Set Weekly Goals, Not Resolutions, This Year
Many people find setting New Year’s resolutions to be daunting. After all, setting a list of rigid changes that you must make – or fail – can be upsetting in recovery. Instead of creating “resolutions” this year, making a simple list of goals can help you enter 2020 with a clear list of things you want to work on. Setting Weekly Goals Everyone in recovery has a list of goals in their head. It helps clarify your purpose in life and can give you the motivation to keep going. Staying sober, going to recovery meetings, and maintaining a sponsor are all items that are vital to success in your daily recovery. It’s okay to have some tasks in recovery that are negotiable or only done a few times a week. Having a set of weekly goals is helpful because it gives you items that you get to fit into your schedule when you can. These goals can help you learn the best times to do specific tasks, and help you plan things at your leisure. Here are some great examples of weekly goals: Keep a gratitude list when you feel angry or depressed. Gratitude will help you pull yourself up […]
Creative Visualization as a Tool in Recovery
Do you suffer from anxiety or fear of failure? It’s common for most people when they’re trying something new. Creative visualization can be a powerful tool to help you cope with your fears and work toward new goals. A visualization is a tool that is used successfully by many people. Studies on weightlifters and other types of athletes have shown that people who visualize their goals gain more muscle than those who don’t. Comedians and other performers often imagine themselves on the stage even after they’ve had rehearsals. Visualizations focus on a positive outcome and involve more than just “seeing” yourself accomplish something. Using Visualization in Your Daily Life Creative visualization is something that you need to do regularly. It’s similar to doing affirmation, but it seems to imprint on the mind more. A visualization is usually a form of relaxation or meditation. It’s best done in a quiet room and starts with closing your eyes and breathing slowly? Think about the struggles you currently face in life. What behavior are you trying to overcome? Here are some visualizations that you might benefit from: Regulating your anger. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths as you count to ten […]
Try Breathing Exercises to De-Stress
Breathing exercises are a popular way to de-stress. In recovery, you need all the coping skills you can get to stay sober. Learning special breathing exercises can help you with anxiety, stress, and negative thoughts. What Breathing Exercises Should a Beginner Use? Deep breathing is one of the most natural exercises to master right away. You can do it anywhere, at any time, and it’s not conspicuous. For example, if you get higher blood pressure when you go to the doctor’s office, you might want to try this technique in the waiting room before you’re called. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you for a few seconds. Take a deep breathe in through your nose. Pay special attention to how the air spreads down toward your lungs, moving your belly. Hold your breath for about five seconds, counting backward silently ni your head. Now release, feeling the tension leave your body through your mouth. Continue this breathing exercise until you have taken at least ten deep breaths, and keep your mind focused on your core as you breathe. This exercise is called deep breathing, also called belly breathing. Once you feel you’ve mastered it, there are more […]
Sleep: An Overlooked Part of Healthy Recovery
Addiction is a tiring disease. When you first get clean and sober, you’ll probably find that your energy levels vary. Once you’re comfortable with your newfound sobriety, you will probably start working towards new goals. You may find yourself busier than ever before – after all, there’s a lot of lost time to make up. However, if you’re spending so much time working on yourself and living life that you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s time to reprioritize. Sleep is Important Sleep is an essential biological need. Without sleep, you may find yourself having trouble remembering things or focuses. Science has proven that when you sleep, your body can help remove toxins from your brain. Long-term detox from drugs and alcohol takes time, and detoxing from these things is essential to your recovery. Your brain also needs to detox from stress and pollutants. Sleep is also a way for your brain to solve problems at night. Have you ever woken up in the morning with a great idea or solution to something that’s been bugging you? That’s an aftereffect of your brain’s complex problem-solving process. Combatting Insomnia A lot of people both in and out of recovery have insomnia. We […]
Why Do People Call Others Out in Recovery?
Everyone in life is a work in progress, especially those in recovery. Getting “called out” in recovery is part of learning to keep your ego in check and your recovery front-and-center. It may happen when your sponsor sees you lapse into old behavior or a friend sees you manipulating somebody you love. Everyone has faults and actions that they’re not necessarily proud of. When you’re called out, it’s not because people don’t like you. Why Are People Called Out in Recovery? When you’re being called out, it means that somebody sees something in your recovery program that needs some work. You may have been told in the past that your brain is “broken,” but this isn’t necessarily true. It’s a simplification of what happens when a person becomes addicted to drugs, alcohol, or other destructive behaviors. If an addicted person’s brain is “broken,” then it can be “fixed.” There’s no one “fix” for those in recovery. The truth is that everyone has defects that need to be worked on, regardless of how much time they have been clean or sober. When you are new to recovery, you’re also learning to adjust to life again, but healing takes time. You might […]
Do You Get Enough Sleep?
Do you get enough shuteye or do your feet drag when you wake up in the morning? Getting enough sleep in recovery is important. Sometimes it can be difficult to get to sleep. It takes your body a few years to fully recover from addiction. This can cause problems like anxiety or insomnia. Recovery can be an exciting time, especially in your first few years of getting clean and sober. Many people who have experienced addiction or mental health disorders feel like they have a new lease on life once they’ve begun recovery. It may feel like you need to make up for lost time. There are so many aspects of your life to work on, and so many new things you probably want to try! Easy Does It You may be very dedicated to working your recovery program. That’s a good thing! However, you didn’t become addicted in one night. There’s no way you can finish all 12 steps in one night, either. You may be enthusiastic but you’ve got to pace yourself in life in order to create a good foundation for your recovery. You may be tempted to find a way to do something all day and […]
Recovery is Easier With a Daily Routine
When you were using drugs and alcohol, what was your routine? Did you have one? For many people, a “routine” consisted of waking up, using their substance of choice, and maybe procuring more of it. Other than that, life was probably a bit chaotic. When addicted, it’s hard to stick to your plans. You wake up planning something productive but end up right back in the cycle of using again. It’s not like people don’t try to stay motivated in other areas of life, but addiction consumes a lot of time, emotions, and resources. Now that you’re in recovery, having plans for the day is a “must.” So how do you start planning your days again with so much more time on your hands? Here are some tips for creating a routine in recovery: Buy a calendar and use it. A daily planner can help you look at the whole week or break your schedule and routine down to hourly events. Make sure that your daily schedule in 12-step meetings as well as any therapy or aftercare. Take time for your health. Whether you have been neglecting mental health needs or physical health, it’s time to treat your body better. […]
Can You Work While You’re in Drug Treatment?
Can you work while you’re getting treatment for addiction? Many people who want to get clean and sober struggle with the thought of treatment because they’re worried about their job. What will their boss think about your admission that you have a problem? Will you keep your job if you try to get help? Treatment and the Workplace For many people, having a full-time job and working can be too difficult. When you’re suffering from a substance use disorder, you need professionals to help you. If you’re addicted to a drug that causes significant withdrawal symptoms, inpatient detox, and then drug treatment will give you the best chances of maintaining long-term recovery. Give yourself a chance to get centered in your recovery. It’s important that you’re able to address the effects of addiction on your mind, body, and spirit. In many cases, you will be able to take leave if you’re seeking drug treatment. The Family Medical Leave Act allows full-time employees to take leave for a significant medical event. The leave is typically unpaid. You must be seeking treatment and meet other conditions for this Act to be applicable. Alcohol and substance abuse are typically covered. Some employers also […]
3 Common Yet Overlooked Triggers in Recovery
Everyone in recovery from addiction has triggers. You may have explored them in drug treatment or therapy. Triggers can be anything from an emotion, a situation, or an event that remind you of using or make you wish you could use. Sometimes a trigger will sneak up on you even if you’re not aware it exists. Understanding these triggers can help you avoid them or cope with them when they crop up in the future. What are some of the everyday things that trigger you? Here are three things you might experience: Boredom. While many people consider negative emotions such as shame, guilt, loneliness, and anger as triggers for drug use, boredom is sometimes overlooked as a major trigger. When you were using your drug of choice, what did you do when you’re bored? You probably went through the process of getting and using that drug. While boredom isn’t painful, feeling like you are stagnant or “everything is the same all the time” are major red flags in recovery. You’ll need to find hobbies and fun things – even 12-step meetings – to fill your time when you’re feeling bored. Happiness. Everything seems to be going well in life, and […]
Giving Back in Recovery is Important at Any Stage
When you first get clean and sober, a lot of people are helping you on a daily basis. Treatment centers, people at 12-step meetings, family and others all probably want to see you succeed and start a new way of life. Sure, there are some bumps in the road along the way. But after all you’ve been through, the journey of recovery is worth it. You may wonder when you can start giving back. After all, you were given the gift of recovery. How can you, too, give back to others? Early in recovery, you need to focus on yourself and learning to live life without the use of substances. While you may want to help others who are new, just like you, the truth is that you’re probably not ready to do that yet. You’re still healing your own life, building relationships and working to earn the trust of others. At this time, it’s best you do small things as you learn to give back. When giving back, make sure you don’t limit yourself to 12-step meetings. Putting gratitude into motion means becoming a productive member of your community. Starting Small If you want to give back, try something […]
Having a Routine or Schedule Will Help You in Recovery
When you were using alcohol or drugs, you probably didn’t adhere to one single schedule, even if you managed to maintain a job. Addiction causes chaos. If you were paid on Friday, you probably ended up spending much of your paycheck to feed your addiction. You may not have made any plans on a daily basis and just “went with the flow”. A lot of your schedule probably involved simply getting high or seeking drugs and you didn’t even realize it. When you get clean, you have a lot of free time on your hands. It may not surprise you that a routine or schedule is considered very important to recovery. Why Schedule Your Time? If you went to drug and alcohol treatment, you probably followed a rigid schedule of therapy, meetings, and meals. In the outside world, there are a lot more things that will be on your plate when you’re not using drugs. Creating a routine will help you feel more stable, become more responsible, and help you feel a sense of purpose every day. No schedule must be adhered to 100% — things come up that can’t be planned. A basic routine, however, will help you start […]
3 Big Issues That Can Hold You Back in Recovery
If you’ve finished a treatment program, you probably know that you can’t make it on your own. Getting and staying grounded in recovery is essential to your well-being. Maintaining your recovery usually means getting a 12-step sponsor, working steps, attending meetings and doing your best to be responsible in everyday life. However, many people struggle to keep their focus once they have graduated from treatment and returned home. What are some of the issues that hold people back? Untreated Mental Health Disorders: Untreated mental health disorders will always hold you back from living your best life because you aren’t able to be yourself when your diseases take over. If you’re depressed, anxious or suffering other symptoms such as an eating disorder or PTSD, life is complicated. Treatment can help you discover coping methods when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Mental health is an important part of your recovery. Please get help if you’re experiencing mood swings, depression/constant sadness, or have the urge to hurt yourself. Your treatment center, insurance company or local Public Health or Mental Health department can give you more information on finding a provider that can make a mental health assessment for you. Too Much Free Time: Do you […]