Agreeing to go to rehab can be an intimidating situation. No matter what mental health issues you might be suffering from, it can be difficult to, not only choose the right rehab for you, but to know how to play for your stay. If you’re planning on checking yourself or a loved one into rehab for the first time and aren’t sure what to pack, here are some things to consider that might make this transition a little easier.
Learn the rules ahead of time.
The first step in knowing how to pack for rehab is to take the time to look up any rules and regulations the rehabilitation center you’ll be staying at might have around dress codes and more. Maybe you’re staying at a luxury rehab like The Hope House. You’ll want to visit thehopehouse.com to find out what you should pack and what to leave at home. If you still aren’t sure, consider calling the admissions team before check-in day.
In going into rehab prepared and having done your research on what is and isn’t allowed, you’ll set your recovery journey off on the right track versus being disappointed or facing conflict on day one. For some people, learning the rules around a recovery center can make a difference in which center is the best fit for them. It’s okay to decide, even last minute, that you’d be more comfortable in one facility over another. Part of this decision can be based on each facility’s policies, so asking as many questions as you have ahead of time is a great way to increase your odds of finding the right fit.
Pack for comfort.
Regardless of if you’re going to rehab for long-term sobriety, a substance abuse issue, or for behavioral therapy, you’ll want to be comfortable in individual and group therapy sessions alike. When packing your bags, consider clothing items that make you feel most at home. In most recovery centers, clients dress in casual clothing they might wear at home.
Understanding what your days will look like could be a great way to know what type of clothing you’d be most comfortable in. For a center where outdoor activities are the norm, for example, a baseball hat and sunglasses could be important. At another center where it’s rare to leave the inside of the building, these things could be unnecessary, and you might be better off bringing leisurely reading. Again, it’s important to ask ahead.
There are other ways to ensure your comfort at rehabilitation, too. Make sure to pack your health insurance information, identification, and any other paperwork that’s important for your check-in day. Having copies of coverage from your Medicare insurance agency will make your admission run smoothly and help keep your anxieties at bay.
Consider location when packing.
Many people opt to attend treatment programs far from home. Not only is this a great way to keep triggers out of your life while you focus on sobriety or behavioral problems, but it’s a nice way to give yourself the gift of a fresh start. With new locations, though, can sometimes come new climates and weather temperatures. Where the perfect pair of comfortable petite jeans might be perfect in Michigan in April, they could be to warm for the South. When packing your bags to begin your recovery journey, always think about the location to ensure yourself you aren’t too warm or cold.
You’ll want to consider time of year, amenities, and events that your recovery center offers. A conversation with the admissions team ahead of time could go a long way in helping you to know if you’ll need something like dresses or a formal suit for graduations or even group presentations in luxury rehab facilities.
Of all the things you pack, the most important is more metaphorical. How you dress for your unique situation, and no matter how you hope your rehabilitation stay will go, there’s nothing more important you can bring than hope. While it might seem cliché to remind yourself to pack an open mind and believe in yourself, the reality is that checking yourself into a recovery center is a huge first step in the next chapter of a healthier life. Before walking into a recovery center or worrying about a treatment plan, you should congratulate yourself for this big decision. Obviously, to enroll, you have some level of belief in yourself or will to recover.
Even if you’re checking into a recovery center at a family member’s bequest or under a judge’s orders, bringing hope for a better tomorrow can be the best gift you can give yourself. Not only will a good attitude help you through the often challenging journey ahead, but it will increase your odds of lasting recovery. Congratulations on your decision to begin a new chapter of life. Remind yourself that you can do it as you zip up that backpack or suitcase!