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Friday, October 26, 2018

Tips for Recovery-Boosting Sleep


sleep tipsYou can’t be your best in recovery unless you care for your mind, body and spirit – and quality sleep can strengthen those connections. Regular, restorative sleep will allow you to feel present, energetic, focused and emotionally balanced. Sleep will also enable you to adopt a more positive mindset to overcome any challenges or setbacks along the way. 

Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for people in recovery to struggle with sleep. This is mainly because addiction as well as co-occurring mental illnesses can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms. Plus, a long history of abusing drugs or alcohol often leads to poor sleep hygiene. Luckily, these steps you can help enhance your recovery and improve your shut-eye. 
  • Avoid long, late-day naps. While a short nap (20 minutes or less) can help you feel revitalized and refreshed, a longer nap can cause you to feel groggy and disrupt your sleep cycle. It’s also wise to avoid naps after 3 pm, which will do more harm than good.  
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. This means doing your best to wake up and turn in the same time each night – even on weekends. 
  • Create a ritual for bedtime. Whether you do gentle yoga poses, stretch, meditate, read, listen to calming music or soak in a bath, that half hour prior to bedtime should consist of something that relaxes your mind and body. 
  • Watch what you eat or drink. Eating too much or too little before bedtime can interfere with your sleep. If you’re looking for a bedtime snack, choose a healthy food combo that will fill you up and help you feel energized in the morning. Some examples: apple with nut butter, cottage cheese and peaches, whole-grain toast with avocado or a banana and a handful of sunflower seeds. Also, avoid nicotine and caffeine, which disrupt sleep cycles. 
  • Exercise every day. A regular exercise routine has been study-proven to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly through the night. Just be careful not to work out too close to bedtime, as you may be too amped up to fall asleep. 
  • Eliminate light and sound. This means shutting off smartphones, computers, laptops and other electronics. To block outside light and noise, consider using blackout curtains, eyeshades, earplugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices. 
Healing the Mind, Body and Spirit
At Complete Harmony, we use traditional and holistic therapies to help clients rediscover their mind body connection and address  the secondary health challenges that complicate substance abuse. To learn more about our cutting-edge treatments, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Low Self-Esteem and Stress Linked to Opioid Use


opioid use
Is there a link between life stressors – health, money, work, family and romance – low self-esteem and opioid use? This is what researchers from Binghamton University set out to discover when they surveyed 1,000-plus adults.

The results: Researchers found that high life stressors plus poor self-esteem does increase the chances for opioid use. This is partly because opioids increase the effects of dopamine and serotonin in the brain – and people with low self-esteem are attracted to the drugs because they have the ability to change how they feel about themselves, noted Binghamton University graduate student and researcher Damla Aksen, in a statement.

“In other words, opioids may serve as self-medication in response to social stressors and its cascade of negative consequences,” Aksen said.

The researchers hope these findings will urge addiction professionals to be mindful of the risk factors that contribute to opioid abuse and work to educate individuals about the particular life stressors that increase an individual’s risk for opioid abuse.

More About Stress
What might be a stressor for one person may not be a trigger for you. Stress is individual and so is the way in which you best cope with it. In addition to caring for your mental health – getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, making time for yourself, taking breaks – you might need to experiment with a few stress-reducing activities to find out what work best for you. 

Some ideas:

  • Exercising
  • Listening to music
  • Reading a book
  • Writing
  • Meditation
  • Massage
  • Sober socialization or spending time with a friend or relative
  • Talking with a trained mental health professional
Holistic Therapies for Recovery & Stress ManagementIf stress and low self-esteem has contributed to your opioid abuse, Complete Harmony has a recovery path to help your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Our model for hybrid addiction treatment includes comfortable detox and holistic therapies like massage, meditation and yoga. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.





Friday, September 28, 2018

What You Need to Know About Guided Imagery

guided imageryCan going to your “happy place” help your recovery? While it’s a lot more complex than that, guided imagery is a type of therapy that involves visualization and guided images to create positive changes in thoughts and behaviors. 

More rehabs are using guided imagery as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. The mind-body intervention works by activating the connections in your brain, nervous system and visual cortex to impact your emotional and physical state. Guided imagery is often used with meditation and mindfulness.

Under the guidance and direction of a trained addiction specialist, an individual can learn to listen to someone else’s voice and consciously generate images in his mind to reduce stress and promote calmness. You can also use audio recordings, create your own recordings or use your inner voice and imagination.

The Academy for Guided Imagery (AGI) classifies guided imagery into three categories:
  • Stress reduction and relaxation.
  • Active visualization or directed imagery (for improving performance, changing behavior, or influencing an outcome).
  • Receptive imagery (in which words and images are brought to consciousness to explore and give information about symptoms, treatments, moods or illnesses).
The Benefits of Guided Imagery
Guided imagery can help you relieve physical tension and psychological stress in minutes and be a healthy distraction from daily stressors. In this way, it can also help you develop a positive mindset and coping mechanisms for maintaining resilience during difficult times. Other study-proven benefits of guided imagery include: 
  • Decreased need for pain medication
  • Reduced fear and anxiety
  • Better stress management skills
  • Headache & migraine relief
  • Improved sleep and reduced insomnia
Holistic Addiction Treatment by the Sea
Guided imagery is part of our alternative treatment schedule for both men and women at Complete Harmony. We also offer other complementary therapies, including yoga, meditation, mindfulness and acupuncture, in order to address every aspect of health: mind, body, spirit and social. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.



Friday, September 14, 2018

National Recovery Month: Stopping Stigma, Busting Myths

September is an important month for those of us in the recovery community. This is because it’s National Recovery Month, created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), and it’s a chance to celebrate your recovery and help stop the stigma and harmful myths surrounding addiction and addiction treatment. 

This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community,” emphasizes community involvement and how we can all help educate and spread awareness that prevention is possible and treatment works.

Let’s face it: Having the courage to face your addiction and get help takes courage and hard work – and that’s even without having to address common misconceptions like addiction being a character flaw and there being a magic bullet or one-size-fits-all treatment. This is your month to honor your journey and those who have helped you find your way back to a sober, fulfilling life.  

“Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month,” writes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). “They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.”

What will you do this month to join the celebration? You can spread the word via FB, twitter or Instagram. Recoverymonth.gov has banners, flyers, and customizable posters to promote Recovery Month on social media. If you feel comfortable, you can even share your personal recovery story in the hopes of empowering someone else to take that brave step toward sobriety. There may even be a Recovery Month event going on in your area. If attending is not possible, there’s live streaming of some of the more notable events throughout the month.

There’s No Shame in Getting Help
September is your month to begin your recovery and take back your life! At Complete Harmony, we celebrate people in recovery and the professionals and loved ones who have helped make recovery possible.
To learn more about dual-diagnosis or about rehabilitation for yourself or someone you love, call us today: 866-930-4673


Friday, August 24, 2018

How to Make Gratitude Part of Your Daily Recovery

 Being grateful may seem like a piece of cake but in fact it takes practice. By working to incorporate gratitude into your daily life, you’ll boost your immune system, mood, recovery and more. Here are a few ideas to get started:
  • Start a gratitude journal. Each day, jot down three things you’re grateful for – and keep a running list that you can refer to when you feel as if you have no blessings to count.
  • Shift your mindset. You have control of your thoughts, so instead of thinking about what you don’t have, think about what you do have. This isn’t to say that you can’t strive for more, but take time to be thankful for the little treasures found in daily life.
  • Make time for loved ones. Even if it’s a quick phone call, check in with your loved ones and let them lift you up. Talking with or spending time with family and friends who support you and your recovery journey is a surefire way to make you feel grateful.
  • Remain teachable. With gratitude comes self-awareness or the ability to recognize how far you’ve come in your recovery and how much learning you still need to do. We never know it all and being humble and teachable will help you to feel grateful for the chance to learn more about yourself during recovery.
  • Recall tough times. When it feels like you have nothing to be grateful for, think about a bad time in your life and how far you’ve come since then. Embrace these moments to make you grateful for the sober life you’re now living.
  • Volunteer or simply help a fellow recovery peer. When you give rather than receive you become more grateful for what you have. In fact, volunteering has been linked to numerous benefits including decreased depression and increased well being.
  • Meditate. Carve out time daily to sit quietly give thanks to all of the small gifts in life; you can even use the running list from your gratitude journal to help. 
Meditation and More
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit and cultivate a sense of gratitude, including mediation. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.






Friday, August 17, 2018

PAWS: What to Expect

You’ve been drug or alcohol free for a month or more and now you’re having trouble sleeping, focusing and remembering things. What’s more, you’re dealing with extreme cravings and feel irritable and anxious. You’re not imagining this. This is pretty common and it’s called PAWS, or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (protracted withdrawal syndrome). 

Like its name implies, PAWS happens after the period of acute withdrawal ceases and your brain attempts to stabilize or re-organize without alcohol and/or drugs. 

Alcohol, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, opioids and stimulants are all known to cause PAWS. The severity and longevity of PAWS depends on how much damage your brain incurred during active addiction as well as your drug of abuse. 

Recognizing the Symptoms
Learning to spot the symptoms of PAWS will help you better prepare and have a plan should these symptoms strike without warning. Here’s a look at some of the most common signs: 
  • Alcohol or drug cravings
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Impaired executive control
  • Anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure from anything beyond use of the drug)
  • Dysphoria or depression
  • Irritability
  • Unexplained physical complaints
  • Reduced interest in sex 
How to Cope With PAWS
In addition to working with your addiction specialist, there are several steps you can take to help minimize the symptoms of PAWS. 
  • Stay active: A regular exercise routine can help restore balance to the brain and ease a lot of the emotional turbulence of PAWS. 
  • Recognize and record triggers: Make an effort to notice the people, places, events or situations that seem to worsen your PAWS symptoms – and keep an ongoing list that you can share with your addiction counselor. 
  • Don’t struggle alone: Successful recovery hinges on support. You don’t have to cope with PAWS alone; share what you’re experiencing with your addiction counselors, peers or loved ones. 
  • Be patient with the process: Your mind and body need time to fully recover. Do your best to stay calm and focus on your recovery tasks as well as all of the positive things ahead in your new sober life. 
Comfortable Detox at Complete Harmony
Our team can help you or someone you love detox and restore your whole body using holistic therapies for symptom management and improved well being. To learn more about our alternative rehab program and natural detox methods, call today: 866-930-4673.




Friday, August 10, 2018

The Link Between Self-Esteem & Recovery

Many people in addiction recovery struggle with self-esteem, or confidence in your worth and abilities. And, in fact, low self-esteem may have played a role in your addiction in the first place. 

Learning to rebuild your self-esteem is essential for your long-term sobriety and your overall mental health. This is because full recovery requires that you value yourself enough that you dont risk relapse. It also requires satisfaction with your new sober life, which is difficult to achieve when youre struggling with low self-esteem. 

How You Can Improve Your Self-Esteem
A big part of improving your self-esteem is self-awareness. Learning about yourself and being more mindful about how you treat yourself as well as how others treat you can help set the foundation for healthy self-esteem. 

Self-care and negative self-talk also play a role in self-esteem. Remind yourself that you deserve to be healthy – mind, body and spirit. To do so, youll need to participate fully in your recovery, eat well, stay active, sleep, practice stress management and engage in activities that make you feel alive and fulfilled. 

You also deserve to be treated well – and this includes making a bigger effort to treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Make a big effort to stop negative self-talk. For example, the next time you find yourself beating yourself up over something you did or did not do, stop and think of something more positive. 

Learning to change your mindset and learn from (not dwell) on mistakes is an important process for a successful recovery and healthy self-esteem. 

Building Self-Esteem at Complete Harmony
We offer our clients a variety of holistic and alternative therapies that will help you or someone you love improve your self-esteem and boost your chance at lasting sobriety. For more information about our cutting edge treatments, call today: 866-930-4673.
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