Recently my friend Jeff (who’s almost 130 days sober) told me one of the secrets to his success and his recovery has been the ability to change his rhythms and his routines from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to bed.
When I asked Jeff, “What’s been the most important decision you’ve made in your recent victory over alcohol and substance abuse?” I was surprised by the simplicity of his answer. “Easy answer” Jeff said. “I made the choice to begin each day by making my bed”.
I asked him more about this and Jeff excitedly told me about how making his bed each morning gives him a subtle (and important) confidence that he can take authority of the mess of his life. He told me that when he stops, pauses and decides to make his bed and tidy his room while praying to God for help, courage, and strength for the day he receives during that time in the morning.
The Power of Routine in Addiction Recovery
Judy Dutton who writes for Psychology Today notes:
“Curious whether my reluctance to make the bed hints at bigger issues, I Googled “who makes their bed?” and found I had plenty of company. In a survey of 68,000 people by Hunch.com, 59 percent of people don’t make their beds. 27 percent do, while 12 percent pay a housekeeper to make it for them. Here’s what disturbed me: 71 percent of bed makers consider themselves happy; while 62 percent of non-bed-makers admit to being unhappy. Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested, whereas non-bed-makers hate their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym, and wake up tired. All in all, bed makers are happier and more successful than their rumple-sheeted peers.”
So what is it about making your bed that gives those in recovery (and just humanity in general) more momentum, more joy and more energy for the mission? Could it be that starting the day off with making your bed you’re subtly, yet powerfully, making some important statements? Statements like:
- I have authority over the amount of chaos that enters into my life today
- I can choose to live disciplined, organized and as a victor
- Life doesn’t just “happen” to me rather I engage as an active participant in the narrative of my life
- If I don’t like something in my life, I can choose to make it different with God’s help.
Proactively Make Positive Changes
It seems to me that possibly the next step in your pursuit of recovery is simply asking God; “where is something in my life that is controllable?” and then asking God for faith, strength and courage to live an empowered to make the positive changes that only you can make. If Jeff says; “130 days of sobriety starts with your making your bed” than I encourage you tomorrow morning to simply wake up, thank God for another shot at life, and take the BOLD next step of making the bed. Heck, you might even want to fluff the pillows too
Community Discussion: Share Your Thoughts Here!
How can a simple change in routine set you up for success in addiction recovery?
About the Author:
Ryan Moffat is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
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Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 18, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com