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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Best Gifts for People New to Recovery

Only a few shopping days remain until Christmas, and you might still be looking for the best gifts for everyone on your “nice” list. It can be especially challenging to select presents for people who are recovering from substance abuse issues. If someone you care about is in the early stages of addiction recovery, how can you spread holiday cheer without triggers? Here are some gift ideas you can use.

1. Inspirational Books

Many people who successfully overcame addiction issues have published inspirational books about their journey. If your loved one is a bookworm, you can give them the gift of reading this holiday season with a memoir that reminds them they aren’t alone and inspires them to keep working toward their goals.

2. Exciting New Experiences

People in active addiction often lose sight of previously enjoyable activities because drinking or drug use becomes their top priority. Now that your loved one is clean and sober, show them how rewarding life can be by taking them ziplining or skydiving. If they’re not thrill-seekers, arrange an afternoon at an outdoor ice rink or a cultural attraction like an art museum.

3. Online Classes

E-learning has flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic, so buying online courses for your loved one could be an excellent gift idea. Since boredom can be a significant relapse trigger, they’ll need activities that fill their spare hours, and learning something new is an excellent way to stay busy and expand their horizons without leaving home.

4. A Sober Getaway

The idea of vacationing without drugs and alcohol may be somewhat foreign to people who are new to recovery. You can make the most of this opportunity to help reinforce their new lifestyle by taking them on a sober getaway. Pick a destination and activities that will minimize the chance of encountering triggers, like a yoga retreat or a camping weekend.

5. A Pet

If your loved one is far enough into their recovery that they’re ready to take on the responsibility of being a pet parent, a companion pet can be an excellent gift for someone new to sobriety. Spending time with a pet can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Dogs can encourage their humans to exercise more, since they benefit from going on daily walks. Pets also provide unconditional love and comfort. Many dogs and cats are intuitive enough to pick up on their humans’ mood and know when something isn’t right. Since taking care of a pet is a major commitment, ensure your loved one is ready and willing to look after another living being before following through on this gift idea.

Spreading Holiday Cheer Without Triggers

Armed with these gift ideas, you can make the holiday merry and bright by slipping the perfect present under the tree or into your loved one’s stocking. And, if someone you care about is caught in the cycle of addiction, consider giving them the gift of sobriety by researching treatment options for them. At Complete Harmony, we offer a holistic approach to addiction rehabilitation and non-12-step programming tailored to each client’s unique needs. Contact us today to learn more.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Maintaining Your Sobriety on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and many people are looking forward to the opportunity to enjoy their favorite dishes and gather with family and friends. However, if you’re working on your recovery, you might be dreading Thanksgiving and all the pressure it brings.

Even if you have successfully stayed substance-free for several months, holidays like Thanksgiving often represent a unique temptation to drink. How can you enjoy the long holiday weekend without jeopardizing all the hard work and progress you’ve accomplished up to this point?

1. Bring a Non-Alcoholic Drink

Many Thanksgiving hosts consider it polite to offer their guests a choice of alcoholic beverages. Someone might thoughtlessly hand you a beer without realizing what a risk that could represent for you. To combat this, arrive at the gathering with a cooler full of your favorite non-alcoholic drinks, and be sure to keep your beverage of choice close to hand at all times.

2. Have an Exit Strategy

Gatherings like Thanksgiving can be stressful and triggering for many people. Plan what you’ll do if you start feeling overwhelmed and need to take a moment to yourself. For example, you might find a quiet area where you can sit and practice deep breathing techniques until you calm down. In some cases, you may even decide to leave early. Have a polite excuse planned ahead of time, and if you drive yourself to the get-together, make sure you park somewhere nobody else is boxing you in.

3. Be Grateful

Don’t lose sight of the true spirit of Thanksgiving: practicing gratitude. Make a list of everything you have to be thankful for this year – improved physical and mental well-being, new friendships and the opportunity to make a fresh start in your life. You can even begin or end your day with a gratitude meditation to help you count your blessings and reflect on the things that bring you joy.

4. Rely on Your Sober Support Network

A sober supporter can keep you grounded and remind you of your goals to remain substance-free this holiday season. If you can’t find a friend to attend your Thanksgiving gathering with you, ask if they’re willing to respond to your calls and texts during the day. Attend a group meeting or schedule a therapy session before or after Thanksgiving dinner to stay on the right track.

5. Offer to Help

Staying busy is one way to keep your mind off any cravings that might arise. Before dinner, offer to pitch in with tasks like last-minute decorating or food prep. After the meal, lead the cleanup efforts by doing dishes, taking out the trash and tidying the kitchen. The host will appreciate having an extra pair of hands, and you’ll be able to demonstrate your commitment to your recovery by showing everyone how much progress you’ve made.

Cutting-Edge Addiction Treatment

If you’re exploring addiction treatment facilities and are looking for alternatives to traditional 12-step therapy, consider the holistic approach. At Complete Harmony, we provide a range of evidence-based options combined with complementary therapies that will start you on the path to a mindful, well-rounded recovery. Connect with us when you’re ready to learn more.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Popular Alternatives to 12-Step Treatment

Because Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the oldest and best-known solutions for people seeking to break the cycle of addiction, it’s become synonymous with recovery in some people’s minds. However, if you are exploring drug and alcohol rehabs for yourself or a loved one, you should know that 12-step programs like AA and NA aren’t your only choice.

No two people are alike, which means recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. While many people have discovered success in following the 12-step model, you may find a different treatment method resonates more with you. Knowing you have the power to customize your sobriety journey can give you the confidence to find a solution that fully suits your needs.

Reasons to Explore Alternatives to 12-Step Treatment

Why might you want to consider options other than the traditional 12-step path to addiction recovery?
  • You prefer to take a holistic approach to your overall health and well-being.
  • You’re seeking a secular alternative to the faith-based 12-step method.
  • You are returning to treatment after experiencing a relapse.
  • You have a dual diagnosis of addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder.
  • You’re looking for therapies that help you uncover and address the root cause of your self-destructive behavior.
  • You want a more flexible approach that allows you to choose between different treatment modalities.
  • You appreciate the option to participate in complementary therapies like massage, yoga and acupuncture as part of your rehabilitation.
  • You believe addiction treatment should empower and enlighten you.
  • You know your past doesn’t define your future.

You Have Other Options

If you aren’t religious, you might struggle to connect with the 12 steps because they specifically require you to surrender to a higher power. Though the program doesn’t necessarily dictate that your higher power must be a deity, you might still prefer a treatment option rooted in science instead of faith. Alternative addiction treatments like SMART Recovery and psychotherapy teach people with substance use disorders that they have the innate ability to overcome their addictions and live an independent, fulfilling life.

Overcoming an addiction involves not only committing to significant lifestyle changes, but also thinking differently about yourself and your relationships. Negativity is one common characteristic of addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy have proven highly effective for addiction treatment because they teach people to change their thoughts and habits.

Hybrid Addiction Treatment in California

At Complete Harmony, we believe the most effective addiction treatment program is one tailored to meet your unique needs. If you prefer a faith-based approach, we will use the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as the foundation of your recovery. However, if you aren’t religious and believe you’d benefit more from secular, research-based treatment methods, we leave that choice in your hands.

Our hybrid addiction treatment program relies on a synthesis of proven therapeutic modalities that teach you how to manage your illness and heal – mentally, physically and spiritually. Connect with us today to learn more about your alternatives to 12-step treatment.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Tips for Becoming a More Compassionate Person

Most people would probably agree that being more caring is a goal worth striving for. However, unless you consciously take time to do this, you might find it doesn’t always come naturally. Is it possible to purposely adopt a mindset of love and kindness? Yes! Compassion is a skill you can develop over time, even amid your daily stresses and challenges. Like an exercise, the more you do it, the more instinctive it will feel. Start cultivating more compassion in your life with these three tips.

1. Be Kind to Yourself

It’s impossible to love others if you don’t care for yourself first. To do so, you should silence your inner critic when it rears its ugly head with intrusive thoughts like “You’ll never be good enough” or “Nobody likes you; they’re only pretending.”

Instead of being so hard on yourself, give yourself permission to be imperfect. You might not have everything figured out – but who on Earth does? You’re trying your best and taking things one day at a time, just like everyone else.

2. Hone Your Sense of Empathy

If your goal is to become a more compassionate person, you must show more empathy for others – not only people you know, but also total strangers. It’s all too easy to get caught up in day-to-day worries and neglect to think about what other people are going through. However, people around the world are suffering – not only from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also from the effects of climate change, violence and poverty.

Every day, work to put yourself in others’ shoes. For instance, as you read news articles about the wildfires along the West Coast, try to imagine what people fleeing those fires have gone through. Many of them have lost their homes and businesses during this already difficult year. Some people are even mourning the loss of loved ones who died in the fires. If you’re lucky enough to be unaffected by these natural disasters, is there any action you can take to help ease victims’ suffering? Perhaps you can donate to a relief fund, or help share survivors’ stories.

3. Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Small acts of kindness don’t cost you a penny to perform, but they can enhance your mental health by leaps and bounds. When you intentionally spread joy, it increases your brain’s production of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that naturally boosts your mood and provides profound feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Consider these ideas to get you started.
  • Start a Little Free Library book-sharing program in your neighborhood.
  • Write compliments or affirmations on strips of paper and leave your notes on strangers’ cars.
  • Send a “just-because” gift to a family member or friend.
  • Volunteer to help an elderly neighbor with their chores or errands.
  • Let someone get in front of you in the checkout line at the grocery store.
  • Pay for the order of the person behind you at the drive-thru.
  • Clear the clutter in your home and donate anything you no longer use to a charitable organization.

Be Patient With Yourself

Nothing worthwhile in life comes without making an effort. If being more compassionate doesn’t naturally come to you, give yourself time. With practice, you’ll find it easier to show compassion for others – and yourself.

If you’re seeking qualified addiction treatment outside the structure of traditional 12-step programs, reach out to us at Complete Harmony. We offer a full continuum of care with a holistic framework that has helped empower people struggling with substance use disorders and given them the tools to live fulfilling, healthy lives.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

What Is Hybrid Addiction Treatment?

Addiction is a complex disease that requires a multifaceted approach to healing and recovery. While we know there’s no cure for this illness, it is possible for people to break free from the cycle of self-destruction and learn to manage their addiction for the rest of their lives. To succeed in your goals, look for a certified drug and alcohol rehab facility that offers hybrid addiction treatment.

A Closer Look at Hybrid Addiction Treatment

Many inpatient drug rehab centers use “one-size-fits-all” methods for treating addiction. The most prevalent example among these is the 12-step model. Though the 12-step program has helped many people find a path to wellness, facilities that rely solely on the 12 steps may leave people with fewer tools to maintain their long-term sobriety.

Another potential drawback of a more rigid approach is that the treatment philosophy might not align with everyone’s values. For instance, if you’re not a person of faith, you may struggle with the idea of surrendering to a higher power in 12-step addiction recovery. Ultimately, a rehab program that doesn’t click with you could make it even more challenging for you to get – and stay – on the right track.

In contrast, a hybrid addiction program combines several treatment modalities, all of which work together to help ensure the higher probability of long-term success. In hybrid treatment, for example, clients who prefer a more secular approach may thrive in SMART® Recovery, which introduces people to a science-based, self-empowering pathway to lifelong abstinence from harmful substances. Adding holistic therapies such as yoga and acupuncture to the mix provides a well-rounded foundation for recovery.

Advantages of the Hybrid Approach

Hybrid addiction treatment has several notable benefits that set it apart from more traditional methods of achieving sobriety.
  • Helps avoid a relapse: Combining holistic and evidence-based treatments will give you a broader set of tools and skills to choose from when you leave rehab. Having these at your fingertips can be invaluable as you encounter the triggers and stresses associated with the “real world.”
  • Addresses the underlying cause of your addiction: Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy are ideal for treating addictions because they help you relearn how to respond in different circumstances. You can learn to uncover the root of your addiction and why you crave substances in specific scenarios.
  • Heals all facets of a person: Hybrid addiction treatment can simultaneously address physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues for comprehensive well-being.

Hybrid Addiction Treatment in California

If you’re looking for a program that combines conventional and alternative strategies for treating addiction, Complete Harmony can help. We provide a full continuum of care for people who need help turning their lives around. Our compassionate advisors are standing by to take your confidential call. Entering treatment could be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Leads to Rise in Drug Overdoses

Years before the emergence of the novel coronavirus, another severe public health crisis was causing shock waves throughout our nation: the drug epidemic. Fatal drug overdoses, largely resulting from the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl, have killed around half a million people nationwide in the last decade. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be magnifying this risk for the millions of Americans living with substance use disorders.

What’s Causing the Surge in Drug Overdoses?

When the pandemic arrived in the U.S., some authorities hoped it might lead to a decrease in overdoses by disrupting drug traffic as states and nations closed their borders and shut major cities down. Sadly, the opposite seems to be the case. Emerging evidence indicates illicit drug use is on the rise as the coronavirus rages on. Stress, economic devastation and isolation may be driving increased alcohol use and prescriptions for antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication, which had seen a 34% spike by late May.

The interruption to their usual supply lines has caused people who rely on drugs such as opioids to seek new ways to obtain their next dose. They might also be more willing to take unfamiliar substances such as fentanyl to get high. More and more drug dealers are turning to fentanyl because it costs less and is easier to transport than heroin. However, unbeknownst to many opioid users, fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, which substantially increases the risk of overdose. Ingesting as little as 0.25 milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal.

Isolation Is the “New Normal”

In many cases, shelter-in-place orders have left people alone in their homes. If they take drugs by themselves, nobody will be around to call an ambulance or save their life by administering the opioid overdose antidote naloxone – with tragic results.

Loneliness and anxiety are two significant triggers for drug use and relapse. Compounding the issue, many therapists and recovery groups have stopped offering in-person services to help slow the spread of the virus. People who feel sad, frightened and desperate might turn to drugs and alcohol when they believe they have no other options for getting better. The result is worsening addiction, and in some cases, death.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed many weaknesses in America’s infrastructure – public education, our health care system and our social safety net, to name a few. The way we, as a nation, had been responding to our drug epidemic was insufficient even before the emergence of COVID-19. Now, how many more people are at risk for dangerous substance abuse because of these systemic vulnerabilities?

Putting Hope Within Your Reach

Don’t become part of the sad statistics surrounding drug abuse amid COVID-19. If you’re seeking a holistic alternative to 12-step addiction recovery, find your solution at Complete Harmony. We help pave the way to lifelong wellness and sobriety by empowering our clients to reach within themselves to improve their well-being. If the cycle of addiction has been weighing you down, rediscover your freedom and passion for life with our comprehensive one-, two- and three-month residential treatment plans. We’re looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

International Day of Yoga: How Finding Your Center Can Enhance Your Recovery

In 2015, the United Nations designated International Day of Yoga each June. If you don’t already have a yoga routine, now is an excellent time to start discovering the many benefits of this venerable practice. While yoga is an ideal way to build strength and flexibility, these seemingly simple poses go far beyond physical benefits. Should you think about adding yoga to your addiction recovery program? Here are some advantages you might wish to consider.

1. Enhances the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

The word yoga comes from a Sanskrit term meaning “union.” A typical yoga class combines a flow of poses, or asanas, with controlled breathing, and closes with a meditative period in which aspiring yogis seek to reach deeper within themselves. A regular yoga practice can bring you spiritual growth as you learn to quiet your mind and bring your body into balance.

2. Helps Heal Your Brain

Long-term substance abuse alters your brain chemistry, adversely affecting the pathways regulating decision-making, emotions and memory. Though drugs have lasting impacts on the brain, it’s not impossible to rebuild this organ once you start recovery. As you begin to heal yourself from the disease of addiction, yoga may act like a “reset button” for your brain’s chemistry and neural network.

3. Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are genuine threats in recovery because they can serve as significant relapse triggers. If you don’t learn healthy coping mechanisms such as yoga, a family argument or stressful day at work can cause intense cravings for your former substance of use. As one study by researchers at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found, the regular practice of yoga may enhance gray matter and the areas of the brain that play an active role in stress relief, like the hippocampus.

4. Better Overall Health

Addiction takes a toll on your overall physical, mental and emotional health. When you make yoga part of your recovery routine, you can enjoy more energy, an improved mood and better quality of sleep. You’ll also start feeling stronger every day, and will notice a boost in your self-esteem because of the changes yoga will make to your body.

5. More Self-Discipline

Walking away from the temptation to use drugs and alcohol is one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do, but committing to a regular yoga practice can give you the discipline you’ll need to keep saying “no” for the rest of your life. When you notice how much better you feel overall, it will help keep you motivated to continue with your yoga routine.

Begin the Journey to Healing at Complete Harmony

If you are seeking help for a drug or alcohol addiction or dual diagnosis, but wish to explore alternatives to traditional 12-step recovery, find your home at Complete Harmony. We offer a holistic treatment program that includes comfortable, non-pharmaceutical detox and cognitive behavioral therapy alongside therapies such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture to give our clients the best chance of lifelong recovery. Contact us today to learn more.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Stay Connected: Avoiding Loneliness in Self-Quarantine

It’s been a little more than two months since a wave of school and business closures swept the nation and most people began sheltering in place. And even as some cities and states are relaxing COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, many of us are remaining homebound as much as possible to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of contagion within our communities.

Though experts currently don’t have an estimate for when we’ll be able to resume our pre-pandemic lifestyles, we could be a year – or more – away from returning to normal. What can you do if you’re craving human contact and struggling with a touch of “quarantine fatigue,” but don’t want to loosen the measures you’ve put in place to stay safe?

Organize Virtual Get-Togethers

Some people have become more relaxed about social distancing by inviting people over to their homes or meeting them in newly reopened restaurants. However, epidemiologists caution that there are still too many unknowns to make even small in-person gatherings safe. Why? Many people who get COVID-19 have mild to no symptoms. That means you could feel perfectly healthy and still infect others with the virus.

Instead of jeopardizing public health by taking these risks, invite friends and family members to virtual meetups. Don’t be afraid to get creative – for example, you can coordinate an online game night, or mimic the experience of going out to eat together by arranging a shared meal on video chat. Start a quarantine movie or book club. You don’t need to be in the same room to feel a satisfying sense of connection.

Find Online Workout Buddies

Since coronavirus spreads via airborne droplets, heavy breathing in a shared space will likely do you more harm than good. However, if you’re having trouble staying motivated to work out without the extra accountability of a friend or two, the need for social distancing has probably affected your fitness routine. Many gyms and fitness studios are offering free streaming classes to create camaraderie, or you can agree on a time to meet up with real-life friends for an online sweat session.

Explore Opportunities for Growth

Following an effective routine can provide a much-needed sense of normalcy and control amid uncertain circumstances. However, if your days are starting to run together, begin to set aside time and space for things you want to accomplish. Perhaps there are new skills or hobbies you want to cultivate, or you thrive on intellectual challenges such as learning to code.

Intentionally making room for growth will give you something rewarding to look forward to and break up the monotony of spending every day at home. Just remember, if you’re not feeling up to your chosen pursuit every day, it’s OK to take mental health breaks whenever you need to.


Nonprofits still need willing and able volunteers, even during this significant crisis. Though you might not want to break quarantine to volunteer in person, you can still give back to others through opportunities such as manning a crisis hotline, tutoring underprivileged students online or donating extra money or household goods you may have.

Seek Help When You Need It

During quarantine, many of us have been struggling with a heightened sense of anxiety, but living in a constant crisis mode can take its toll on your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. At Complete Harmony, our caring recovery advisors are here to answer any of your questions about holistic addiction treatment and getting on a healthy track. Connect with us today.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Relationships in Coronavirus Quarantine

Forced isolation with the same people for weeks on end has turned some households into a pressure cooker. Whether you live with housemates or family members, you may find minor annoyances magnified into a source of significant strife. How can you preserve your relationships and your mental well-being and emerge on the other side of COVID-19 quarantine stronger than ever?

Recognize Signs of Stress

It’s understandable if you’re finding your nerves a bit frayed lately. We are all living through a time of unparalleled anxiety, with no end in sight. If you feel yourself nearing a breaking point, stop and take a deep breath before you lash out at someone and say something hurtful you’ll later regret. Check in with your body’s cues – Is your heart rate elevated? Are you holding excess tension in any muscle groups? – and keep one or more relaxation techniques in your back pocket to turn to.

Clear the Air

Quarantine quarrels can quickly spiral out of control, leaving everyone involved feeling tense and on edge. It may be tempting to avoid difficult conversations to maintain harmony within your household, but shying away from issues is a surefire recipe for conflict down the road. If you’re feeling frustrated by something, verbalize it. Try to use “I” phrasing instead of “you” phrasing, so the other person doesn’t feel attacked. For example, you could say something like, “I feel like I’ve been doing more than my fair share of the housework lately, and it’s been frustrating.”

Seek Help When You Need It

If you’re overwhelmed and having trouble regulating your emotions, consider therapy to unpack your feelings and discover new, healthy coping strategies. In these challenging circumstances, there are many telehealth options such as online therapy to explore. Evidence suggests this option can be just as effective as seeing a counselor face to face, and it’s also safe because you won’t have to leave your home.

Protect Your Time and Space

Even the most outgoing people can benefit from having occasional time to be alone and focus on their thoughts. However, when you’re quarantined in a finite amount of space, you might start to feel like you never have a moment to yourself. You can combat this by creating boundaries, and encouraging housemates to do the same. For instance, you can set designated quiet times every day where everyone agrees to practice separate pursuits such as reading, meditating or napping. Or, choose how to divide rooms in your living space. Grant that a closed door automatically means “do not disturb,” or, if you lack a door, you can tack up a blanket or a bedsheet to make a barrier.

Cutting-Edge, Client-Centered Treatment

Even in a global pandemic, people struggling with substance misuse and co-occurring mental health disorders need to know there are safe places where they can seek help in a non-judgmental setting. At Complete Harmony, we are still focused on our mission of providing an alternative to traditional 12-step addiction recovery with a range of holistic options. Take the first step on your healing journey and contact us today.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Stories of Human Kindness During COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented levels of worldwide stress and anxiety. However, at a time when it feels like all the headlines are negative, there is a bright spot in the simple acts of kindness everyday people and businesses are sharing. Difficult times often reveal the best in humanity.

Right now, a little love and understanding goes a long way. Here’s a small sampling of the ways neighbors have stepped up to care for each other and practice kindness during this challenging time.

Venues Worldwide Are Hosting Virtual Tours

If you’re like many who have had to postpone travel plans due to the pandemic, you can still visit many world-class attractions, including the Louvre and the Smithsonian, from the comfort of your couch. Though all these facilities are closed for the time being, you can skip the crowds and explore priceless art and artifacts with online tours.

New York Running Clubs Are Doing Errands for Their Homebound Neighbors

New York City’s small army of running enthusiasts has found a way to maintain their fitness levels while helping those who are observing self-quarantine. Members of running clubs have used their fleet feet and stepped up to go to pharmacies, grocery stores and other businesses to pick up essential supplies.

Citizens Are Spontaneously Celebrating Health Care Workers

In cities around the world, quarantined people have come together to hold rounds of applause for doctors, nurses and first responders from their balconies, porches and rooftops.

Landlords Are Forgiving Rent

Government restrictions on social distancing have forced many people into unexpected unemployment. Due to this, many understanding landlords are giving their tenants a break when they can’t afford to make their rent payments.

People Are Finding Ways to Support Local Businesses

Depending on where you live, many “non-essential” local businesses such as hair salons have likely had to close. Loyal customers are finding ways to keep these beloved establishments afloat during this time of crisis by buying gift cards to use later or sending money directly to the owner.

Patrons Are Leaving Larger Tips

With so many restaurants switching to takeout and delivery services only, it has become challenging for many servers and delivery drivers to make ends meet. Understanding this scenario, some customers have started tipping these service providers more generously.

Finding the Light in the Coronavirus Crisis

It’s easy to find examples of how the current crisis has brought out the worst in people. However, bad times often see strangers rising to the challenge to help their neighbors.

Let these simple acts of kindness inspire you during this challenging time, when so many are struggling to find their sense of optimism and gratitude. If you are fortunate enough to be healthy during this epidemic, look for ways to step forward and help where you can. You may find new connections in your community that last long after medical research has identified a cure for coronavirus.

Don’t let fears about COVID-19 hold you back from the proven addiction treatment you deserve. Contact us for a confidential consultation with our recovery advisors.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Feeling Overwhelmed? How to Stay Positive During the Coronavirus Outbreak

When you’re in addiction recovery, maintaining a positive attitude is essential. However, with the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 crisis, you might be feeling that goal slipping out of your reach somewhat. How can you keep your upbeat attitude when it seems like all the news lately has been negative, if not downright frightening? Here are some tips.

1. Limit Your Exposure to the News

It may seem like you’re being more responsible by staying informed and checking in with the day’s headlines frequently, but doing so is a surefire way to give you information overload. Since bad news travels faster than good news, especially online, refreshing your feed multiple times a day will create digital burnout and leave you feeling mentally exhausted. Instead, impose limits on when you allow yourself to look at social media or watch the news on TV. Choose one or two trusted outlets, and only check them during your allotted time slots.

2. Follow Negative Information With Something Cheery

As we learned from Mary Poppins, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” In other words, once you’ve caught up on the latest information about the spread of coronavirus, engage with something lighthearted to boost your mood, such as compilation videos of adorable baby animals.

3. Turn off the Alerts on Your Devices

If you have the settings on your phone, tablet or computer set to ping whenever there’s breaking news, try silencing your devices or disabling the alerts altogether. Many people find the sounds or vibrations coming from their phone nearly impossible to ignore, and will put everything aside to see what they’re about. To help you learn to focus more of your attention on individual tasks, disregard these stressful intrusions. The information will still be there for you when you’re ready to pick up your device again, and you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel when you’re not checking those notifications every few minutes.

4. Take Mental Health Breaks

Evidence increasingly suggests that taking regular mental health breaks can help improve your concentration and allow you to feel more present and engaged in your life. If your mind has been on overdrive lately due to the barrage of information about coronavirus, recognize that you might be feeling burned out, and take a break to de-stress. Whether that comes in the form of a brief meditation, a walk around the block or a series of yoga poses, whatever helps you clear your mind can benefit you.

5. Call a Friend or Family Member

In this time of self-quarantine, we probably all have people we haven’t seen for a few weeks. If you’re holed up at home and feeling lonely, reach out to say hello and see how everyone has been doing. They probably need a pick-me-up just as much as you do, and will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Meanwhile, it’s in your best interest to avoid the relapse trigger of loneliness.

Begin Your Recovery Journey at Complete Harmony

Are you looking for a holistic alternative to traditional drug and alcohol treatment programs? Reach out to us today for a confidential conversation with our admissions advisors.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

How Spirituality Can Play a Role in Your Recovery

The idea of spirituality might make you envision New Age concepts like astrology, tarot cards, healing crystals or chakras. The reality, however, is that spirituality can be more accessible than you think. Essentially, it boils down to any practice that helps you find the meaning amid all the chaos of daily life.

Spirituality can be especially valuable for people in addiction recovery because of its ability to help you understand yourself, find greater meaning in life and make you feel a connection to the world at large.

What Is Spirituality?

Many people tend to conflate spirituality with religion. However, while spirituality is often a component of religious practices, it is not a belief system in and of itself. That means even skeptics and nonbelievers can find value in spirituality, and that there is no wrong way to incorporate spiritual practices into your life.

Another way in which your spirituality might differ from religion is that your definition of spirituality can and should be fluid and evolve throughout your life, whereas many people of faith do not deviate from or question their relationship with their god or higher power.

Anything that causes you to feel the interconnectedness of life and have a greater appreciation of your place in the universe can be a spiritual experience. For some, listening to a moving piece of music is profoundly spiritual, while others find solace in traditional worship services and prayer.

Benefits of Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Substance misuse often makes people feel isolated from the people around them. In contrast, spiritual practices lead to feelings of connectedness. The result can be a sense of awe, gratitude and positivity. With regular spiritual reflection, you will gradually learn to become more compassionate, tolerant and generous toward other living beings.

Becoming a more spiritual person is also a worthy goal to work toward if you want to cultivate better overall mental wellness and peace of mind. You can respond more constructively to any anxiety and stress created by addiction and subsequent recovery.

Ways to Incorporate Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Though spirituality takes many forms, here are some that can be particularly valuable for people trying to maintain their sobriety.
  • Meditation: Meditation is a way to improve your mindfulness, equanimity and relaxation. While there are a vast array of meditation techniques, the most straightforward involves sitting still in a quiet place and focusing on your breath and any sensations you might be experiencing.
  • Yoga: There is a close connection between yoga and meditation, because yoga also involves specific breathing techniques as you move through a fluid series of poses. The spiritual goal of yoga is to teach you how to quiet your mind and become more aware of your place in the world around you.
  • Gratitude: The practice of gratitude helps you feel more positive and learn to live in the moment. You don’t have to add anything complicated to your routine. Merely taking a few moments out of each day to jot down notes about things you are thankful for can help you feel more connected to others and increase your sense of positivity.

Finding Serenity in Sobriety

It’s possible for you to go through addiction recovery and learn how to become more resilient along the way with tools learned through spirituality. At Complete Harmony, we can help you reclaim your physical, mental and emotional health with our non-12-step, holistic approach to rehab. Connect with us today to learn more.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Returning to Rehab After a Relapse: What You Should Know

Like with other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, relapsing is a common characteristic of addiction. If you’ve returned to drug or alcohol use after a period of sustained sobriety, it does not mean you’ve failed, or that you won’t be able to learn the skills and habits necessary to manage an addiction over the long term. Instead, it indicates that you didn’t fully address the root causes of your disease in treatment, and that you might need to return for a second stint in rehab.

Should You Re-Enter Treatment?

There is no cure for addiction. However, a treatment program can teach you how to take an active role in managing your illness and avoid pitfalls that could trigger a relapse. If you do fall back into your old patterns of addictive behavior for several days or weeks, you might find it increasingly challenging to get your recovery on the right track. Each day you continue using, the goal of long-term sobriety slips further away from you.

As reluctant as you might be to admit you need to go back to rehab, if you relapse, you must seek help as soon as possible. Returning to a controlled environment that removes triggers and provides you with no access to addictive substances will put you back in the driver’s seat.

Round Two of Rehabilitation

Another reason for relapse is that the rehab center you initially chose did not fully meet your needs. For example, perhaps their treatment philosophy didn’t align with your values, or you felt they did not provide you with an adequate amount of structure. Relapse centers vary widely in the approaches they take to putting their clients on a healing path, and what clicks with one person might not necessarily connect the dots for you. Finding a center that takes a different approach than the last one you went to may produce better results.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, for example, can be extremely effective at treating addictions by changing how you think about and respond to various situations. Over time, these treatment modalities can help you unlearn the habits associated with your addiction as you develop healthy new coping mechanisms.

Combining these evidence-based approaches with holistic therapies such as yoga, massage and meditation will give you a robust foundation for managing any stress and negativity that may enter your life. Knowing that you have a strategy for relaxing and rewarding yourself other than drug and alcohol abuse can be the difference between experiencing a self-destructive relapse and responding with equanimity.

Speak With a Recovery Advisor

If you are exploring your options for addiction rehabilitation, whether for the first time or for follow-up treatment, consider the reasons to add Complete Harmony to your list. Our holistic, non-12-step approach has helped hundreds of men and women from all walks of life break the cycle of addiction and achieve lifelong freedom from drug and alcohol use. If you have not found 12-step treatment successful in the past, or you have struggled with frequent relapse, we invite you to reach out to us today.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Benefits of Traveling out of State for Addiction Recovery

If you’ve made the life-changing decision to seek help for your drug or alcohol addiction, your next step is to find a facility that can meet your needs and provide you with the most effective treatment options. Because of the abundance of resources from coast to coast, you may decide to seek treatment outside your home city or state. What are the advantages of doing so, and what should you keep in mind as you research your choices?

Advantages of Traveling for Rehab

Being willing to go to rehab in a different state broadens your options considerably. Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment, it’s essential for you to identify the precise combination of amenities and treatment approaches that you believe will be most beneficial for you.

For example, if you have a dual diagnosis of an addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, it’s crucial to find a program that can address both problems simultaneously. You’ll look forward to the process more when you know you’ll be getting exactly what you need out of it.

Turning Over a New Leaf

Another benefit of seeking treatment away from home is that it gives you the feeling of making a fresh start in brand-new surroundings. You won’t encounter any of the familiar stressors, triggers or negative influences associated with being near your regular stomping grounds. Your former drinking or drug buddies will be hundreds of miles away, instead of right down the road.

Going to rehab in your hometown might also cause you to give into an impulse or temptation to leave treatment early, which can jeopardize your success immensely. Studies have proven a correlation between the length of time spent in treatment and a reduced likelihood of relapse. The longer you stick with the program, the more you will improve your chances of making a full recovery.

Find the Environment That’s Right for You at Complete Harmony

Seeking addiction treatment in a comfortable environment will help increase your chances of long-term success in recovery. As you’re looking for programs that align with your preferences, you might want to consider how your surroundings can affect your treatment plan. For example, a well-appointed, resort-style atmosphere near the beach can provide a tranquil, relaxing backdrop for your recovery.

Depending on the challenges you are facing with your addiction to drugs or alcohol, you can often see remarkable improvement by shaking up your routine and removing yourself from unhealthy situations. Many people find it beneficial to travel for rehab because it allows them to remove themselves from their typical surroundings and gives them the time and space they need to begin healing themselves mentally, physically and spiritually.

If you are struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders, reach out to us today to get started on the pathway to a happier future. At our California holistic drug rehab center, we welcome adult men and women with comprehensive, non-12-step care in a beautiful setting that is fully conducive to the recovery process.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Using the Teachings of Buddhism in Addiction Recovery

Many people who come to addiction recovery from secular backgrounds may struggle with the traditional 12-step philosophy. Even though the 12-step program welcomes anyone who would like to participate, regardless of beliefs, several of the steps explicitly mention accepting the existence of a higher power.

A faith-based program or one that has religious overtones might not speak to you if you are among the rising number of Americans with no religious affiliation. Fortunately, there are many alternative options to pursue lifelong sobriety, and one of those is to incorporate the teachings of Buddhism.

What Is Buddhism?

Buddhism is more of a philosophy or way of life than it is a religion – at least, in the traditional Western sense of the word. The practice of Buddhism does not involve praying to any gods or acknowledging the presence of a higher power in your life. Because of the nature of Buddhism, you can be a Christian, an atheist or anything in between and still benefit from the teachings of this ancient practice.

The Buddha taught his followers how to achieve enlightenment by liberating themselves from suffering, and that is the goal people still aim for today. The core of Buddhism, also called the Three Universal Truths, means accepting the following.

  1. Everything changes; nothing in this world is permanent.
  2. Desire causes suffering.
  3. We should be selfless. People shouldn’t try to own things or envy what they haven’t got.

Applying Buddhist Ideas to Your Recovery

Buddhism teaches us that we suffer when we don’t get what we want, which has parallels with the cycle of addiction. Addicted people crave their substances of use when they try to stop using them, which causes them to return to their unhealthy behaviors time and again.

Meditation, which is part of the foundation of practicing Buddhism, teaches practitioners to recognize, accept and let go of their difficult thoughts and feelings. When you establish a regular practice, meditation can help release the attachment you feel towards substances or behaviors, and can ease feelings of stress and anxiety about no longer using.

As many recovering addicts can attest, shame only intensifies the addictive behavior. In a form of meditation called loving-kindness meditation, you focus your attention on someone who loves you and allow those feelings of love to permeate your heart. You can bring your breath into this by inhaling love and exhaling guilt. This type of meditation can help you become more enlightened by learning to forgive yourself.

Find Your Healing Pathway Here

While many people have found the healing they needed through 12-step treatment, it isn’t the right fit for everyone. At Complete Harmony, we offer non-12-step, holistic addiction recovery for adults who are seeking an alternative to the faith-based approach. If you prefer to pursue a more natural, balanced approach to regaining your mental and physical well-being, reach out to us today to speak to one of our recovery advisors about what we offer.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Strategies to Improve Your Mindfulness

If you made a New Year’s resolution to increase your awareness of the world around you through practices such as meditation, you might be wondering if there are any proven techniques available for doing so. Many of us go through our daily motions with a vague idea that we could improve our lives, but we don’t create strategies that outline the path for how we’ll get there. Instead of wandering aimlessly through life, set your intentions and become more mindful of how you spend your time each day in 2020. Here’s how.

1. Try a Digital Detox

As helpful as technology like your phone and tablet might be, these devices likely represent a significant source of distraction in your life. Think about how you behave when you’re waiting somewhere like a doctor’s office or hair salon. Do you find it’s easy to sit quietly and take in your surroundings, or is your first instinct to take out your phone and start scrolling through social media? If you’re like most people, your phone is your go-to.

One recent study found the average American checks their phone an astounding 52 times per day. And while you may be using some of your screen time to do productive things such as responding to emails or making a to-do list, you might then “reward” yourself by playing games or looking at your favorite celebrities’ Instagram pages. The technology in your life is a barrier between you and your ability to behave mindfully. Try gradually tapering off your usage, or consider designating specific times of day where you refrain from using your devices.

2. Don’t Try to Multitask

Many people view busyness as a point of pride. They wear their ability to juggle projects simultaneously as a badge of honor. However, while you might think you are being more productive when you try to switch gears between one task and another, multiple studies have shown this mindset is a myth. Shifting attention between projects does not allow you time to fully focus on anything. If your goal is to be more mindful in this new year, promise yourself to work on one thing at a time, being present at each step of the way.

3. Spend More Time in Nature

The world outside our doors is full of beauty in every season. Exposure to nature can help lower your stress levels and blood pressure. Even looking at pictures of a flourishing forest, blooming flowers or a flowing waterfall can have beneficial effects. Next time you feel stressed or anxious, head to a nearby park or hiking trail and do a walking meditation. Your mood will improve almost immediately as you ground yourself in the sights and sounds of nature.

4. Get a Pet

Pets are excellent for your mindfulness because their natural attitude toward life is to live in the moment – the same goal you are trying to achieve with the strategies outlined here. Pets provide a source of unconditional love and acceptance, and they don’t ask for much in return.

The act of gently stroking a dog or cat’s soft fur can be a meditative practice in and of itself, and doing so also helps boost the natural serotonin levels in your brain. Engaging with your pets can help calm you and reduce stress, which is essential if you’re trying to become more mindful.

Start Your Recovery Today

Complete Harmony is a holistic recovery center in sunny Southern California that provides an alternative to the traditional 12-step approach. With a combination of evidence-based treatment methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy and healing methods that include massage, yoga, meditation and acupuncture, we can create a customized wellness plan that helps balance your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. To speak one-on-one with a recovery advisor, reach out today.
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