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Thursday, June 18, 2020

International Day of Yoga: How Finding Your Center Can Enhance Your Recovery

In 2015, the United Nations designated International Day of Yoga each June. If you don’t already have a yoga routine, now is an excellent time to start discovering the many benefits of this venerable practice. While yoga is an ideal way to build strength and flexibility, these seemingly simple poses go far beyond physical benefits. Should you think about adding yoga to your addiction recovery program? Here are some advantages you might wish to consider.

1. Enhances the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

The word yoga comes from a Sanskrit term meaning “union.” A typical yoga class combines a flow of poses, or asanas, with controlled breathing, and closes with a meditative period in which aspiring yogis seek to reach deeper within themselves. A regular yoga practice can bring you spiritual growth as you learn to quiet your mind and bring your body into balance.

2. Helps Heal Your Brain

Long-term substance abuse alters your brain chemistry, adversely affecting the pathways regulating decision-making, emotions and memory. Though drugs have lasting impacts on the brain, it’s not impossible to rebuild this organ once you start recovery. As you begin to heal yourself from the disease of addiction, yoga may act like a “reset button” for your brain’s chemistry and neural network.

3. Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are genuine threats in recovery because they can serve as significant relapse triggers. If you don’t learn healthy coping mechanisms such as yoga, a family argument or stressful day at work can cause intense cravings for your former substance of use. As one study by researchers at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found, the regular practice of yoga may enhance gray matter and the areas of the brain that play an active role in stress relief, like the hippocampus.

4. Better Overall Health

Addiction takes a toll on your overall physical, mental and emotional health. When you make yoga part of your recovery routine, you can enjoy more energy, an improved mood and better quality of sleep. You’ll also start feeling stronger every day, and will notice a boost in your self-esteem because of the changes yoga will make to your body.

5. More Self-Discipline

Walking away from the temptation to use drugs and alcohol is one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do, but committing to a regular yoga practice can give you the discipline you’ll need to keep saying “no” for the rest of your life. When you notice how much better you feel overall, it will help keep you motivated to continue with your yoga routine.

Begin the Journey to Healing at Complete Harmony

If you are seeking help for a drug or alcohol addiction or dual diagnosis, but wish to explore alternatives to traditional 12-step recovery, find your home at Complete Harmony. We offer a holistic treatment program that includes comfortable, non-pharmaceutical detox and cognitive behavioral therapy alongside therapies such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture to give our clients the best chance of lifelong recovery. Contact us today to learn more.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Stay Connected: Avoiding Loneliness in Self-Quarantine

It’s been a little more than two months since a wave of school and business closures swept the nation and most people began sheltering in place. And even as some cities and states are relaxing COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, many of us are remaining homebound as much as possible to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of contagion within our communities.

Though experts currently don’t have an estimate for when we’ll be able to resume our pre-pandemic lifestyles, we could be a year – or more – away from returning to normal. What can you do if you’re craving human contact and struggling with a touch of “quarantine fatigue,” but don’t want to loosen the measures you’ve put in place to stay safe?

Organize Virtual Get-Togethers

Some people have become more relaxed about social distancing by inviting people over to their homes or meeting them in newly reopened restaurants. However, epidemiologists caution that there are still too many unknowns to make even small in-person gatherings safe. Why? Many people who get COVID-19 have mild to no symptoms. That means you could feel perfectly healthy and still infect others with the virus.

Instead of jeopardizing public health by taking these risks, invite friends and family members to virtual meetups. Don’t be afraid to get creative – for example, you can coordinate an online game night, or mimic the experience of going out to eat together by arranging a shared meal on video chat. Start a quarantine movie or book club. You don’t need to be in the same room to feel a satisfying sense of connection.

Find Online Workout Buddies

Since coronavirus spreads via airborne droplets, heavy breathing in a shared space will likely do you more harm than good. However, if you’re having trouble staying motivated to work out without the extra accountability of a friend or two, the need for social distancing has probably affected your fitness routine. Many gyms and fitness studios are offering free streaming classes to create camaraderie, or you can agree on a time to meet up with real-life friends for an online sweat session.

Explore Opportunities for Growth

Following an effective routine can provide a much-needed sense of normalcy and control amid uncertain circumstances. However, if your days are starting to run together, begin to set aside time and space for things you want to accomplish. Perhaps there are new skills or hobbies you want to cultivate, or you thrive on intellectual challenges such as learning to code.

Intentionally making room for growth will give you something rewarding to look forward to and break up the monotony of spending every day at home. Just remember, if you’re not feeling up to your chosen pursuit every day, it’s OK to take mental health breaks whenever you need to.

Volunteer

Nonprofits still need willing and able volunteers, even during this significant crisis. Though you might not want to break quarantine to volunteer in person, you can still give back to others through opportunities such as manning a crisis hotline, tutoring underprivileged students online or donating extra money or household goods you may have.

Seek Help When You Need It

During quarantine, many of us have been struggling with a heightened sense of anxiety, but living in a constant crisis mode can take its toll on your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. At Complete Harmony, our caring recovery advisors are here to answer any of your questions about holistic addiction treatment and getting on a healthy track. Connect with us today.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Relationships in Coronavirus Quarantine

Forced isolation with the same people for weeks on end has turned some households into a pressure cooker. Whether you live with housemates or family members, you may find minor annoyances magnified into a source of significant strife. How can you preserve your relationships and your mental well-being and emerge on the other side of COVID-19 quarantine stronger than ever?

Recognize Signs of Stress

It’s understandable if you’re finding your nerves a bit frayed lately. We are all living through a time of unparalleled anxiety, with no end in sight. If you feel yourself nearing a breaking point, stop and take a deep breath before you lash out at someone and say something hurtful you’ll later regret. Check in with your body’s cues – Is your heart rate elevated? Are you holding excess tension in any muscle groups? – and keep one or more relaxation techniques in your back pocket to turn to.

Clear the Air

Quarantine quarrels can quickly spiral out of control, leaving everyone involved feeling tense and on edge. It may be tempting to avoid difficult conversations to maintain harmony within your household, but shying away from issues is a surefire recipe for conflict down the road. If you’re feeling frustrated by something, verbalize it. Try to use “I” phrasing instead of “you” phrasing, so the other person doesn’t feel attacked. For example, you could say something like, “I feel like I’ve been doing more than my fair share of the housework lately, and it’s been frustrating.”

Seek Help When You Need It

If you’re overwhelmed and having trouble regulating your emotions, consider therapy to unpack your feelings and discover new, healthy coping strategies. In these challenging circumstances, there are many telehealth options such as online therapy to explore. Evidence suggests this option can be just as effective as seeing a counselor face to face, and it’s also safe because you won’t have to leave your home.

Protect Your Time and Space

Even the most outgoing people can benefit from having occasional time to be alone and focus on their thoughts. However, when you’re quarantined in a finite amount of space, you might start to feel like you never have a moment to yourself. You can combat this by creating boundaries, and encouraging housemates to do the same. For instance, you can set designated quiet times every day where everyone agrees to practice separate pursuits such as reading, meditating or napping. Or, choose how to divide rooms in your living space. Grant that a closed door automatically means “do not disturb,” or, if you lack a door, you can tack up a blanket or a bedsheet to make a barrier.

Cutting-Edge, Client-Centered Treatment

Even in a global pandemic, people struggling with substance misuse and co-occurring mental health disorders need to know there are safe places where they can seek help in a non-judgmental setting. At Complete Harmony, we are still focused on our mission of providing an alternative to traditional 12-step addiction recovery with a range of holistic options. Take the first step on your healing journey and contact us today.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Stories of Human Kindness During COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented levels of worldwide stress and anxiety. However, at a time when it feels like all the headlines are negative, there is a bright spot in the simple acts of kindness everyday people and businesses are sharing. Difficult times often reveal the best in humanity.

Right now, a little love and understanding goes a long way. Here’s a small sampling of the ways neighbors have stepped up to care for each other and practice kindness during this challenging time.

Venues Worldwide Are Hosting Virtual Tours

If you’re like many who have had to postpone travel plans due to the pandemic, you can still visit many world-class attractions, including the Louvre and the Smithsonian, from the comfort of your couch. Though all these facilities are closed for the time being, you can skip the crowds and explore priceless art and artifacts with online tours.

New York Running Clubs Are Doing Errands for Their Homebound Neighbors

New York City’s small army of running enthusiasts has found a way to maintain their fitness levels while helping those who are observing self-quarantine. Members of running clubs have used their fleet feet and stepped up to go to pharmacies, grocery stores and other businesses to pick up essential supplies.

Citizens Are Spontaneously Celebrating Health Care Workers

In cities around the world, quarantined people have come together to hold rounds of applause for doctors, nurses and first responders from their balconies, porches and rooftops.

Landlords Are Forgiving Rent

Government restrictions on social distancing have forced many people into unexpected unemployment. Due to this, many understanding landlords are giving their tenants a break when they can’t afford to make their rent payments.

People Are Finding Ways to Support Local Businesses

Depending on where you live, many “non-essential” local businesses such as hair salons have likely had to close. Loyal customers are finding ways to keep these beloved establishments afloat during this time of crisis by buying gift cards to use later or sending money directly to the owner.

Patrons Are Leaving Larger Tips

With so many restaurants switching to takeout and delivery services only, it has become challenging for many servers and delivery drivers to make ends meet. Understanding this scenario, some customers have started tipping these service providers more generously.

Finding the Light in the Coronavirus Crisis

It’s easy to find examples of how the current crisis has brought out the worst in people. However, bad times often see strangers rising to the challenge to help their neighbors.

Let these simple acts of kindness inspire you during this challenging time, when so many are struggling to find their sense of optimism and gratitude. If you are fortunate enough to be healthy during this epidemic, look for ways to step forward and help where you can. You may find new connections in your community that last long after medical research has identified a cure for coronavirus.

Don’t let fears about COVID-19 hold you back from the proven addiction treatment you deserve. Contact us for a confidential consultation with our recovery advisors.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Feeling Overwhelmed? How to Stay Positive During the Coronavirus Outbreak

When you’re in addiction recovery, maintaining a positive attitude is essential. However, with the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 crisis, you might be feeling that goal slipping out of your reach somewhat. How can you keep your upbeat attitude when it seems like all the news lately has been negative, if not downright frightening? Here are some tips.

1. Limit Your Exposure to the News

It may seem like you’re being more responsible by staying informed and checking in with the day’s headlines frequently, but doing so is a surefire way to give you information overload. Since bad news travels faster than good news, especially online, refreshing your feed multiple times a day will create digital burnout and leave you feeling mentally exhausted. Instead, impose limits on when you allow yourself to look at social media or watch the news on TV. Choose one or two trusted outlets, and only check them during your allotted time slots.

2. Follow Negative Information With Something Cheery

As we learned from Mary Poppins, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” In other words, once you’ve caught up on the latest information about the spread of coronavirus, engage with something lighthearted to boost your mood, such as compilation videos of adorable baby animals.

3. Turn off the Alerts on Your Devices

If you have the settings on your phone, tablet or computer set to ping whenever there’s breaking news, try silencing your devices or disabling the alerts altogether. Many people find the sounds or vibrations coming from their phone nearly impossible to ignore, and will put everything aside to see what they’re about. To help you learn to focus more of your attention on individual tasks, disregard these stressful intrusions. The information will still be there for you when you’re ready to pick up your device again, and you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel when you’re not checking those notifications every few minutes.

4. Take Mental Health Breaks

Evidence increasingly suggests that taking regular mental health breaks can help improve your concentration and allow you to feel more present and engaged in your life. If your mind has been on overdrive lately due to the barrage of information about coronavirus, recognize that you might be feeling burned out, and take a break to de-stress. Whether that comes in the form of a brief meditation, a walk around the block or a series of yoga poses, whatever helps you clear your mind can benefit you.

5. Call a Friend or Family Member

In this time of self-quarantine, we probably all have people we haven’t seen for a few weeks. If you’re holed up at home and feeling lonely, reach out to say hello and see how everyone has been doing. They probably need a pick-me-up just as much as you do, and will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Meanwhile, it’s in your best interest to avoid the relapse trigger of loneliness.

Begin Your Recovery Journey at Complete Harmony

Are you looking for a holistic alternative to traditional drug and alcohol treatment programs? Reach out to us today for a confidential conversation with our admissions advisors.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

How Spirituality Can Play a Role in Your Recovery

The idea of spirituality might make you envision New Age concepts like astrology, tarot cards, healing crystals or chakras. The reality, however, is that spirituality can be more accessible than you think. Essentially, it boils down to any practice that helps you find the meaning amid all the chaos of daily life.

Spirituality can be especially valuable for people in addiction recovery because of its ability to help you understand yourself, find greater meaning in life and make you feel a connection to the world at large.

What Is Spirituality?

Many people tend to conflate spirituality with religion. However, while spirituality is often a component of religious practices, it is not a belief system in and of itself. That means even skeptics and nonbelievers can find value in spirituality, and that there is no wrong way to incorporate spiritual practices into your life.

Another way in which your spirituality might differ from religion is that your definition of spirituality can and should be fluid and evolve throughout your life, whereas many people of faith do not deviate from or question their relationship with their god or higher power.

Anything that causes you to feel the interconnectedness of life and have a greater appreciation of your place in the universe can be a spiritual experience. For some, listening to a moving piece of music is profoundly spiritual, while others find solace in traditional worship services and prayer.

Benefits of Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Substance misuse often makes people feel isolated from the people around them. In contrast, spiritual practices lead to feelings of connectedness. The result can be a sense of awe, gratitude and positivity. With regular spiritual reflection, you will gradually learn to become more compassionate, tolerant and generous toward other living beings.

Becoming a more spiritual person is also a worthy goal to work toward if you want to cultivate better overall mental wellness and peace of mind. You can respond more constructively to any anxiety and stress created by addiction and subsequent recovery.

Ways to Incorporate Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Though spirituality takes many forms, here are some that can be particularly valuable for people trying to maintain their sobriety.
  • Meditation: Meditation is a way to improve your mindfulness, equanimity and relaxation. While there are a vast array of meditation techniques, the most straightforward involves sitting still in a quiet place and focusing on your breath and any sensations you might be experiencing.
  • Yoga: There is a close connection between yoga and meditation, because yoga also involves specific breathing techniques as you move through a fluid series of poses. The spiritual goal of yoga is to teach you how to quiet your mind and become more aware of your place in the world around you.
  • Gratitude: The practice of gratitude helps you feel more positive and learn to live in the moment. You don’t have to add anything complicated to your routine. Merely taking a few moments out of each day to jot down notes about things you are thankful for can help you feel more connected to others and increase your sense of positivity.

Finding Serenity in Sobriety

It’s possible for you to go through addiction recovery and learn how to become more resilient along the way with tools learned through spirituality. At Complete Harmony, we can help you reclaim your physical, mental and emotional health with our non-12-step, holistic approach to rehab. Connect with us today to learn more.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Returning to Rehab After a Relapse: What You Should Know

Like with other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, relapsing is a common characteristic of addiction. If you’ve returned to drug or alcohol use after a period of sustained sobriety, it does not mean you’ve failed, or that you won’t be able to learn the skills and habits necessary to manage an addiction over the long term. Instead, it indicates that you didn’t fully address the root causes of your disease in treatment, and that you might need to return for a second stint in rehab.

Should You Re-Enter Treatment?

There is no cure for addiction. However, a treatment program can teach you how to take an active role in managing your illness and avoid pitfalls that could trigger a relapse. If you do fall back into your old patterns of addictive behavior for several days or weeks, you might find it increasingly challenging to get your recovery on the right track. Each day you continue using, the goal of long-term sobriety slips further away from you.

As reluctant as you might be to admit you need to go back to rehab, if you relapse, you must seek help as soon as possible. Returning to a controlled environment that removes triggers and provides you with no access to addictive substances will put you back in the driver’s seat.

Round Two of Rehabilitation

Another reason for relapse is that the rehab center you initially chose did not fully meet your needs. For example, perhaps their treatment philosophy didn’t align with your values, or you felt they did not provide you with an adequate amount of structure. Relapse centers vary widely in the approaches they take to putting their clients on a healing path, and what clicks with one person might not necessarily connect the dots for you. Finding a center that takes a different approach than the last one you went to may produce better results.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, for example, can be extremely effective at treating addictions by changing how you think about and respond to various situations. Over time, these treatment modalities can help you unlearn the habits associated with your addiction as you develop healthy new coping mechanisms.

Combining these evidence-based approaches with holistic therapies such as yoga, massage and meditation will give you a robust foundation for managing any stress and negativity that may enter your life. Knowing that you have a strategy for relaxing and rewarding yourself other than drug and alcohol abuse can be the difference between experiencing a self-destructive relapse and responding with equanimity.

Speak With a Recovery Advisor

If you are exploring your options for addiction rehabilitation, whether for the first time or for follow-up treatment, consider the reasons to add Complete Harmony to your list. Our holistic, non-12-step approach has helped hundreds of men and women from all walks of life break the cycle of addiction and achieve lifelong freedom from drug and alcohol use. If you have not found 12-step treatment successful in the past, or you have struggled with frequent relapse, we invite you to reach out to us today.
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