5 Tips for Managing Recovery, Education & Living Your Best Life
Preparing to embark on a collegiate career, while balancing family life, friends and for many, part-time or full-time work to help offset costs, can be a daunting undertaking. Having to handle all that while also being in recovery for substance misuse might seem like too much to handle. However, being in recovery should not have to mean putting your life and educational pursuits on hold. While it may be difficult, it can be done. Being in recovery does not mean you have to put your collegiate career, or your future, on hold.
1. Plan for Success
First things first, take a deep breath. It can be easy to become overwhelmed thinking about the bigger picture, and all that you need to get done. Try to break things down into segments you can handle – one month, week, day, or even hour at a time. Create a calendar, make a list. Plan your days, weeks and months out in the format that works best for you. Seeing it all broken down into increments will make it seem much more manageable. You have a lot to do, but you do not have to do it all at once.
List out your daily schedule and block out time so you can get done everything you need to. Prioritize the things that must get done, like attending class, doing homework, and attending recovery meetings. It can be easy to let some things slide when you are feeling swamped, but it is important to keep in mind what things you must do to stay on the right track. And don’t forget to leave time to take care of yourself – if you’ve been doing certain things to help with your recovery, like yoga or hiking or talking with a mentor, don’t neglect that. You’ll find it easier to get your work done and do better in school if you have a clear mind and a healthy body.
2. Creating a Schedule that Works for You
While it can be tempting to get everything done at once, it is important not to overload any one day. This will only lead to stress, wearing you down and burning yourself out. If possible, spread out your to-do list. If you have a job that’s flexible, try to schedule your working hours on days you don’t have classes, or at least give yourself some time so class and work don’t fall back-to-back. Look ahead at when the recovery meetings you wish to attend are, and make sure to make yourself go. If you often find that you feel too exhausted at the end of a day of classes to do anything, try to find some morning meetings to attend. While your studies are important, it’s essential to keep recovery at the forefront. The meetings will give you the encouragement and fortitude you need to stay focused and avoid relapse.
3. Utilizing Your Recovery
Trying to succeed in college while undergoing recovery may seem too difficult at first, but the tools you need to overcome substance misuse will actually help you to do better in school. Recovery requires you to exercise discipline and develop a newfound level of maturity. These traits will help you to focus on what is important in your life right now – staying sober and succeeding in school.
4. Give Yourself a Break
As humans, we all have our breaking points – the weeks where we are feeling simply too tired, too overwhelmed, drowning in what we need to do. Be kind to yourself. In order to stay sober, you need to stay in a positive head space. It is OK to admit you need a break and take a mental health day every now and then. If you are feeling obligated to keep plans with family or friends, know that it is OK to break them if you just do not feel up to it. They will understand. If you feel like you need some time off from schoolwork to exercise or take a nap or catch up with friends, that’s OK too. Out of all the things on your agenda, you and your sobriety should still be the highest priority. With a sound mind and healthy body, you will be able to handle the rest.
5. Use a Collegiate Based Support System
Seeking recovery from substance misuse shouldn’t mean you have to put your educational pursuits on hold. At Life of Purpose, we refer our clients to Collegiate Recovery Programs, which are campus-based, recovery-friendly spaces that serves as an extension of the treatment recovery program, while encouraging educational opportunities and creating a support system that will foster success in both recovery and academia.
When a Life of Purpose client is referred to a collegiate recovery program, they will have a support system for both their recovery and educational pursuits for the entirety of their academic career. Often incorporated into the student’s tuition, the collegiate recovery program offers an extended recovery option that is both fiscally beneficial to the student, as well as academically beneficial. In addition to getting a long term support system to help maintain sobriety, students in this program will also receive encouragement to achieve academic success.
To learn more about Life of Purpose, the first primary treatment facility on a college campus in the United States, please contact us at 1-888-787-7673, or visit our website: www.lifeofpurposetreatment.com