Dialing your recovery up and down

I was at a conference for fitness and nutrition this past weekend and one of the speakers had a very interesting  topic, How the pause button mentality is ruining your health and fitness.

Now stay with me here.. although his talk was in the context of fitness and nutrition, he also spoke more generally about overall wellness. Think about actions such as mediation, taking time to be alone, and sleeping well.

The message that really stood out to me was the concept of “adjusting the dial“, rather than hitting the pause button.

“There are times when I want to dial my efforts up, and times when I want to dial them down. But I never want to turn the dial off completely”

This was the moment when I thought about how this idea can be related to the process and activities of recovery. I think it’s important to think about what is your minimum? No matter how difficult things are in your life, what is the minimum you have to contribute to your personal recovery to stay sober?


For me, my minimum is:

  • Attending one AA meeting a week (discussion or speaker)
  • Talking with one of my parents on the phone at least every other day
  • A planned date with a friend, whether that’s watching TV together, drinking coffee on campus, or sharing a meal
  • Writing one blog post a week to help me process my thoughts and contribute to a community greater than myself

When I think about turning the dial up, activities that come to mind include:

  • Reading AA literature
  • Praying daily
  • Meditating regularly
  • Going to the gym
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Listening to a podcast that teaches me something new
  • Spending less time watching TV
  • Volunteering

On the speaker’s website, he has pictures of dials with regards to movement, nutrition and overall wellness.

I think it might be an interesting exercise to try and build my own dial, although I know that dial will change with time.

What is your minimum that you have to do for your recovery?

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