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Friday, May 27, 2016

Self-Care for Loved Ones of Addicts

If you’re a loved one of an addict, we don’t have to tell you that caring for a family member with substance abuse disorder is heartbreaking and exhausting. Addiction is a family disease – and it takes a toll on everyone involved.

We do, however, need to remind you that to best care for your loved one, you need to make time to care for yourself. This means getting proper sleep, eating well, exercising, managing stress, socializing, and continuing to experience joy in your life.

Practicing self-care isn’t selfish; it's a matter of survival!

4 Ways to Care for Yourself

  1. Ease into the day your way. Set your alarm just 15 minutes earlier than usual, and use those extra minutes just for you. Cook up a healthy breakfast, write in a journal, meditate—whatever helps you set a positive tone for the day ahead. 
  2. Get support. Consider seeking help from a therapist or join one of the many support groups (either in-person or online) for loved ones of addicts. This will remind you that you’re not alone; it can also give you some much-needed hope as you hear experiences and advice from other family members just like you. 
  3. Allow yourself to have fun. Whether you enjoy gardening or going to the movies with your friends or grandkids, carve out some time for the things you enjoy most. Engaging in such simple pleasures is just what you need to relax and recharge right now. 
  4. Learn to say “no.” Don’t do things for your loved one that he or she can (or should) be doing for herself. The key is to set boundaries about what you will and will not do to help the addict in your life. 

Detox and Rehab 
Is someone you love physically and psychologically addicted to drugs or alcohol? We’re here to help. Our staff at Complete Harmony has helped hundreds of patients detox and restore their whole body using holistic therapies. To learn more about our alternative rehab program, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Protect Your Heart and Your Sobriety

Getting help for your addiction is perhaps the best thing you can do for your heart! Drugs and alcohol take a toll on this vital organ, causing cardiovascular problems ranging from abnormal heart rate and bacterial infections of the blood vessels to heart attack and stroke.

6 Heart-Smart Steps
Once you’re in recovery, you can continue to care for your ticker. And, perhaps, the best part: These heart-healthy habits do double-duty, helping your long-term sobriety and cardiovascular health.

  1. Go fish. Just a few servings of fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines, tuna) can reduce your risk of a heart attack. The omega-3s in this type of fish helps your mental health, too; these healthy fats help fend off depression. Not a fan of fish? Other heart-friendly superfoods include berries, nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), avocados, and cruciferous veggies (kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts).
  2. Eat the right fats. Trans fat (found in some processed and fried foods) and saturated fats can increase the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your body — and this ups your risk of heart disease. Replace both trans and saturated fats in your diet with healthier unsaturated fats (mono- and polyunsaturated).
  3. Stop smoking. With each puff, you’re putting your heart at risk. This is because nicotine releases a toxin that lowers the HDL (good) cholesterol in your body.
  4. Get moving. Exercise boosts your HDL cholesterol, lowers your LDL cholesterol, and minimizes plaque build-up in your arteries — plus it helps keep stress in check. Build up to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (jogging, cycling, hiking, playing tennis) most days of the week.
  5. Prioritize sleep. A good night’s slumber isn’t a luxury, but a necessity for protecting both your heart and your sobriety. In fact, getting less than six hours per night can increase your risk of heart disease.
  6. Make time for meditation. Meditation has long been associated with heart-healthy stress reduction, but it’s also been shown to improve LDL levels.
More on Meditation and Addiction
Many studies show that meditation has a notable impact on the brain’s self-control regions, making it an effective treatment for addiction recovery. Meditation is encouraged throughout your Complete Harmony residential stay. To learn more about our holistic addiction treatment, call 866-930-4673.

Monday, May 16, 2016

How Does Gardening Help With Addiction Recovery?

Toiling in the soil can do wonders for your mood and for your recovery – and, perhaps the best part, you don’t even have to have a green thumb to experience the many health benefits. 

Firstly, gardening is a great mental workout; it requires patience, planning, foresight, and persistence – all qualities you’ll need to strengthen as you heal from addiction. And it can teach you mindfulness, encouraging you to focus on the task at hand without letting your mind wonder to thoughts about past wrongs or pending recovery tasks. 

Digging in the dirt has also been shown to help fight depression and persistent low mood. Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria found in soil, is believed to mimic an antidepressant drug by stimulating the production of the “feel-good” hormone serotonin. 

And, not surprisingly, if you opt to grow a small fruit or veggie garden, you’ll reap nutritional benefits, too. Gardeners have been shown to eat more fruits and vegetables, according to several studies.

Health Benefits of Gardening
Check out some other health benefits linked to gardening: 
  • Better mental health
  • Boosted self-esteem
  • Increased levels of vitamin D
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • A greater sense of control
  • A greater ability to achieve goals
  • Improved immune response
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Reduced risk of bone loss
  • Increased flexibility
  • Weight loss (one hour of gardening is equivalent to roughly 35 minutes of jogging)
So what are you waiting for? Get out in the fresh air and sunshine and get digging today! And consider making it a family affair: Growing a small garden together can be a great way to bond and rebuild relationships. 

Begin Holistic Addiction Treatment Today
Complete Harmony is proud to provide a long list of holistic therapies that help clients detox more comfortably and pursue improved wellness during active rehab. To learn more about our alternative treatment avenues, call our admissions team at 866.930.4673 today.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Recovery Risk from Addiction Transfer

recovery risk from addiction transferShopping addiction, gambling addiction, food addiction, Facebook addiction, sex addiction, gaming addiction, smart phone addiction… 

The list of new behavioral addictions grows daily, but frequently, the people involved are not new to addictive behavior. In many cases, they are addicts in early recovery from one addiction who have fallen into the trap of addiction transfer.

A Long-Recognized Phenomenon
“How do you find an AA meeting? Look for the chain smokers gathered outside!”

Addiction counselors have long recognized that a percentage of recovering addicts will turn to or continue smoking after they have accepted alcohol or drug abstinence. Now a new behavior has been identified by doctors who perform bariatric surgery. Patients who are succeeding in their weight loss after surgery are starting to drink or exhibit other compulsive behaviors.

Sometimes the new compulsion is not an unhealthy behavior, at least for the time being. Working longer hours to dig out of a financial hole, or stepping up your exercising to fight boredom or a tendency to overeat may be beneficial behaviors. However, when these activities begin to negatively impact your overall well-being, even they may be considered behavioral addictions.

What Causes Addiction Transfer?
How can someone maintain sober living in one aspect of life, and yet display addictive behavior in another? Here are some possible causes of addiction transfer:

• Undiagnosed co-occurring mental disorder that is the root cause of the addiction.

• The chronic nature of addiction, which results in the repeated emergence of addictive patterns.

• Insufficient recognition of addiction triggers and training in how to manage them.

• The mistaken idea that the addiction has been cured, when it must continually be managed.

Addiction satisfies an emotional need and also causes changes in the brain. Both of these conditions leave the recovering addict at risk for addiction transfer.

Holistic Therapies for Lasting Recovery
Have you beaten one addiction, only to find your life disrupted by a new compulsive behavior? At Complete Harmony, we utilize cutting-edge addiction treatment and holistic therapies to offer you the best chance for a lasting recovery. Our goal is to find the underlying causes of your addiction so you can learn the strategies and tools you need to avoid relapse and addiction transfer. Dial 866.930.4673 to speak with our dedicated enrollment team about your personalized recovery options.

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