members at least once a day, this can be a visit, a phone call, or a text.
  • Purposeful connections: Connect with someone in a meaningful way. Make sure you are checking in with each other about how you are feeling and supporting each other through challenges. 

Meeting Spiritual Needs

Further, spiritual needs are about more than just religion or lack of. Everyone needs something that they can draw on to develop inner strength and establish values that will help them guide their lives. Likewise, you will need to find something you can draw on for yourself. Consider incorporating the following elements into your daily routine:

  • Meditation: Mindfulness meditation can be an excellent tool for mental health. It can reduce stress and help you organize your thoughts. It can also be a time to consider your spiritual needs.
  • Nature: Many people find that communing with nature can make them feel more connected to the world around them. 
  • Find a support group: It can be very meaningful to find a group of people that have shared the same experiences as you or share the same beliefs. Whether it is an organized religion or a support group of peers, making connections with other people can help meet your spiritual needs.

Structured Environments at Alter Wellness Care

Your daily routines should always include following your treatment plan exactly as prescribed by your mental health team. If you have questions or concerns about any part of your treatment plan, it is important to discuss them with your doctor before making any changes. 

At Alter Wellness Care, we are committed to seeing our clients through every step of the recovery process. We provide support through the diagnoses, treatment, and recovery process. Our facilities offer the best evidence-based therapies including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychoeducational support groups. We want to make sure that our clients always feel supported and welcome.

When you are recovering from a mental health challenge, having a structured environment can be crucial to your success. Establishing a daily routine you are comfortable with can make it easier for you to manage your treatment plan and help you feel better each day, especially if you are making sure that your basic needs are being met within that routine. At Alter Wellness Care, we understand the importance of having support during recovery. If you have questions or concerns about any mental health conditions or recovery from them, we can help. Call us today at (866) 311-3510 for more information about creating a structured environment that will support your recovery. 

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