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Friday, November 17, 2017

What You Should Look for In Recovery Friends

Forming the right friendships is an important step in your recovery. Your new sober life should be fulfilling, and sober friends can help make that so by providing support, connection, and fun. 

Having sober friends is also an integral part of your emotional health and reintegration into society. Making friends will teach you to relate to others without the crutch of alcohol or drugs. 

On the flip side, hanging out with the wrong peers can threaten your hard-won sobriety. Especially during early recovery, you might need a little help deciphering healthy from unhealthy relationships. 

Positive Friend Qualities
Any new friend should be supportive of your sobriety and share similar goals and values. This will help ensure that you stick to healthy habits and stay motivated to reach your recovery goals and follow your sober dreams. Other positive qualities to look for in a new sober friend include:
  • Honesty and trustworthiness
  • Kindness
  • Compassion
  • Self-awareness
  • Dependability
  • Non-judgmental
  • Good listening skills
  • Strong understanding of personal boundaries
  • Healthy sense of humor
  • Supportive and encouraging
  • Able to express emotions and feelings in an honest and direct way
Friendship Red flags
In addition to looking for positive qualities and personality traits, it’s also helpful to ask yourself the following questions while getting to know a new friend: 
  • Is this person reliable or dependable?
  • Do I feel better or worse when I’m with this person?
  • Does this person make me feel insecure?
  • Do I feel controlled or manipulated in any way?
  • Is this person jealous or possessive?
  • Do I have any concerns about this relationship?
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
From identifying high-risk relationships to learning mindfulness techniques that center you, our relapse prevention and aftercare planning will empower you and slowly eliminate the dangerous urge to self-medicate. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Healthy Activities for Fall

Fall is filled with an abundance of healthy activities that suit the season and your recovery goals. Here are a few ways to take advantage of the many ways autumn can strengthen your body and mind as you work hard this season to get (and stay) sober.  
  • Rake some leaves. This fall chore happens to be a great workout. For added fun and calorie burn: Jump in the piles a few times or recruit some friends and have relays around bagging the leaves. 
  • Cook up some healthy fall treats. Roast some fall veggies like Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes or whip up a light butternut squash soup. For a healthful dessert, pop some apples in the oven and sprinkle with some cinnamon. 
  • Go for a long hike. Time spent with Mother Nature has been study-proven to calm activity in a part of the brain linked to mental illness and reduce your mind’s propensity to “ruminate” — or focus on negative, self-focused patterns linked with anxiety and depression.
  • Play a pick-up game. The benefits of playing flag football or soccer with a group of friends or recovery peers are double-duty: You’ll get in a good workout and socialize. 
  • Make time to volunteer. There’s nothing like cooler temperatures to remind you about the importance of helping others who lack hot food and a warm place to sleep. Volunteer at a nearby shelter or participate in a coat drive -- any good deed to give back and remind you to be grateful for what you have. 
Tis the Season for Recovery
If you or a loved one is searching for an addiction treatment program that blends conventional and alternative strategies for healing, our team can help. Nurturing mind, body, and spirit, we provide a continuum of treatment for residents and outpatients. Call Complete Harmony today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Stages of Change

Successful addiction recovery requires change – a change in your mindset, behaviors, actions, feelings, goals, relationship with yourself and others – and you’ll experience these changes in different stages. 

Most successful self-changers go through the stages three or four times before they make it through the cycle of change without at least one slip, according to the experts at SMART Recovery®, who describes the stages of change as follows: 
  • Precontemplation Stage: People in the pre-contemplation stage of change usually show up in therapy because of pressures from family, friends, employers, or courts.  They tend change the topic of conversation when others address their problem and place blame and responsibility on factors like genetics, family, society, destiny, the police, etc. 
  • Contemplation Stage: Contemplators may feel like “I want to stop feeling so stuck!” In other words, they have come to acknowledge that they have a problem but struggle to understand its causes and wonder about possible solutions. People in this stage may be researching addiction and treatment.
  • Preparation Stage: Most people in the preparation stage are planning to take action and are likely making final adjustments before they take action to change their behavior. Still, individuals in this stage may need a little convincing. 
  • Action Stage: This stage requires the greatest commitment of time and energy. During this stage, people overtly modify their behavior and their surroundings and change becomes more visible to others.
  • Maintenance Stage: This stage helps to prevent relapse or return to the precontemplation or contemplation stage. After all, change never ends with action, notes the experts at SMART Recovery®.

Begin SMART Recovery® at Complete Harmony
SMART Recovery® is ideal for men and women seeking an alternative to the 12-step approach to addiction treatment. At Complete Harmony, our team will help you determine whether this type of addiction recovery program is right for you. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Link Between Addiction and Perfectionism

While living a life of addiction is far from perfect, there’s a strong link between perfectionism and addiction. For many, perfectionism may have even played a role in drinking or drug use in the first place. 

For instance, you may have notoriously set unattainable goals for yourself and turned to drugs or alcohol to mask feelings of failure or self-criticism. Or, you may have used these substances to simply escape or take yourself out of your perfectionism. 

Perfectionism, defined as a propensity for being displeased with anything that’s not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards, can certainly take a toll on your psyche. People who are so-called perfectionists typically share the following character traits: 
  • Have an inner need to strive for flawlessness.
  • Set excessively high performance standards for themselves.
  • Act overly critical of their performance on tasks.
  • Are concerned about the appraisals of other people.

For those in recovery, perfectionism can also prevent you from getting proper treatment and/or doing the hard work required of life-long sobriety. Heres a look why: 
  • Perfectionists may think they play by different rules than others, so for example, they dont need help or they can handle just one drink.
  • Perfectionists expect to get it right the first time around. This leaves little room for the learning process of rehab and can easily lead to impatience with the recovery process. What’s more, this type of thinking can make it that much harder to recover from any slip-ups along the way. 
  • Perfectionists are just as tough on others as they are on themselves. The result: isolation loneliness and mistrust. 

Help for Perfectionism and Addiction
Dont let perfectionism get in the way of your lasting sobriety. At Complete Harmony, it’s our goal to provide clients with the tools and strategies needed for early recovery and beyond. To learn more about our cutting edge treatmentscall today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Learning to Say No to Stay Sober

A big part of staying sober is learning how to say no – no to drugs, no to just one drink, no to that date with a person you know isn’t right for you, no to that party that might serve as a trigger – and the list can go on and on. You might also need to exercise the power of no when it comes to work, family and social commitments – so you don’t burnout or overtax yourself.

We’ve talked in the past about the power of saying “no.” To recap: It can help you to identify what brings you joy and relaxation and what causes stress and drains your reserves during recovery. It can help you choose your friends and supports and, perhaps most importantly, it can help you focus on your recovery.

Saying no doesn’t mean that you're being rude, selfish, or unkind – but it does mean that you’re choosing to put yourself and recovery first. And, right now, that’s an important goal for sobriety. 

Hints for Saying No
Tiny recently published an article with some helpful hints for saying “no” – here we take a look at some of their best tips: 
  • Be direct but polite. For example, say: “No, I can’t. But thanks for asking.” 
  • Don’t feel the need to apologize or give multiple excuses.
  • Don’t lie. Lying is never encouraged and it can lead to guilt.
  • Remember this: It’s better to say no now than to feel resentful later.
  • Practice saying no. Imagine a scenario and then practice saying no either by yourself or with a friend. 
  • Remind yourself that your self-worth does not depend on how much you do for other people.
And, it’s worth repeating, now is the time to focus on your health, recovery and lasting sobriety.

Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
From identifying high-risk situations to learning mindfulness techniques that center you, our relapse prevention and aftercare planning will empower you and slowly eliminate the dangerous urge to self-medicate. Call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Relaxation Through Breathing

A big part of a successful recovery is having relaxation strategies that you can quickly turn to when you feel stressed or overwhelmed or to combat cravings or triggers. Deep breathing is a great go-to technique that you can do anytime, anywhere. And it’s been study-proven to have a host of benefits, including less anxiety and depression, more energy, improved sleep and better decision-making.

Learning to breathe deeply isn’t hard, but it does take a bit of practice. You can start with this breathing exercise recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:  
  • Find a comfortable position in your chair. Close your eyes or gaze down at the floor. Take a few moments to settle yourself and sit quietly. 
  • Deeply relax all your muscles. Begin with your feet, moving upward to your head. Let go of any tension you might have in your legs, stomach, hands and arms, shoulders, neck and face. 
  • Become aware of your breathing. Pay attention to your breath as it enters and leaves your body. 
  • Take a deep breath. Notice your lungs and chest expanding. Now slowly exhale through your nose. As you breathe out, say the word, "one" silently to yourself. 
  • Again, take a deep breath. Fill your lungs and your chest. Notice how much air you can take in. Hold it for a second. Now release it and exhale slowly. 
  • Inhale slowly and fully one more time. Hold it for a second, and release.
  • Continue breathing in this way for another couple of minutes.
  • With each inhalation and exhalation, you should feel your body becoming more and more relaxed. Use your breathing to wash away any remaining tension. 
  • When you feel ready, open your eyes and ask yourself: How was that? Did you notice any new sensations while you were breathing? How do you feel now?

Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
Personal growth and relapse prevention is key for long-term recovery – and we're here to help. At Complete Harmony, our holistic treatment and relapse prevention plans provide a firm foundation for lifelong sobriety. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Tips for Taking Charge of Your Mental Health

As we come to the end of Mental Illness Awareness Week, which takes place the first week of October to raise awareness and end stigma surrounding mental illness, we’re reminded of the importance of carving out time each day to care for our mental health. 

Addiction recovery in itself is overwhelming and can seem impossible if you’re struggling with a dual diagnosis of substance use disorder and mental illness. The following tips, adopted from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, can help you or someone you love find emotional balance as you weather the ups and downs of recovery.
  • Set aside time for yourself. Whether you read a book, go for a walk or get a massage, scheduling some “me” time into your day can help safeguard your mental health.
  • Identify your triggers. Ask yourself what things/situations make you feel anxious or agitated and then figure out ways to avoid or cope when possible. 
  • Manage your time. Time management is a crucial skill for recovery and good mental health. By prioritizing your activities and making schedules, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by everyday tasks and deadlines.
  • Get active: A recent landmark study found that just one hour of exercise can fend off depression. Whether you bike, jog or swim, the trick is to find what motivates you and then exercise will never feel like “working out,” notes the NAMI.
  • Eat right. People who eat a nutrient-dense diet have been found to be happier, according to NAMI. This means making an effort load up on fruits, vegetable, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts; limit fats and sugars; and drink plenty of water.
  • Prioritize sleep. Troubled sleep and poor mental health can turn into a vicious cycle, says the NAMI. For instance, someone with an anxiety disorder may feel too anxious to sleep and this could leave them frazzled the next day and increase levels of anxiety. 
  • Practice relaxation. Try deep breathing, yoga or meditation — whatever helps you step away from tension, quiet the mind and focus on the now.
Holistic Treatment for Dual Diagnosis
Complete Harmony is a CARF-accredited facility offering integrated therapeutic, holistic and medical support for clients dealing with co-existing addiction and mental illness. Our team of therapists and practitioners creates personalized treatment plans for substance abuse and mental health management, and our experience with mental illness is broad and deep. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

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