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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Tips for Getting Through the Holidays Sober

The holidays can be extremely challenging for anyone trying to recover from alcohol or drug addiction. “Instead of the '12 Days of Christmas,' it was more like the '12 Days of Relapse Temptations,' wrote one blogger about her first sober holiday. 

So how do you get through the holidays sober? Here are a few tips that have worked for others in recovery. Take a look and see if they’ll work for you, too:  
  • Identify your personal triggers. Recognizing and planning for triggers is a crucial part of relapse prevention. Do certain people, places, movies or songs stir memories of the times you were using? Make a list and share it with family and sober friends and/or your addiction counselor. Together, you can figure out how to avoid and/or manage these culprits. 
  • Ask for help. Isolating yourself is perhaps the worst thing you can do this holiday season. Instead, reach out to loved ones and recovery peers to help you through the season. Attend support groups (online or in-person) and/or organize sober get-togethers with those closest to you. By surrounding yourself with those who support your recovery efforts, you are putting yourself in a position to succeed.
  • Lend a hand. For many folks in recovery, helping out those less fortunate is a win-win during the holidays. You’ll make a positive impact in someone else’s life and be reminded of how far you’ve come and how thankful you should be. Some ideas: Volunteer at a local homeless shelter, wrap gifts at a nearby hospital or support someone else who is trying to recover from addiction.
  • Flex your “no” muscle. It’s okay (and necessary) to turn down invitations to festivities that could trigger relapse. And, if the host is truly a friend, he or she will fully understand and support your commitment to your recovery. 
  • Get moving. Exercising during recovery is a great way to reduce stress and build-up your self-esteem so you’re calm and focused on enjoying the festivities without alcohol or drugs. 
  • Start a daily gratitude ritual. Over the next few days, wake up and write down one thing for which you’re truly grateful. Many people in recovery say practicing gratitude can help set the tone for a positive holiday. And, if it works, why not carry it into the New Year and beyond.
  • Get in the spirit. Being sober during the holidays shouldn’t stop you from having fun! Bake some cookies, go for a hike, invite a friend for hot chocolate or check out a new movie — the possibilities are endless. Go ahead and build some new sober memories this holiday season. 
Wishing you joy, peace, happiness and lasting sobriety! 

Ready to Begin Recovery? 
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.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Meditating for Warmth and Gratitude This Season

We’ve talked about the importance of meditation for addiction recovery. To recap: A few of the many benefits include: 
  • Better focus
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Improved impulse control
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Deeper spiritual connection
But did you know that meditation can also help you ward off the winter blues? Studies show that meditation can help improve connections in the brain to help us process emotions. What’s more, the right type of meditation can provide warmth and gratitude – the perfect combo to brighten your mood and help you feel abundant during the winter months. recently published meditation and mindful tips from Dina Kaplan, founder of The Path Meditation, designed to channel gratitude – even when you’re cold and sad. Below is a summary; give it a try or use it as a starting point to create your own. 
  • Take your focus off the parts of your body that are cold (like your hands or feet) and turn your attention to an area that feels warm. For example, if you’re wearing a cozy sweater, feel the warmth of your arms. How does it feel? Examine the sensation.
  • Now take a moment to be grateful for your warm sweater and be grateful for yourself for putting it on this morning.
  • Engage your sense of sight. Do you see holiday decorations or leaves on the ground or an ornate architectural detail you’ve never noticed? What colors do you see around you? Admire the beauty of any nature or craftsmanship in your field of vision.
  • Now take a moment to be grateful for all nature, colors and details and your fortune to notice and admire them.
  • Tap into your sense of smell. Can you detect a nearby house fire or coffee from a cafĂ©? Again, be grateful for all the delicious smells in your environment.
  • Now go back to your sense of feeling. And ask yourself the following: What does your warm clothing feel like on your body? What does the ground feel like under your shoes? What do your shoes feel like on your feet? 
  • Let the warm sensation of gratitude fill you up as you continue to light up your senses and enjoy the holiday season.
Finding Holistic Treatment for You
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, December 8, 2017

Why You Should Embrace Being Uncomfortable

We likely don’t have to tell you that the recovery process is far from an easy journey. It’s a challenge and you ‘ll likely feel uncomfortable along the way – from detox, or talking about your history of addiction to a counselor, or trying a new holistic treatment, or making amends or socializing without the crutch of drugs or alcohol. 

Whatever the cause, learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable parts of recovery is a crucial step toward successfully living clean and healthy. Think about it. If everything came easy, if you were never challenged, if you only remained in your comfort zone, you likely wouldn’t even be in rehab today. You can’t grow and improve without being a little uncomfortable.

In fact, millions of successful people – inside and out of the recovery community – swear by this strategy to successfully achieve their goals. The first step: just show up. 

That’s right. Just by seeking help for your addiction, you’re already beginning to learn. It’s never comfortable or easy to start something new and you may even reach a point when you want to quit. Don’t. This is the time to push yourself past your comfort zone and remind yourself that you’re committed to your recovery and there’s no turning back.

But how do you do this? Some experts say to “fake it to you make it.” In other words, you might be thinking to yourself “I can’t do this.” “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “I’ve never done this before.”

Here’s where you can teach yourself to fake confidence. Try a little positive self-talk: “I can do this.” “I'm a quick study.” “I’ll get the hang of this in no time.”

This is also when your support network really counts. Share your uncomfortable stories with your recovery peers, friends and family. Talking about these experiences with others will help put things in perspective and you’ll likely learn some new strategies for being more comfortable in these situations, too.

And, above all, remind yourself that recovery takes time and confidence comes from practice. Each time you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you’re one step closer to overcoming the challenges of lasting sobriety. 

Holistic Addiction Treatment by the Sea
Located at our beautiful beach community retreat in Southern California, Complete Harmony serves individuals seeking an alternative to conventional drug and alcohol recovery. To begin your journey toward mindful empowerment, call today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Tips to Stay in the Present

In today’s busy world, it’s all too easy to get distracted from the present and what’s truly important – namely, your recovery. And while it’s pretty easy to be mindful for a few moments, it takes discipline to bring mindfulness into your every day. 

Luckily, a little training can help you build your mindfulness muscle. And once you develop the skill, you can make it a regular part of your daily journey toward sobriety. 

Here are few tips to help you stay in the present: 

Get familiar with your negative feelings. A big part of mindfulness is paying close attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging or trying to fix them. Take time to think about the feelings that tend to cloud your thinking and distract you from the present moment. You may even consider jotting them down so you can refer to the list as a reminder. For example, a few common recovery emotions you may be struggling with include:  
  • Anxiety
  • Regret
  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • Loneliness
Question your thoughts constantly. You’ll need to flex your mindfulness muscle daily to keep it strong, so this means making an effort to always question (and then let go of) any negative thoughts – especially the ones that get in the way of a healthy recovery. 

Count your breaths. The simple act of focusing on your breath will help you focus on staying in the present. The next time you feel distracted, give it a try: Close your eyes and take a deep breath in for the count of four. Now,  exhale slowly for a count of four. 

Create visual reminders. Whether you tie a string around your finger, wear an elastic around your wrist or hang a few post-it notes in everyday places, visual reminders will help you snap back into the present moment. 

Finding Holistic Treatment for You
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit, including acupuncture, yoga, mediation, massage therapy, and others. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, November 17, 2017

What You Should Look for In Recovery Friends

Forming the right friendships is an important step in your recovery. Your new sober life should be fulfilling, and sober friends can help make that so by providing support, connection, and fun. 

Having sober friends is also an integral part of your emotional health and reintegration into society. Making friends will teach you to relate to others without the crutch of alcohol or drugs. 

On the flip side, hanging out with the wrong peers can threaten your hard-won sobriety. Especially during early recovery, you might need a little help deciphering healthy from unhealthy relationships. 

Positive Friend Qualities
Any new friend should be supportive of your sobriety and share similar goals and values. This will help ensure that you stick to healthy habits and stay motivated to reach your recovery goals and follow your sober dreams. Other positive qualities to look for in a new sober friend include:
  • Honesty and trustworthiness
  • Kindness
  • Compassion
  • Self-awareness
  • Dependability
  • Non-judgmental
  • Good listening skills
  • Strong understanding of personal boundaries
  • Healthy sense of humor
  • Supportive and encouraging
  • Able to express emotions and feelings in an honest and direct way
Friendship Red flags
In addition to looking for positive qualities and personality traits, it’s also helpful to ask yourself the following questions while getting to know a new friend: 
  • Is this person reliable or dependable?
  • Do I feel better or worse when I’m with this person?
  • Does this person make me feel insecure?
  • Do I feel controlled or manipulated in any way?
  • Is this person jealous or possessive?
  • Do I have any concerns about this relationship?
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
From identifying high-risk relationships to learning mindfulness techniques that center you, our relapse prevention and aftercare planning will empower you and slowly eliminate the dangerous urge to self-medicate. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Healthy Activities for Fall

Fall is filled with an abundance of healthy activities that suit the season and your recovery goals. Here are a few ways to take advantage of the many ways autumn can strengthen your body and mind as you work hard this season to get (and stay) sober.  
  • Rake some leaves. This fall chore happens to be a great workout. For added fun and calorie burn: Jump in the piles a few times or recruit some friends and have relays around bagging the leaves. 
  • Cook up some healthy fall treats. Roast some fall veggies like Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes or whip up a light butternut squash soup. For a healthful dessert, pop some apples in the oven and sprinkle with some cinnamon. 
  • Go for a long hike. Time spent with Mother Nature has been study-proven to calm activity in a part of the brain linked to mental illness and reduce your mind’s propensity to “ruminate” — or focus on negative, self-focused patterns linked with anxiety and depression.
  • Play a pick-up game. The benefits of playing flag football or soccer with a group of friends or recovery peers are double-duty: You’ll get in a good workout and socialize. 
  • Make time to volunteer. There’s nothing like cooler temperatures to remind you about the importance of helping others who lack hot food and a warm place to sleep. Volunteer at a nearby shelter or participate in a coat drive -- any good deed to give back and remind you to be grateful for what you have. 
Tis the Season for Recovery
If you or a loved one is searching for an addiction treatment program that blends conventional and alternative strategies for healing, our team can help. Nurturing mind, body, and spirit, we provide a continuum of treatment for residents and outpatients. Call Complete Harmony today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Stages of Change

Successful addiction recovery requires change – a change in your mindset, behaviors, actions, feelings, goals, relationship with yourself and others – and you’ll experience these changes in different stages. 

Most successful self-changers go through the stages three or four times before they make it through the cycle of change without at least one slip, according to the experts at SMART Recovery®, who describes the stages of change as follows: 
  • Precontemplation Stage: People in the pre-contemplation stage of change usually show up in therapy because of pressures from family, friends, employers, or courts.  They tend change the topic of conversation when others address their problem and place blame and responsibility on factors like genetics, family, society, destiny, the police, etc. 
  • Contemplation Stage: Contemplators may feel like “I want to stop feeling so stuck!” In other words, they have come to acknowledge that they have a problem but struggle to understand its causes and wonder about possible solutions. People in this stage may be researching addiction and treatment.
  • Preparation Stage: Most people in the preparation stage are planning to take action and are likely making final adjustments before they take action to change their behavior. Still, individuals in this stage may need a little convincing. 
  • Action Stage: This stage requires the greatest commitment of time and energy. During this stage, people overtly modify their behavior and their surroundings and change becomes more visible to others.
  • Maintenance Stage: This stage helps to prevent relapse or return to the precontemplation or contemplation stage. After all, change never ends with action, notes the experts at SMART Recovery®.

Begin SMART Recovery® at Complete Harmony
SMART Recovery® is ideal for men and women seeking an alternative to the 12-step approach to addiction treatment. 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, October 27, 2017

Link Between Addiction and Perfectionism

While living a life of addiction is far from perfect, there’s a strong link between perfectionism and addiction. For many, perfectionism may have even played a role in drinking or drug use in the first place. 

For instance, you may have notoriously set unattainable goals for yourself and turned to drugs or alcohol to mask feelings of failure or self-criticism. Or, you may have used these substances to simply escape or take yourself out of your perfectionism. 

Perfectionism, defined as a propensity for being displeased with anything that’s not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards, can certainly take a toll on your psyche. People who are so-called perfectionists typically share the following character traits: 
  • Have an inner need to strive for flawlessness.
  • Set excessively high performance standards for themselves.
  • Act overly critical of their performance on tasks.
  • Are concerned about the appraisals of other people.

For those in recovery, perfectionism can also prevent you from getting proper treatment and/or doing the hard work required of life-long sobriety. Heres a look why: 
  • Perfectionists may think they play by different rules than others, so for example, they dont need help or they can handle just one drink.
  • Perfectionists expect to get it right the first time around. This leaves little room for the learning process of rehab and can easily lead to impatience with the recovery process. What’s more, this type of thinking can make it that much harder to recover from any slip-ups along the way. 
  • Perfectionists are just as tough on others as they are on themselves. The result: isolation loneliness and mistrust. 

Help for Perfectionism and Addiction
Dont let perfectionism get in the way of your lasting sobriety. At Complete Harmony, it’s our goal to provide clients with the tools and strategies needed for early recovery and beyond. To learn more about our cutting edge treatmentscall today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Learning to Say No to Stay Sober

A big part of staying sober is learning how to say no – no to drugs, no to just one drink, no to that date with a person you know isn’t right for you, no to that party that might serve as a trigger – and the list can go on and on. You might also need to exercise the power of no when it comes to work, family and social commitments – so you don’t burnout or overtax yourself.

We’ve talked in the past about the power of saying “no.” To recap: It can help you to identify what brings you joy and relaxation and what causes stress and drains your reserves during recovery. It can help you choose your friends and supports and, perhaps most importantly, it can help you focus on your recovery.

Saying no doesn’t mean that you're being rude, selfish, or unkind – but it does mean that you’re choosing to put yourself and recovery first. And, right now, that’s an important goal for sobriety. 

Hints for Saying No
Tiny recently published an article with some helpful hints for saying “no” – here we take a look at some of their best tips: 
  • Be direct but polite. For example, say: “No, I can’t. But thanks for asking.” 
  • Don’t feel the need to apologize or give multiple excuses.
  • Don’t lie. Lying is never encouraged and it can lead to guilt.
  • Remember this: It’s better to say no now than to feel resentful later.
  • Practice saying no. Imagine a scenario and then practice saying no either by yourself or with a friend. 
  • Remind yourself that your self-worth does not depend on how much you do for other people.
And, it’s worth repeating, now is the time to focus on your health, recovery and lasting sobriety.

Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
From identifying high-risk situations to learning mindfulness techniques that center you, our relapse prevention and aftercare planning will empower you and slowly eliminate the dangerous urge to self-medicate. Call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Relaxation Through Breathing

A big part of a successful recovery is having relaxation strategies that you can quickly turn to when you feel stressed or overwhelmed or to combat cravings or triggers. Deep breathing is a great go-to technique that you can do anytime, anywhere. And it’s been study-proven to have a host of benefits, including less anxiety and depression, more energy, improved sleep and better decision-making.

Learning to breathe deeply isn’t hard, but it does take a bit of practice. You can start with this breathing exercise recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:  
  • Find a comfortable position in your chair. Close your eyes or gaze down at the floor. Take a few moments to settle yourself and sit quietly. 
  • Deeply relax all your muscles. Begin with your feet, moving upward to your head. Let go of any tension you might have in your legs, stomach, hands and arms, shoulders, neck and face. 
  • Become aware of your breathing. Pay attention to your breath as it enters and leaves your body. 
  • Take a deep breath. Notice your lungs and chest expanding. Now slowly exhale through your nose. As you breathe out, say the word, "one" silently to yourself. 
  • Again, take a deep breath. Fill your lungs and your chest. Notice how much air you can take in. Hold it for a second. Now release it and exhale slowly. 
  • Inhale slowly and fully one more time. Hold it for a second, and release.
  • Continue breathing in this way for another couple of minutes.
  • With each inhalation and exhalation, you should feel your body becoming more and more relaxed. Use your breathing to wash away any remaining tension. 
  • When you feel ready, open your eyes and ask yourself: How was that? Did you notice any new sensations while you were breathing? How do you feel now?

Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
Personal growth and 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, October 6, 2017

Tips for Taking Charge of Your Mental Health

As we come to the end of Mental Illness Awareness Week, which takes place the first week of October to raise awareness and end stigma surrounding mental illness, we’re reminded of the importance of carving out time each day to care for our mental health. 

Addiction recovery in itself is overwhelming and can seem impossible if you’re struggling with a dual diagnosis of substance use disorder and mental illness. The following tips, adopted from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, can help you or someone you love find emotional balance as you weather the ups and downs of recovery.
  • Set aside time for yourself. Whether you read a book, go for a walk or get a massage, scheduling some “me” time into your day can help safeguard your mental health.
  • Identify your triggers. Ask yourself what things/situations make you feel anxious or agitated and then figure out ways to avoid or cope when possible. 
  • Manage your time. Time management is a crucial skill for recovery and good mental health. By prioritizing your activities and making schedules, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by everyday tasks and deadlines.
  • Get active: A recent landmark study found that just one hour of exercise can fend off depression. Whether you bike, jog or swim, the trick is to find what motivates you and then exercise will never feel like “working out,” notes the NAMI.
  • Eat right. People who eat a nutrient-dense diet have been found to be happier, according to NAMI. This means making an effort load up on fruits, vegetable, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts; limit fats and sugars; and drink plenty of water.
  • Prioritize sleep. Troubled sleep and poor mental health can turn into a vicious cycle, says the NAMI. For instance, someone with an anxiety disorder may feel too anxious to sleep and this could leave them frazzled the next day and increase levels of anxiety. 
  • Practice relaxation. Try deep breathing, yoga or meditation — whatever helps you step away from tension, quiet the mind and focus on the now.
Holistic Treatment for Dual Diagnosis
Complete Harmony is a CARF-accredited facility offering integrated therapeutic, holistic and medical support for clients dealing with co-existing addiction and mental illness. Our team of therapists and practitioners creates personalized treatment plans for substance abuse and mental health management, and our experience with mental illness is broad and deep. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lowering Stress to Fight Relapse

Many addiction experts cite stress as the leading cause of relapse. Think about it: The more stress you’re under, the more likely you’ll feel the desire to escape by turning to drugs or alcohol. It makes sense then that learning new, healthy ways to handle stress is a crucial part of your long-term recovery plan. 

So you can’t escape stress, but you can learn your individual triggers as well as how to take steps to lower stress and stay calm. These tips can help you get started:  
  • Practice self-care. Caring for your body by getting rest, exercising, and eating properly, is an often-overlooked way to manage stress. Getting regular exercise, for instance, can increase mood-boosting endorphins and eating a proper diet can keep your body strong so you’re better equipped to handle stress. Self-care also means minding your mental health. Take time to distress and quiet your mind by practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing – and seek help for any emotional issues that are interfering with day-to-day living.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. During recovery, it’s okay – even encouraged – to be picky about who you spend your time with. Positive, healthy people will help boost your mood and strengthen your resolve against stress.  
  • Work on your communicate skills. Whether you’re dealing with a store clerk or close family member, learning to communicate your needs (and listen to theirs) will help prevent conflict and eliminate unnecessary irritations caused by miscommunication. 
  • Take “me” time. It’s okay to take a break from the daily stressors of life and focus on you. Part of your recovery plan should include sober fun, creativity and/or any stress-lowering activity that can serve as a healthy escape. A few ideas: exercise, playing music, coloring, cooking, reading.
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
Personal growth and 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, September 22, 2017

Recognizing Small Victories in Recovery

Did you go out to dinner with friends and order water? Did you take a different route to avoid a bar you used to frequent? Did you take time to journal or meditate today? Did you get out of bed on a bad day? Whether you’ve been in recovery for one day, one week or one year, all of these seemingly small victories add up.  

Addiction recovery takes work, persistence, continual learning and motivation – and celebrating your successes (no matter how small) along the way can empower you to keep the positive momentum going. Of course, your first step is to acknowledge your progress. Keeping a journey is a great way to track your recovery wins. Then, how you celebrate your victories is up to you! Just be sure that you do so in a healthy and sober way. 

Here are a few ideas: 
  • Write down small wins on a piece of paper and drop them in a mason jar. This way you can revisit these victories anytime you need motivation or encouragement. 
  • Keep a recovery win journal and writing down daily wins that have helped with your recovery.
  • Give yourself the gift of time. Allow yourself an hour to focus on something you always put off, without feeling guilty. 
  • Pack a picnic and head to the park or go for a long hike.
  • Pamper yourself. Take a bubble bath or give yourself a facial.
  • Arrange a movie night or afternoon in the park with someone who has supported you and your recovery.
  • Try a new hobby, like learning to play an instrument or taking art classes.
  • Visit a new place.
  • Join a local recovery event.
  • Give back to your recovery community by volunteering or simply sharing your story with others.
Begin SMART Recovery at Complete Harmony
An effective alternative to 12-step programs, SMART Recovery® teaches self-empowering addiction recovery. Clients learn to make self-directed change in order to replace destructive decisions with healthy ones. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, September 15, 2017

5 Emotions to Expect During Recovery

Recovery can be a roller coaster of emotions, especially during the early stages when you’re likely wrestling with feelings that have been kept away for years during active addiction. While a bit of emotional turbulence is perfectly normal, it can also be very dangerous to your lasting sobriety as well as to your physical, emotional and spiritual health. This is especially true if you don’t learn to find healthy coping mechanisms to manage these pesky feelings.

But before you take control, you need to know what you’re feeling and why. Here, we take a look at some of the most common emotions experienced by those in recovery. 
  • Anger: This is one of the most powerful and potentially self-destructive emotions of recovery. Some experts define depression as anger turned inward. This is because anytime we’re angry or feeling anger, there’s typically hurt behind that anger. 
  • Fear: Recovery and getting sober is scary. There’s likely a lot of unknowns and a lack of self-confidence that can cause a fear of failure. If left unchecked, fear can easily prevent you from your well-intentioned recovery plans. 
  • Shame and Guilt: Feeling guilty or shameful for a past behavior or action during active addiction is pretty natural and healthy. Excessive guilt, however, or constantly beating yourself up can lead to negative self-talk and low self-esteem and hold you back from recovery. 
  • Loneliness: Loneliness may have triggered your drug or alcohol use and it’s an emotion that can stick with you long after recovery. Most people describe the loneliness experienced during recovery as feeling alone, misunderstood, and uncared for – and this can even happen while loved ones are there to support you. 
  • Stress and Anxiety: It’s all too common to experience what feels like insurmountable anxiety or stress during early recovery. Your life is about to drastically change (for the good) and that can cause a very real sense of loss and worry. If your anxiety doesn’t eventually pass, however, you may be struggling with an anxiety disorder.

Rehab & Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Many individuals in recovery from addiction also deal with a co-occurring mental health condition. Using traditional and holistic therapies, we have a proven history of successfully addressing the secondary health challenges that complicate substance abuse. To learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, September 8, 2017

National Recovery Month: Get Involved

September is National Recovery Month and there are a number of ways that you can get involved – and, why not, the goal is to celebrate those who are recovering and embracing a new, healthy sober life. Just like you!   

Recovery Month began in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month, which honored the work of substance use treatment professionals in the field. The observance evolved into National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in 1998, celebrating the accomplishment of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. In 2011, Recovery Month included all aspects of behavioral health.

Today, more than 200 different organizations host recovery events every September. This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities,” highlights the value of family and community support throughout recovery and invites individuals in recovery as well as their family members to share their stories and successes to encourage others. 

Here's how you can get involved: 
  • Find a local in-person or online event. keeps a running list of events that take place around the country. You can visit the site to find an event near you, or you can organize your own event and add it to the list to get more exposure. Recovery Month activities range from a “proclamation signing” to a walk, run or rally to cookouts and picnics. There are a variety of online activities, too, including webinars, online chats and live Tweeting. 
  • Promote it on social media. Post your recovery date on social media or update your Facebook photo to represent something you’re proud of because of recovery. You can also use the Recovery Month tools, graphics and resources designed to help anyone spread the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.
  • Give hope to others by sharing your story. Simply talking about your recovery to a family member, friend, neighbor or coworker is perhaps the best thing you can do to spread awareness. You can also share your story on under the “Voices for Recovery” section. Another idea: Create a blog. Writing about your recovery experience will be therapeutic for you and may just help someone else to imagine themselves in recovery.

Celebrate With Complete Harmony
National Recovery Month is a positive way to celebrate the importance of recovery. It can also serve as a wake up call for you or someone you love, so reach out to us today if you need addiction help. To learn about our cutting edge addiction treatments, call: 866-930-4673.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Overcoming Common Rehab Worries

It's pretty normal to have a lot of fears and worries prior to entering rehab — but the trick is not letting it get in the way of your recovery. Here we take a look at some common worries and what steps you can take to put yourself at ease. 

Worry: You don’t know what to expect. 
What to do: It’s pretty normal to have a lot of questions about rehab – from what detox will feel like to what the facility looks like to what’s expected of you during treatment. Your best bet is to check out the rehab’s website and then give the admissions department a call with any questions or concerns. 

Worry: You can’t handle life without the crutch of drugs or alcohol. 
What to do: Stay calm and know that you’ll learn healthy coping skills in rehab to help you handle the highs and lows of day-to-day life. 

Worry: You’ll relapse and/or fail at recovery. 
What to do: Relapse is common (but not inevitable) and it also doesn’t mean that you failed. Recovery is a lifelong process, so do your best to commit to recovery, stay the course and surround yourself with a supportive network. 

Worry: Your loved ones will think poorly of you or shy away from you after rehab. 
What to do: Talk to friends and family about your concerns and let them know that you need their support. The people who truly care about you will likely support your decision.

Worry: You’ll lose your personal identity.
What to do: Look for a rehab that tailors addiction treatment based on your unique challenges, family relationships, personal background, emotional makeup and substance abuse history.

Cutting-Edge Holistic Rehab
Each person faces different challenges and concerns as they begin recovery. 
At Complete Harmony, we’ll work with you to overcome any fears and get the help you need and deserve. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How Patience Helps Your Recovery

An important yet oft-overlooked skill that needs to be practiced during recovery is patience – patience with the process, patience with yourself, patience with your loved ones, patience for your mind, body and spirit to heal. 

Just think of the definition of patience: “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset.” 

For those in recovery, this translates to the capacity to stick with the process, despite any setbacks, challenges or even relapses. Sobriety is a lifelong journey; there’s no quick fix. What’s more, being impatient will just lead to feelings of frustration and even failure. 

That said, it’s perfectly normal to want to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. But being patient and making an effort to enjoy the lessons, friendships and emotions along the way will benefit your overall health and your recovery. 

Here are a few of the good things that come to those who wait. 
  • You’ll have better mental health. Patient people have been shown to better cope with stressful situations. In turn, they tend to experience less depression and negative emotions and have more mindfulness and gratitude – both key recovery skills.
  • You’ll have healthier relationships. In recovery, you’ll need patience with family and friends who might not be ready to move past any conflicts caused by your addiction. Being patient can also prevent loneliness, according to studies. This makes sense since making and keeping friends generally requires a healthy dose of give and take and patience. 
  • You’ll achieve your goals better. Research shows that patient people tend to exert more effort toward their goals than those who want to see results immediately. 
Experience Continuous Growth
Personal growth and 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. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

What to Do With Your Newfound Time

Once you’re clean and done with rehab, you may find yourself with a lot of downtime, which can present both opportunity and angst for those in recovery. This is because boredom can easily lead to relapse; too much free time spent reflecting on regrets or contemplating using again. 

Luckily, there are plenty of fun, sober activities to help use this newfound time wisely. Added bonus: You’ll likely meet new like-minded people and/or revive some hobbies you loved prior to struggling with substance use disorder. 

Here are a few ideas to help you spend your free time wisely: 
  • Volunteer. Whether you volunteer at the local library, soup kitchen or animal shelter, giving back is a great way to stay busy. Plus, you’ll be contributing to your community and possibly gaining new friends with similarly generous hearts.
  • Start a blog. Writing about your journey toward recovery is a cathartic and creative way to pass the time. And, if you choose to share the blog, it could also help others in the recovery community. 
  • Take a class. Always wanted to learn how to paint or cook or speak another language? Go for it! To keep costs down, consider online courses or adult courses offered at your local YMCA or library. 
  • Get lost in a book. Reading is a surefire way to pass the nighttime hours and it will also help with stress management, concentration and sleep. You could also consider joining a local reading club – just be sure that alcohol isn’t involved. 
  • Put on your chef hat. Cooking is a great way to keep your hands and mind busy. And learning to prepare your own healthy meals will keep you in tip-top shape for lasting sobriety. 
Whatever activity you choose, try to make it something that supports your recovery. You’ve worked hard and earned the gift of free time – so spend time doing things that make you happier and healthier! 

Continuing Holistic Healing 
After recovery, the staff at Complete Harmony 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.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Building Your Self-Esteem for Sobriety

If you struggle with low self-esteem, you’re not alone. For many people in recovery, it may have even influenced you to use in the first place. 

Luckily, self-esteem is something you can work to increase. And putting in the effort to build your self-confidence will give you greater confidence in your ability to get (and stay) sober. Get started with these steps: 
  • Get to know and accept yourself. Part of recovery is getting to know (and love) the new sober you. Re-acquaint yourself with your strengths, imperfections and unique qualities that make you, well, you. 
  • Recognize negative thought patterns -- and then redirect them. Of course, this will take some practice. Try it: Next time you find yourself saying, “I can’t…” stop and say “I can try…” or  “This is difficult, but I can do it.” 
  • Focus on success. Each minute, each day, each week sober is a success – so, not to sound clichĂ©, but give yourself credit where it’s do. Along the same lines, try not to dwell on your failures. 
  • Set small realistic goals. Setting unrealistic expectations is the perfect formula for low self-esteem. Instead, increase your confidence by setting achievable goals. For example, don’t strive to run every day for 20 minutes if you haven’t worked out in years. Instead, set a goal to walk for 10 minutes today.
  • Make a commitment to yourself. You and only you can truly do the work it takes to increase your self-esteem. Remind yourself that you can do this and that you deserve to be confident, happy and sober. And be patient: Change takes time; don’t expect your self-esteem to increase overnight. 
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others. Unfortunately, social media makes this nearly impossible – but next time you begin using others as a benchmark of your own worth, stop. This type of comparison can spin you into a frenzy of self-doubt. 
  • Surround yourself with supportive people. Sure, self-esteem comes from within, but the support of others certainly can’t hurt. A positive mentor, sponsor, therapist, friend or family member can help you to see the good in yourself. 
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
At Complete Harmony, our holistic relapse prevention plans provide the tools to build your self-esteem and work toward 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, July 31, 2017

Really Good Reasons to Get Sober

Especially during the beginning stages of recovery, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever feel better or that you'll ever be able to get through rehab to reap the benefits of sobriety. 

Take heart: If you hang in there and do the work, you’ll come out the other side with better health, hope and happiness. Here are a few things to look forward to: 
  • You’ll have more energy. You’ll no longer feel hungover or sick from substance abuse and you’ll have more time on your hands to devote to things that make you feel energized and motivated. 
  • You’ll develop meaningful relationships. Recovery gives you the opportunity to realize who should (and shouldn’t) be in your life. You’ll get the opportunity to make amends, rebuild relationships, and meet others who are also working to build a new, better sober life.
  • You’ll look better. Active addiction takes a heavy toll on your appearance. Within a few short weeks of stopping drugs or alcohol, you’ll likely notice a healthier glow, including better complexion, brighter eyes, and shinier hair — and this will keep improving as you gain tools to stay sober and prioritize self-care.
  • You’ll heal your mind, body, and spirit. Getting sober means that you’ll no longer be putting harmful toxins into your body. Plus, you’ll be exposed to holistic therapies (yoga, meditation, nutrition, exercise) that will teach you to clear your mind, open your spirit and care for your body. 
Customized Holistic Rehab Program at Complete Harmony
Our holistic addiction recovery may be especially helpful for clients who have tried traditional, 12-step rehab without success. Our team of addiction experts will work with you or someone you love to set and achieve personal sobriety goals within the safe, beautiful confines of our seaside retreat. To learn more, call 866-930-4673. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

4 Reasons to Add Massage Therapy to Your Recovery

Recently, massage therapy has made many headlines for its role in pain management, leading some experts to question whether this holistic treatment holds one of the keys to combating the opioid epidemic. 

In fact, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has been actively engaged with several organizations and agencies regarding massage therapy for an alternative to opioids.

Whether or not massage therapy can help prevent addiction is still out for debate. What we do know, however, is that it has produced proven results when used as part of addiction recovery. Research has shown that the power of touch can help decrease stress, reduce anxiety and depression and help clients release negative thoughts and memories.

Here are a few more benefits of massage therapy:
  • You’ll boost your immunity. Even one, 45-minute massage session can create positive changes in your body’s immune system. This is because it increases the number of lymphocytes, which are the white blood cells that help protect your body from disease. 
  • You’ll sleep better. Several studies have linked massage with reduced fatigue and improved sleep. One explanation: It increases delta waves, or the brain waves responsible for deep sleep. 
  • You’ll better manage anxiety and depression. Massage releases oxytocin and serotonin –happy hormones – and this can help lower your stress and boost your mood. Plus, massage therapy can target certain pressure points to relieve tension.
  • You’ll be more focused. Numerous studies have touted massage therapy for its role in improving brainpower, productivity, alertness and focus – all helpful while working hard to absorb strategies and tools for staying sober. 
California Holistic Addiction Treatment
Bodywork and massage therapy and bodywork are one of the many holistic therapies offered at our CA alternative rehab center. To learn more about our alternative, non-12-step program, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, July 21, 2017

3 Tips for Goal Setting

Once you’re done with rehab, do you eventually want to finish your degree or run a 5K or get your finances back in order? Being sober gives you the ability and energy to pursue your dreams and plan short- and long-term goals. It’s pretty exciting (and overwhelming), which is why many addiction experts suggest starting with small, daily realistic goals to help you stay focused. 

Completing goals, regardless of how easy or difficult they may be, can help you build self-confidence and keep you focused on what you want out of your new sober life. Daily goal setting doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Take a few minutes each day and think "S.M.A.R.T" – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time bound.

Here are a few more ideas to help you get started: 

1. Make a master list. Staring at a blank slate is tough, so start by just jotting down a bunch of goals – and then narrow down the list according to any short-term goals for the day, week, month or year. A few examples:
  • Find a local support group.
  • Commit to one positive thing each day.
  • Try something new. 
  • Restore positive relationships.
  • Make a budget.
2. Use a positive tone. Words can make a big impact when it comes to boosting your confidence and determination. For example, use positive phrases like “I will” instead of “I hope to” when writing down your daily goals. 

3. Celebrate your successes. Even reaching the smallest goal is an achievement. When you review your list of goals, take a minute to celebrate the progress you’ve made. Similarly, don’t beat yourself up for the goals you have yet to reach or that are taking longer than expected to achieve. 

Experience Continuous Growth
Personal growth and 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. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

3 Reasons Why CBT Can Help Your Recovery

Part of overcoming addiction is getting unstuck from unhealthy behaviors and destructive patterns so you can move on with your new sober life. It’s tough work, but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help.

A very popular treatment approach for mental disorders and substance and behavioral addictions, CBT can teach you several important skills that target the core ways addiction affects you. Here, we take a look at a few: 
  • You’ll think more positively. Negativity is destructive to your recovery as it can lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. CBT can help you identify such negative thought patterns and replace them with positive, productive thoughts and actions to apply to everyday stressors. 
  • You’ll improve your self-esteem. Low self-esteem is often a hallmark of addiction and CBT can help people in recovery begin to believe in their self-worth. This will help during early recovery as well as with long-term sobriety as you'll gain a stronger desire to give yourself the better life that you deserve.
  • You’ll learn to resist peer pressure. Once out of rehab and into the so-called real world, you’ll need to learn how to say "no" to the addictive substances or behaviors of your past — and CBT can help you practice and master this important recovery skill.
How to Maximize CBT for Addiction
  • Listen to your healthcare professional. Working with your therapists and counselors to follow your individualized recovery plan carefully is critical during each step of rehab and beyond. 
  • Do your CBT homework. CBT requires you to do work on your own in between therapy sessions. 
  • Continue to learn about your addiction. Don’t be afraid to ask your therapists or counselors questions to better understand your condition and how you can be an active participant in your addiction treatment.
CBT at Complete Harmony
The Complete Harmony therapy team specializes in CBT for addiction recovery in both group and individual settings. To learn more, or to speak with a member of our credentialed addiction team, call 866-930-4673 or submit a confidential online inquiry today.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Developing a Wellness Toolbox

A pretty simple yet powerful part of preventing relapse is developing a wellness toolbox, or list of things you can turn to help pick yourself up when you’re having a particularly hard time, according to the experts at The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The great part of creating a toolbox as part of your recovery plan is that it can grow, change and develop depending on your stage of recovery. 

Start by taking note of what makes you feel good throughout the day – whether a healthy breakfast or midday mantra. Or, ask friends, family members and counselors for some ideas or suggestions. The key is to write down everything – from easy strategies like taking a deep breath to more planned activities like getting a massage. 

Here are a few suggestions to get you started, according to SAMHSA. 
  • Eat three well-rounded meals a day or six smaller meals to fend off cravings.
  • Drink plenty of water (aim for eight 8-ounce glasses).
  • Stick to a regular sleep/wake schedule (even on weekends).
  • Take time to do something you enjoy or a favorite hobby. Some ideas: Do a puzzle, knit, color, cook.
  • Escape in a healthy way by watching a favorite movie or Netflix series or get lost in a good book.
  • Do a relaxation exercise, like deep breathing, stretching, meditation, or yoga.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Call an encouraging friend or family member.
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
To prevent relapse and ensure long-term sobriety it’s crucial to have long-term strategies for dealing with physical and psychological cravings, negative patterns, emotional duress, poor self-esteem and more. Our holistic approach to recovery helps clients change behaviors from the inside out; rather than just putting a bandage on addictive tendencies. To learn more about our alternative relapse prevention program, call today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How to Find Everyday Happiness

If you’re in early recovery, you’ve likely heard of the concept of the “pink cloud,” or intense feelings of elation and happiness felt by many in early sobriety. While beginning a brand-new sober life may very well be the best feeling you had in years (and it should be) – you’ll likely also need to deal with some curve balls and negative emotions along the way. Recovery is hard work and you may feel tired, discouraged and deflated at times. 

To stay the sober path, it’s a good idea to have a few healthy strategies to overcome these high and lows. Learning to focus on the positive and find joy in each day will help you to find happiness in sobriety. Here's how. 

Seek opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering can certainly boost your mood – think about how great it feels to really make a difference and help someone else – and it can also help you meet like-minded friends. Some groups and places that need volunteers:
  • Homeless shelters and soup kitchens
  • Animal shelters
  • Convalescent homes
  • Charitable organizations (ie Salvation Army, Goodwill) 
Try something new. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn another language or take a cooking class and you never had a chance to try it. Now is the time to gift yourself with the joy and confidence that comes with learning a new skill. 

Hang out with positive pals. Our recent blog, “Making Friends for Good Health,” outlined some of the numerous health benefits of having a few really good friends. But the real gems are those optimistic, upbeat pals that always seem to cheer you up, rally behind you and leave you feeling better about yourself.

Find your own fun. A playful spirit is a powerful recovery tool. Your new sober world is full of amazing experiences and possibilities to enjoy yourself and reconnect with others. Start with a few activities you used to enjoy as a kid – whether playing Frisbee in the park or heading to the movie theater.

Find Happiness in Sobriety 
Have you been using drugs and alcohol to achieve fleeting moments of happiness? Are you seeking a more lasting, healthy sense of well-being? If so, the holistic therapies at Complete Harmony can show you the way to a more meaningful and satisfying life. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Making Friends for Good Health

A new study shows that friendships become increasingly more important as we age—even more important than our familial relationships. 

“Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest," said the study's author.

The right friendships are also crucial to your recovery. As you begin to build new healthy patterns in your life, it’s more important than ever to be intentional about your friendships and relationships. The goal, after all, is to try to surround yourself with people who are supportive and understanding of your recovery needs. These tips can help you get started. 
  • Resist insecurity: It’s normal to worry about saying something stupid when meeting new people, but do your best to put your fears aside and focus on what you can do if, in fact, you do get tongue-tied.
  • Practice: The more you socialize, the easier it will become. Plus, it will help remind you that you’re not the only person out there trying to make new friends. 
  • Volunteer: Working alongside others in a group endeavor will allow you to make new acquaintances, which may very well turn into friendships.
  • Take up a sport or hobby. Join a local running group or take a cooking or yoga class  -- the possibilities are endless. 
  • Play host: Organize a few sober get-togethers and gatherings to get to know people better. 
  • Be patient: Like anything worthwhile, making friends takes time. 
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, June 5, 2017

9 Eating Habits for Better Mental Health

More and more research is finding a link between food and your mood. In fact, studies even note that an unhealthy diet can lead to greater anxiety and depression. Rachel Kelly, author of The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food, and nutritional therapist Alice Macintosh, joined forces and took the concept of eating for your mood even further. They worked to devise a list of “golden rules” or dietary behaviors to follow for optimal mental health. Here’s a summary of the list, which was published in ABC Health & Wellbeing:
  • Eat mostly plants. Veggies and legumes are loaded with brain-boosting nutrients and fiber.
  • Cook with plenty of herbs and spices. Particularly turmeric and saffron — “the rules aren't called ‘golden’ for nothing,” note the authors.
  • Go nuts: Nuts have been found to help with your mood.
  • Eat for your gut. Many experts refer to the stomach as the "second brain." This is because of the relationship between the brain, central nervous system and "good" bacteria in the gut, which has been linked to mental health.    
  • Become friends with healthy fats: Healthy fats, like omega-3s, have been study-proven to have a positive influence on parts of the brain linked to depression.
  • Pay attention to protein: Focus on good proteins like fish and lean meat and avoid highly processed meat products, which are tied to poor mental health.
  • Say no to sweeteners and additives: Again, the key is to avoid highly processed food.
  • Eat a varied diet. The authors noted that the average diet of our ancestors included about 150 ingredients, where as the average Western diet has around 20.
  • Relax and enjoy. Pretty much every culture relies on food as part of their celebrations — and for good reason. Don't dismiss the health benefits of eating as a social and recreational activity.
Caring for Your Mental Health
At Complete Harmony, we address the unique needs of our clients and give them the tools needed to sustain a healthy mind, body, and spirit during recovery and beyond. Learn more: 866-930-4673.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Say No to Salt and Yes to Spices

An important part of your long-term sobriety is learning how to eat a balanced diet – and the best way to do this is to cook for yourself. 

Even so, a lot of so-called healthy recipes rely on salt to add flavor. And too much sodium can up your risk of a variety of chronic conditions, including: 
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stomach cancer
Luckily, a little cooking creativity can help you cut back on sodium without sacrificing flavor – and you’ll likely reap some extra health benefits, too. Here are a few herbs and spices to always have in your kitchen:
  • Basil: Add this robust and aromatic herb to fish, lean meat, stews, salads, soups and sauces.
    Health bonus: Contains powerful antioxidants called flavonoids that protect cells from damage.
  • Mint: Adds bright freshness to pasta or chilled grain dishes like quinoa salad or couscous.
    Health bonus: Great source of vitamin C, which helps the body build important proteins that keep skin healthy and hair shiny.
  • Cinnamon: This fragrant spice is perfect to sprinkle on fruits or in sauces or in breads and other baked goods.
    Health bonus: Most known for its ability to reduce the rise of blood sugar after a meal.
  • Garlic: Best enjoyed fresh, this flavorful and aromatic bulb is the perfect addition to lean meat, fish, soups, vegetables, potatoes and sauces.
    Health bonus: Rich in the mineral selenium, which may help prevent heart disease and cancer
  • Ginger: This unique sweet and spicy flavor can be used when searing any protein: fish, chicken, pork or beef.
    Health bonus: Aids digestion and eases nausea; decreases inflammation.
  • Parsley: This nutritious herb can give meat, fish, salads, sauces and vegetables a vibrant taste.
    Health bonus: Good source of vitamin K, which helps blood clot and keeps your bones strong.
  • Sage: These grayish green leaves give lean meat, fish, biscuits and veggies a savory flavor.
    Health bonus: May help enhance memory; reduce inflammation.
  • Rosemary: This aromatic herb has evergreen-like leaves perfect for sauces, stuffing, potatoes and fish and lean meat dishes.
    Health bonus: Aids digestion; increases circulation.
Nutrition Planning at Complete Harmony
Helping clients plan healthful meals to enrich their body and mind is just one of the many features of our hybrid addiction treatment. By integrating conventional and holistic recovery approaches, we help restore balance to the whole person. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Good Reason to Get Up

You don't have to spend hours at the gym or have a vigorous sweat session to improve your mood and reduce depression, according to a new study published in the Journal of Health Psychology. Turns out that simply being up and about throughout the day can be healthier than sitting.

This is great news if you lead a mostly sedentary life – and, if you do, you’re not alone. Sitting down for meals, commuting, working, TV watching, sleeping – this can easily add up to as little as one hour per day off your feet! 

“We hope this research helps people realize the important public health message that simply going from doing no physical activity to performing some physical activity can improve their subjective well-being," said Gregory Panza, a graduate student in UConn's Department of Kinesiology and the study's lead author, in a statement. 

"What is even more promising for the physically inactive person is that they do not need to exercise vigorously to see these improvements," Panza continued. "Instead, our results indicate you will get the best 'bang for your buck' with light or moderate intensity physical activity."

Try one of these easy ways to add more movement to your day: 
  • Walk faster. Whether you’re walking to your car or down the grocery isle, make an effort to pick up the pace. 
  • Take the stairs. You’ve likely heard this advice before and for good reason: Climbing stairs for two minutes, five days a week provides the same calorie burn as a 36-minute walk, according to experts at Reader’s Digest. What’s more, a recent study showed that climbing the stairs can give you a midday boost more so than a cup of coffee. 
  • Add walking to your lunch menu. Once you finish eating, get up and get going for a brief walk. Most of us don’t take the full 30 to 60 minutes allotted for lunch to eat. 
  • Dance around your house. While you’re doing the dishes or waiting for dinner to cook, turn up the music and get shaking and shimmying. 
  • Neaten up daily. Chores like dusting, doing laundry and vacuuming can add up to big activity points. 
  • Turn TV time into a workout. Use those commercial breaks to get off of the sofa and do some jumping jacks or stretching.

Exercise to Support Your Sobriety 
At Complete Harmony, we know that fighting addiction is more than simply giving up drugs and alcohol. It’s about creating a new sober lifestyle that supports your health holistically. Our hybrid addiction recovery program offers exercise planning to strengthen your body during addiction recovery. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

Monday, May 8, 2017

New Study on Drug Craving

New research sheds light on how craving works in the brain, according to a new article published in JAMA Psychiatry. Scientists at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas are the first to propose a model that focuses on the intense, urgent feeling of needing or wanting drugs. 

"Craving is considered one of the strongest predictors of relapse," said Dr. Xiaosi Gu, who runs the Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Center for BrainHealth, in a statement. "Even after an individual has broken the cycle of compulsive drug taking, craving can still persist. Although current treatment can handle a lot of the behavioral aspects of addiction, especially physical symptoms, craving is difficult to treat because it is a subject state ... We aim, with this new framework, to begin to separate craving from reward- or drug-seeking behavior."

Dr. Gu, along with Dr. Francesca Filbey and Bert Moore Chair, are collaborating to identify which regions of the brain encode craving and to lay the groundwork for quantifying craving, its effects and ways to target treatments to counteract it. Of course, time will tell how this research can impact treatment for alcohol and substance abuse disorders as well as binge-eating disorders.  

3 Ways to Fight Craving
  • Change your surroundings. Go for a walk, bike ride or drive. The goal is to change your surroundings to eliminate any triggers, including sights, sounds and smells.
  • Seek support. Call a family member, trusted friend or sponsor to help you calm down and ride out the craving.
  • Engage in a “clean” activity. Watch a funny movie, do a puzzle, play a video game or try a new Pinterest project.
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
Many things trigger relapse, including events, places and negative relationships. Our relapse prevention and aftercare planning offers holistic relapse strategies to empower you or someone you love to slowly eliminate the dangerous urge to self-medicate. To learn more about our holistic treatment facility and programs, call: 866-930-4673.

Monday, May 1, 2017

6 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health

Happy Mental Health Month, led by Mental Health America (MHA). This year’s theme is “Risky Business,” and the 100-plus year organization is hoping to educate people about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, including risky sex, prescription drug misuse, internet addiction, excessive spending, marijuana use and troublesome exercise patterns.

If you’re healing from a past addiction to drugs or alcohol, taking the time to learn positive strategies to support your mental health is essential. If you don’t learn how to deal with stress, anxiety and depression in a positive way, you are at risk of relapsing and turning to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.

So the next time you’re feeling blue or overwhelmed with life, consider trying one or more of these tips from MHA
  • Go off the grid. Shut-off that smart phone and spend time doing something fun with someone face-to-face. Have a cookout, go to a park, or play a game. People are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days that they spend six to seven hours with friends and family.
  • Put on your creative cap. Try a new recipe or Pinterest project or write a poem or paint. Creative expression has been linked with higher overall well-being. 
  • Show love to someone special in your life. Having close, quality relationships can increase your chances of a happy, healthy life.
  • Soak up the joy. Being optimistic doesn't mean ignoring the uglier sides of life – but focusing on the positive as much as possible.
  • Track gratitude and achievement. Start a journal and include three things you were grateful for and three things you were able to accomplish each day. 
  • Work your strengths. Build your confidence by doing something you’re good at – and then tackle a tougher task. 
Find Happiness in Sobriety 
Have you been using drugs and alcohol to achieve fleeting moments of happiness? Are you seeking a more lasting, healthy sense of well-being? If so, the holistic therapies at Complete Harmony can show you the way to a more meaningful and satisfying life. Begin the journey to mindful sobriety by calling our caring, compassionate team at 866-930-4673 today!

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