How Do I Create a Daily Routine in an Intensive Outpatient Program?

March 6, 2023

Written By: Buena Vista Recovery

Creating a daily routine is one of the most important factors of an effective intensive outpatient program (IOP). Routines can help you to stay on track and give you something to look forward to throughout the day. However, creating routines for treatment is not always easy, especially if you are in early recovery. The best way to create a daily routine is by starting with small steps and gradually increasing the intensity and structure over time.

The Structure of Intensive Outpatient Programs

In an IOP, you will be asked to follow a daily routine. This may seem like a lot of work at first, but it will get easier as time goes on and as you get more comfortable with the flow of treatment.

There are two important things to keep in mind when creating your own daily routine. First, remember to start small. Second, don’t try too much at once. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by trying to do too much at once or adding too many things into the mix right off the bat. It can take some time before you figure out what works best for you and what doesn’t work at all. Therefore, don’t be afraid if there are some changes along the way; that’s just part of life!

Go With the Flow of Treatment

Treatment is a great opportunity to strengthen your adaptability. You don’t want to overschedule yourself, but you also don’t want to be afraid of change. If something unexpected comes up during treatment, it’s okay for your routine to change slightly. Additionally, if you need a break from your daily routine, take one! Take time for yourself when you need to, and don’t feel guilty about it. Breaks are healthy for both your mind and body.

When creating your daily routine, it’s important to keep things flexible. You may be tempted to follow a strict schedule, but that doesn’t always work for every person. If you have a hard time getting up in the morning or staying focused on something for more than an hour at a time, be patient with yourself. In addition, if you find that certain tasks or times work better for you than others, then go ahead and change your schedule as needed. A prime example of this is working out during the day but realizing you get more from your workouts during the evening. In this case, alter your workout schedule to evenings.

Make a Schedule

Making and following a schedule can help you be successful in your IOP. In the beginning, it might be smart to schedule all your activities until you get used to your new normal. Schedule time for rest and relaxation, exercise, meals, and time for friends and family.

Additionally, it is also important to schedule time for fun. If you are in an IOP, it can be difficult to find time for fun outside of the treatment center. However, if you do have a little bit of spare time, try to make the most of it, whether that means going out with friends, taking some time to read a book, or watching your favorite show on Netflix. Scheduling time for self-care will help keep your spirits up and remind you of the important things in life, in addition to your sobriety.

Review Your Day Before You Start It

When you’re in an IOP, you should review your schedule before starting each day. This helps to ensure that you get enough sleep and exercise, eat healthy meals, and take your medication on time. It also helps to plan some time during the day for friends and family, something enjoyable, or both.

Reviewing your schedule before starting each day is important because it gives you control over how much time is spent on different activities throughout the day. You can use this information when creating a routine that fits into the amount of time available for each activity. 

Create a Routine During Your Intensive Outpatient Program

A daily routine is an important part of your recovery. It helps you get on track in your program and stay motivated! Some elements to consider adding to your IOP routine include:

  • Creating daily goals for yourself
  • Planning what you want to do during the day, noting how much time each activity will take
  • Making sure that you are maintaining consistency throughout the week with repeated activities
  • Checking in with staff regularly
  • Reviewing your day at night and making any changes to your schedule as necessary

Creating a daily routine will allow you to go with the flow instead of overscheduling yourself. It also keeps things flexible, so if anything comes up unexpectedly, such as an appointment, then there’s room to ensure that you still have space left open after completing your tasks throughout your day.

Remember, it’s important to go with the flow and be flexible as you create your daily routine. You might not always be able to stick to your routine exactly as planned, but don’t let that discourage you! Instead, use it as an opportunity for self-reflection about what went wrong and make changes as necessary. If you are struggling with addiction, an intensive outpatient program might be the perfect fit for your life. Our intensive outpatient program at Buena Vista Recovery will help you set up a daily routine that will help you achieve long-term sobriety. For more information about the programs we offer here at Buena Vista, complete an insurance form or give us a call at (480) 741-9414.