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Updated: February 4, 2022

Preventing Burnout In Recovery With Self-Care

Recovery is a beautiful journey full of possibility. If you’re new to recovery but have begun to string together a few months sober, congratulations! Many people end up on a “pink cloud” full of hope and excitement when they first get sober. During this time, optimism reigns. You may feel like you can do everything better; you’re a better employee, better friend, and a happier, more productive person in general. You may want to catch up with everything – and end up overwhelmed. Recovery burnout is real, but it’s preventable.

So how can you prevent burnout while still living a healthy and productive life in recovery?

Manage Your Time to Prevent Burnout

When you get sober, a lot of your daily time is available. After all, you put a lot of effort and time into using substances. Managing your time by setting reminders and having a to-do list can help you stay focused on daily goals. Scheduling your time may come naturally, or you may want to write a daily schedule. There are plenty of planners that can help you decide what to do with your time daily or weekly.

In recovery, you’ll spend your time in therapy, with 12-step groups, and also live life on its terms. These are things you’ll schedule weekly. You’ll also probably have a work schedule at some point and then, of course, plan time for meals and sleep.

Scheduling all work and no play can help you get closer to burning out. Instead, you need to take time for things you enjoy and time to decompress from your daily stresses. This is where self-care is essential.

Self-Care As A Burnout Preventative

Scheduling self-care into your day is important. For example, do you have 15 spare minutes to go for a walk? Or maybe you’re ready to treat yourself to a haircut before your 12-step meeting this weekend?

Find the gaps in your schedule to spend time just enjoying life. Listen to your favorite music for 15 minutes a day. Read a good book. Or take a whole Sunday afternoon to binge-watch your favorite television show with a recovery friend.

Learning self-care is a daily process. You probably didn’t set aside time to be kind to yourself or nurture yourself when you were using substances. Self-care is a way for you to practice kindness to yourself daily.

Consider Sober Living

Many people find that they can prevent burnout when they’re around others in recovery. Sober living is an exciting, rewarding way to connect with others as you continue to move forward in life, substance-free. Learn more about our sober living programs by calling us at 760-216-2077.


If you or a loved one is looking for a safe and sober home in North County San Diego, call 760-216-2077. One of our caring members is ready to answer all of your questions.

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