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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.

Friday, August 3, 2018

How to Get Out of a Recovery Rut

We all have good and bad days and we all get into ruts once in awhile. While this is completely normal, it’s also risky to your recovery if you get stuck in a rut. Here are some tips to help you pick yourself up and push through.
  • Show yourself compassion. Beating yourself up is never the answer. Especially during recovery when you’re fragile, it’s important to show yourself kindness and view any bumps in the road as learning experiences. 
  • Reengage in your recovery. Ask yourself: What have you done today to help your recovery? For example, did you meet with your therapist, write in a journal, meditate or attend a support group? Making sure you complete your recovery task on a daily basis can help keep you out of a rut.
  • Practice self-care. Whether you carve out quiet time to pray or meditate or just go for a brisk walk in nature, taking 10 minutes to mind your wellbeing will help keep you inspired and motivated.
  • Be more mindful. Without judgment, consider any feelings that could be causing your rut. Try writing them down in a journal and then putting it aside. This exercise can help you move past any emotional roadblocks that may be in your way. 
  • Avoid comparisons. No one’s recovery is the same and so don’t get caught up in comparing your progress with someone else’s. This can just foster negative feelings and unrealistic expectations. The result: a rut!
  • Remember, you’re not alone. Again, we all get into ruts now and again. Do your best to stay positive, seek support and push on through.
Staying Inspired at Complete Harmony
At Complete Harmony, we provide the tools you or someone you love needs to endure the ups and downs of recovery. To learn more about our cutting edge treatments, call us today: 866-930-4673.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Tips for Creating a Balanced Life in Recovery

balanced life
Part of learning to live a sober life is learning to live a balanced life. And this means finding time for happiness, goals and overall health amid the mundane and stress of everyday life. Here are some tips to get you started: 
  • Practice good time management. Learning to manage your time is crucial for a healthy life balance. This means being vigilant about staying organized, prioritizing to-do lists, learning to say “no” and asking for help when you need it. 
  • Prioritize your health. Taking the time to strengthen your mind and body will make you more resilient and better able to stay strong and grounded. This means scheduling in sleep, exercise, relaxation and healthful meals.
  • Plan ahead. It’s import to keep your goals top of mind without letting them overwhelm you or make you feel like a failure. Start the week by jotting down one goal and one way you can work toward meeting that goal. It can be a small step. 
  • Don’t forget the pleasures of life. Spend time with loved ones and friends who lift your spirits or make you laugh. Make time for nature and play and hobbies that excite you. 
  • Be a life learner. Now that you’re sober, you have the opportunity to build an exciting and liberating life without the crutches of drugs or alcohol. Each day is a brand-new opportunity to learn something new or experience something amazing for the first time through a sober lens.
  • Remember to breath. Learning to incorporate mindful breathing techniques into your life will ensure that you have a healthy go-to for controlling stress and easing tension. 
Begin SMART Recovery® at Complete Harmony
Living a balanced life is part of the SMART Recovery® 4-point recovery program. 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, July 13, 2018

Are You at Risk of a Cross Addiction?

cross addiction
A cross addiction, or when someone moves from one addiction to another, is pretty common for people in recovery from a substance use disorder. In fact, this tendency is partly why addiction is viewed as a chronic, relapsing condition. In the case of a cross addiction, the relapse is with a new drug of choice – whether an addictive substance or behavior. 

Cross addictions come in various forms and people can become dependent on almost anything that causes dopamine activation in the brain. For example, someone can go from marijuana to painkiller addiction; drinking to food addiction; cocaine to gambling addiction; or sex to exercise addiction – or any combination. Falling back into old patterns with a new substance and/or behavior – even if the behavior seems “less dangerous” – is still risky business. This is because the brain is still engaging in addictive behavior and not getting the time it needs to heal. 

Men typically outnumber women in sex and gambling addictions. Eating disorders and exercise addiction are common cross addiction for many women – using exercise, food or starvation to replace the high of drugs and/or alcohol. It’s also common for cross addiction to go unnoticed until it's become a big problem – and it can happen during any point of recovery.  

Staying mindful of any compulsive thoughts and behaviors and seeking support from counselors, recovery peers and trusted loved ones can help. And so can recognizing some of the warning signs, including:  
  • Tolerance: Do you need more and more to get the same “buzz?”
  • Withdrawal: Are you experiencing symptoms like anxiety, irritability, restlessness and sleep trouble if you try to cut back or stop the substance or behavior?
  • Continuance: Are you continuing in spite of negative consequences, including missed responsibilities, interpersonal problems and physical and mental health issues?
  • Lack of control: Have you tried and failed to stop or cut back? 
  • Reduction in other activities: Are you avoiding friends and family or skipping favorite hobbies in favor of the substance and/or behavior? 
  • Time: Are you spending a great deal of time thinking about, planning for and recovering from the substance and/or behavior?
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
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, July 6, 2018

Could a Mindfulness App Help Your Recovery?

Mindfulness mediation is more than just a hot trend but a core part of lasting sobriety. As we’ve discussed in the past, this ancient practice can help you experience each moment of life – the good and the bad – without judgment or preconceived notions. The result: less stress, anxiety and depression and more self-esteem and enthusiasm for life.

mindfulness app
With all of the mental health benefits of mindfulness, it’s not too surprising that more and more companies are developing mindfulness apps. Certainly an app can never replace professional counseling, but it could be a helpful tool once you’ve completed your primary or residential addiction treatment. It’s something you can turn to 24-7 to ease anxiety and manage stress.  

With so many apps on the market, how do you know which to choose? Ask yourself why the app would be helpful and how it will help you. For example, if it’s for stress, then which features help reduce stress? It’s also important to make sure any claims are backed by studies. Before downloading an app, talk to your addiction counselor or therapist to make sure the app aligns with your individual recovery goals. 

Here are three science-backed meditation apps touted by numerous health professionals:

Insight Timer: Thousands of guided meditations and talks by top mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists and meditation teachers 
  • Discussion groups and community features
  • Stats and milestones for tracking your progress
  • The world's most popular meditation Timer
  • Follow your favorite teachers
  • Music tracks from world-renowned artists
Calm: Guided meditation sessions available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes
  • Daily calm: a new 10-minute program to help ease you into the day or unwind with before bed
  • Sleep stories: adult bedtime stories to lull you to sleep
  • 7-day and 21-day programs for both beginner and advanced users
  • Breathing exercises 
  • Unguided timed meditation
  • Open-ended meditation
  • 25+ soothing nature sounds and scenes 
Aura: Daily science-backed and personalized mindfulness meditation exercises
  • Meditations specifically created for your feelings 
  • Track your mood to learn about your mood patterns
  • Daily reminders for mindful breathers and meditations
  • Daily reflections to make gratitude a habit 
  • Various relaxation sounds and music for unguided meditations before sleep 
Finding Peace at Complete Harmony
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit, including mediation. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.



Friday, June 29, 2018

Avoiding the Temptation to Use This Summer

Beach parties, outdoor music festivals, barbecues — tis the season for additional triggers and temptations, but don’t fret. You can enjoy the summer season and safeguard your recovery with the following tips:  
  • Identify your triggers. Understanding which triggers can derail your recovery will help you better stick to your recovery plan this summer. In general, a trigger can be any person, situation or thing that leads to cravings or a slip up. And this can also include difficult emotions like anxiety or depression. 
  • Focus on your health. Just because it’s summer, it doesn’t mean you can take a vacation from your recovery must-dos. This means doing your best to stick to a normal sleep and exercise schedule, eat a healthy, well-rounded diet and manage stress.
  • Connect with sober friends. Take the time to hang out with sober friends during the summer, whether you grab a quick coffee, go for a long walk or meet up at the beach. You’ll be more relaxed and less likely to relapse if you surround yourself with other people who support and understand your sobriety. 
  • Try something new. Have you always wanted to write a blog or try yoga on the beach or experiment with a cute summer craft project you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest? Summertime is the perfect time to tackle a fun, sober project or hobby that keeps you busy and makes you feel good about you and your hard-won sobriety.
Summertime at Complete Harmony
The summer season is the perfect time to begin your journey toward lifelong sobriety. At Complete Harmony, we help you explore your own recovery journey while learning to heal relationships and build a sober social network. For more information about our cutting edge treatments, call today: 866-930-4673.


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