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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.
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