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Friday, December 30, 2016

3 Ways to Carve Out Quiet Time

As the holiday season comes to a close and the New Year begins, it’s the perfect time to concentrate on some quiet, reflective time. Taking a mere five minutes a day – away from phones, electronics, social obligations, etc. – can go a long way in helping your recovery. 

This is because quiet time can help give your brain the breathing room it needs to relax and process what you’ve learned, heard or done in recovery. It will also help give you the time to brainstorm and reflect on your immediate and long-term sobriety goals. 

Here are a few simple steps you can try today to create some stillness among the chaos of daily life. 
  • Make your walk more mindful. While a heart-pumping walk is great for your body and mind, so is slowing down a bit and taking time to focus on nature.  As you become more conscious of the flowers, trees, sounds of birds, you’ll automatically quiet your mind in order to reach a more reflective state.
  • Make journaling a daily habit. Pick up a pen or turn on your tablet and begin letting go of those feelings and thought cluttering your brain. And be careful not to censor yourself. The goal is to let it all out so you can clear, quiet and focus your mind. 
  • Make time to meditate. Whether you choose to mediate when you first wake or before bedtime, this calming practice can help to reduce stress and quiet your mind from constant chatter. The result: a calmer state-of-mind and more space for reflection. 

Holistic Healing at Complete Harmony
At Complete Harmony, our holistic relapse prevention plans provide the tools that you or someone you love needs for lifelong sobriety. After recovery, our staff encourages you to continue holistic therapies and find groups and community resources that support your commitment to sobriety. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Surviving the Holiday Season

The holidays can create mixed feelings for many people in recovery. While it’s certainly a great time to count your blessings and be grateful for how far you’ve come, it also brings feelings of stress, anxiety, and even dread. 

Awkward questions from family members about your recovery, run-ins with old friends or old haunts, added temptations from social events – relapse triggers abound this season.

The good news is that it’s possible to enjoy the holidays and stay strong in your recovery. Get started by following these tips. 
  • Maintain healthy habits. Now isn’t the time to skimp on sleep, eat poorly, stop exercising, or neglect your meditation routine – you’ll need these tools more than ever to help your mind and body manage holiday stress. 
  • Exercise the power of “no.” It’s okay to turn down an invitation, especially if you know it will jeopardize your recovery in any way. Use this time to relax and focus on you. 
  • Plan for uncomfortable situations. Whether you become bombarded with questions about your recovery or feel pressured by old friends to party, it’s smart to have an exit plan when the situation begins to feel beyond your control. And make sure to have a sober, supportive friend lined up to turn to once you leave. 
  • Lean on your support network. Now more than every your support network can help you to stay sober at social functions or merely manage the stress of the holidays. Attend extra meetings or set aside time to meet with your sponsor, pastor, or addiction counselor.  
  • Create a new sober tradition. Skip the booze-laden parties and see a play or attend a museum with a loved on or friend. Or, use this season to give back and volunteer to give out toys or serve a holiday dinner for the homeless.

Ready to Begin Recovery? 
There’s no “right or wrong” season to start on the journey toward sobriety. If you feel it’s time for a new beginning, don’t let the holidays stand in your way. At Complete Harmony, we can tailor a treatment program to meet your needs at any time of year. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

How Are Your Active Listening Skills?

Repairing relationships damaged while in active addiction is likely among your recovery to-dos. While winning back trust with loved ones will certainly take some time, you can start rebuilding your rapport by becoming an active, empathetic listener.

This means that you not only make sure you're actively paying attention but that you let your loved one know you are. For example, an active listener:

  •       Asks questions when unclear about what the other person is saying
  •       Tries to infer what the other person is feeling
  •       Engages in the conversation without peering at his or her cell or watch
  •        Keeps track of the points that others make
  •        Assures the other person that he or she is receptive to his or her ideas
Becoming a better listener may take some practice – but you can get started by taking these steps.
  • Stay calm and focused. This means no checking your cellphone, updating your Facebook status, picking at your nail polish, doodling, or fidgeting – but really making an effort to maintain eye contact and hone in on the other person’s words and feelings. Body language counts, too, so make sure that you’re not crossing your arms and legs or leaning away.
  • Summarize points of agreement and disagreement if appropriate. While you don’t want to parrot what the other person is saying, you do want to show that you’re listening by repeating what you heard in your own words. This will also prevent any misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
  • Acknowledge your loved one’s feelings, issues, or problems. For example, you could say: “I know how tough this is and appreciate your openness and willingness to talk it out.” This type of dialogue will demonstrate your empathy. 
  • Focus on listening as much as speaking. In other words, don’t simply wait for your turn to talk. When you feel the urge to interject, make an effort to slow yourself down and really listen to what the other person is saying.  
  • Accept another person’s opinion. When you're empathically listening, you don’t just hear words but you demonstrate that you know how the other person feels. And this holds true even if your loved one’s point of view differs from yours.
Continual Growth at Complete Harmony
Our team of credentialed clinicians helps 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.

Monday, December 5, 2016

How Much Do You Know About SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder, aptly deemed SAD, impacts half a million Americans per year – and like other forms of mood disorders, you’re highly susceptible if you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol. 

SAD is tied to the change of the seasons and is most often experience during the fall and winter months, when people become plagued by feelings of depression, irritability, and fatigue. It’s more than feeling gloomy on a cold, wet day or feeling a big letdown after the holiday season, however.  It impacts your family life and social life as well as your job, hobbies, and overall wellbeing. 

Here are a few more facts you should know about SAD:

1. SAD is linked to sunlight, not a drop in temperature. A decrease in sunlight has been found to have an impact on the production of melatonin, a chemical in your body known for regulating mood and sleep. 

2. Being a female increases your risk. Studies show that roughly 60 percent to 90 percent of those diagnosed with SAD are females, with the highest risk being among 15 to 55 year olds. 

3. Symptoms differ from depression. There are telltale symptoms, which may be more common in SAD than in other forms of depression, including changes in appetite and sleep, cravings for carbohydrates, and weight gain 

4. You’re only diagnosed with SAD after having symptoms for at least two years in a row. In addition, the SAD episodes must last more than two weeks and outnumber the non-seasonal depressive episodes in one’s lifetime.

5. Since SAD typically happens the same time each year, you can take steps to prevent and/or reduce the symptoms. This includes spending more time outdoors and increasing the light in your home, exercising daily (for at least 30 minutes), journaling, and practicing such stress management techniques as meditation. In addition, light therapy seems to be the gold standard when it comes to treatment, helping 50 to 80 percent of patients with SAD.

Help for Depression and Addiction
Are you suffering from SAD and addiction? Complete Harmony is a CARF-accredited facility offering integrated therapeutic, holistic, and medical support for clients dealing with co-existing addiction and mental illness. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

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