An Important Tool: The Recovery Compass Workbook

In recovery, you are always working on improving yourself and your life. Sometimes it’s not easy, but it’s still worth it. Research shows that it takes about 20 to 30 days to establish a new physical or emotional habit. In recovery, you’re learning all the time. It can feel overwhelming at first to get your bearings as a newly sober person. That’s why we provide you with a Recovery Compass as a tool to help you along the way. The Recovery Compass workbook was created as a guide to help you navigate your way through early recovery. The book enables you to schedule your time, create and achieve goals, and learn more about living a healthy, satisfying life without the use of alcohol or drugs.

How the Recovery Compass Workbook Works

The Recovery Compass is a guidebook that helps you learn more about what to expect as you acclimate yourself to living in recovery and sober living. Your time at Riviera Recovery can help you grow, heal, and begin the work that will help you stay substance-free for life. How you spend that time is essential. You’ll have structure, meetings, and support throughout the journey. The Recovery Compass workbook is a tool that’s unique to our sober living program. A staff mentor will be your partner in this journey as you make your way through the exercises in your workbook. If you have questions, need motivation, or need to talk to somebody about your recovery, your staff mentor can help you. The workbook can help you focus, learn new life skills, and learn about what makes you happy and what you want to do with your life when you’ve graduated. You’re never “alone” when you’re in recovery, and you’re not limited to what you learn while using the book.

Living With Purpose

Living with purpose means finding inspiration, direction and working toward new goals. Goals can be short-term or long-term. Having these goals is a great thing! However, when you’re new to recovery, living life one day at a time is crucial. Short-term goals help you concentrate on what you want to get done every day. Longer-term goals help you look forward to the future and truly work toward what you want most in life. Your first goal should always be to maintain your recovery. Don’t drink or use drugs! Many of your daily tasks will revolve around this goal. Attending 12-step meetings, connecting with your sponsor, and meeting other commitments will help you build on your recovery. Other goals you create may be new or goals that got interrupted. Many people take time to pursue new career goals,  continue their education, and learn other new skills once they feel secure in their recovery.

Becoming a Better You in Recovery!

The workbook that you receive will also take you through some exploratory exercises. It’s hard to think of the future if you’re sitting around feeling inadequate. Recovery can lift you out of the guilt, shame, and pain of addiction. You’re taking action by staying sober and working on becoming a better person – a better YOU! – every day. You’ll learn how to plan your finances, work on relationships with family or friends, and become responsible for your actions in recovery. Doing groundwork like the exercises in the Compass Workbook will help you learn more about yourself and set a trajectory for your life after drugs and alcohol. Every day you stay sober is another day that you can take time to work on yourself. There’s no way that you can “fix” everything about yourself overnight. It’s okay to take some parts of your recovery in “baby steps.” Know what those steps are, and approaching them with the right attitude and a spirit of acceptance can help you achieve new things in your life. Not sure what your next step is? Ask your staff mentor or your sponsor for help.

Finding Happiness and Passions

Recovery is in no way limited to hard work, therapy, and meetings. When you’re feeling more stable in your recovery, you may find yourself antsy. Even with your scheduled recovery program, you’ll probably find you have a lot of time on your hands. How you use your time at Riviera Recovery is essential. There are some goals you must meet to continue to the next phase of the program and earn new privileges. Getting out and about, learning self-care and taking time to exercise are all ways you can enjoy your downtime. Clients of Riviera Recovery love to go to the gym, get some surfing time, and to participate in relaxation like yoga and meditation.  Exploring what makes you happy, learning new hobbies, and pursuing new interests along with your goals are hallmarks of living a healthy, substance-free life.

Structure and Time Management

  Time management is one new way to maintain focus in your life. When you were using substances, you probably had trouble sticking to a schedule. After all, cravings seem to have a plan of their own. There were perhaps days, weeks, or months lost to using your drug of choice. Addiction does this to people. You’re not alone in this. As a disease, addiction is powerful and insidious. It captures and hijacks your goals, causing you to deprioritize things that once were important. It generally makes it impossible to stick to things you’d promised yourself you’d get done. And there are few goals that you can achieve while you’re feeling trapped in a vicious cycle. Now that you’re sober, there’s a lot of time on your hands. But that doesn’t mean you’re left to your own devices. Recovery requires structure. Sticking to your recovery goals, meetings, and appointments is vital to setting a foundation that can help you throughout life. Knowing what time you plan on doing things can also give you something to look forward to every day. You don’t have to deal with fear of the unknown. Being able to plan, prepare, and show up for things when you say you will can help you build character and self-esteem.

Interested in Sober Living?

Riviera Recovery presents a great opportunity for people in early recovery to continue to build their foundation, learn to live a fulfilling life, and begin living responsibly in the “regular world”. Are you looking for a place to land after treatment? Or simply want to explore your sober living options? We have homes in West LA and Palisades/Malibu that offer time and space to grow. Give us a call at 1-855-207-2798 to learn more about your options.  

Can I Have Fun in Recovery?

A large barrier towards individuals beginning to undertake the recovery journey is that they may feel as though they will never again have fun, or be able to experience a night “just like old times” again. Just as it’s true that recovery from addiction will require some drastic life changes, it is equally true that remaining in recovery requires vigilance in all areas of life, socializing notwithstanding. This, however, does not mean that you will never again be able to have a night out or nurture new social connections.  Social behavior is a natural part of life, and finding ways to remain connected with important others is vital to recovery. But can you trust yourself to go out like you used to and remain sober? Will you be able to meet up with old friends, or go back to the places where you were once a regular?  Depending on your recovery journey, the answers may differ, however, there is no sugar-coating the fact that the familiar people and places when you were entrenched in your old lifestyle carry with them the possibility of being detrimental to your current progress. Navigating these waters should be done with extreme caution and intention.

Prepare Yourself with a Plan

Before deciding that you want to risk a night out, it is best practice to prepare for every possibility of how the night may go. Start at the beginning of the night, and identify potential triggers: What if the waitress offers you a sample of wine or someone buys you a drink? What if you feel pressured by your friends, or you realize that you’ve never danced sober before? If you prepare yourself for every possible scenario, you will be more likely to stick to your plan and avoid quick in-the-moment decision making that has not been your friend in the past. Don’t underestimate the power of your triggers, especially the nostalgic ones.  An important part of this plan is making sure that you have a sober support system available to you at all times. Whether this means bringing a sober friend along with you, setting up a system of check-ins with a sponsor or supportive other, or seeking the wisdom of someone experienced in their recovery to go over the plan for the outing, this is vital to the plan. 

Start Small & Resist Peer Pressure

Making the choice to remain sober while the rest of your social circle continues to drink or abuse drugs can be the most difficult experience for those recovering from addictive tendencies. It may be difficult to even fathom walking away from friendships that have a great deal of history behind them, but how can you expect to pursue a recovery lifestyle when these individuals remain unsupportive? Not everyone will try to pressure you into “just having one drink”, but in friend groups where that is the case, consider whether these people are your true friends at all, or if they see their ability to wreck your recovery as justification to avoid trying themselves. Make sure you enlist a friend who has your best interests at heart to help keep you in line, and better yet, avoid all instances of social pressure, keeping your social circle small and supportive. 

A Night Out While Staying In Recovery

Before you were in recovery, you had a reliable and easy access to fun: whether nights out with friends, intoxicating adventures, and an external substance regulating your body’s consistent release of dopamine. Now your body needs to learn new ways to regulate itself, and so too do you need to learn new ways to access a fun time. Of course, things will be different.  Going out and having a social life is always going to be one of those things. It may be that thinking through the challenges involved in planning a night out may sway your decision making towards a night in instead. But this does not mean that you have to stop living. By taking the time to prepare yourself ahead of time, enlisting support, and starting with a small group of trusted friends, you can maintain an active social life without sacrificing your sobriety.  Give us a call today to learn more about the accountability and support we provide at Riviera Recovery!  

The Importance of Keeping Busy

The idea of ‘keeping busy’ may seem exhausting to an already overworked generation of individuals out there in the workforce. They can’t bear the thought of adding one more thing to their packed schedule and may wonder about the sustainability of their ventures. In theory, these individuals know the merits of relaxation, however, the messaging may seem at odds at first to find that a healthy existence values both.  Keeping busy involves one’s ability to separate the important from the trivial. It is dependent upon prioritizing what actions are meaningful and pursuing them while refraining from getting caught up with those that waste precious time. A person who keeps themselves busy embraces change and hard work and acts accordingly to achieve their goals in life.

Staying busy for your mental health

However, for those who are anxious or depressed, their life likely reflects a diminished capacity to go on with ‘life as usual’ or to do things that they would otherwise enjoy were they not experiencing such mood disorders. They have likely lost sight of all values for their life, of pursuing health, security, personal growth or development, of taking time to build positive relationships or make time for social activities.  Truly, it can become a vicious cycle, as inactivity can be a source of depression, of boredom and unhappiness, and it is these individuals that most benefit from creating more structure and activity in their daily lives. To be clear, however, the advice is not simply to fill your days with more Netflix, or more “chill”. It is getting your butt out of bed, out of the house, even if it is just a walk to the end of the block to start. 

Behavioral Activation Strategies

Behavioral Activation is a specific Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique that focuses on the ability of our actions to influence how we feel and is the process for assisting individuals in creating routines to fill their life with positive practices.  Think of your mind as a car’s battery, that has gone cold from not being used in a long time. It will likely have a hard time getting started, or building any sort of momentum. This is what it’s like to be depressed– You become more detached from people, places and things that once brought you joy. Behavioral activation, in this case, is like the jumper cables, that presents a strategy to activate the proverbial “stalled engine” by helping you regain your focus by closely examining yourself and daily routine. Researchers have found behavioral activation to be slightly superior to medication because it shifts away from cognitions and feelings to focus on an individual’s behavior and environment and works to identify and observe patterns of behavior. Negative life events such as grief, trauma, life stressors, or even just having a genetic tendency toward depression can lead someone turn to unhealthy behaviors like alcohol and drug use, or even social withdrawal in an attempt to avoid the uncomfortable emotions associated with certain activities. Behavioral activation will not only help in replacing negative avoidance behaviors with new ones but it also increases the amount of positive reinforcement a person experiences in real life. One main symptom of depression is loss of interest in things that were enjoyable. In this case, this therapy can help an individual engage more enjoyable activities and experience the rewards of feeling accomplished and even leading to having a sense of meaning.    Working with a therapist and implementing behavioral activation strategies will also encourage people to schedule enjoyable experiences and taking actions that steer them toward a positive solution and goal. Consequently, it moves them past the paralyzing inaction that once locked them in the clasps of depression.

The Importance of Relaxation

When we picture ‘relaxation’, we may allow our minds to drift to a scene complete with some exotic island, a beautiful view, and our toes in the sand, where the stresses of our daily to-do list are far from our awareness. In this place, we are calm, we are centered, and uninhibited by the prisons of our minds.  For many of us, relaxation feels like it can only exist in this other world, as the reality of our everyday life is demanding: dishes piling up in the sink as one reminder of all of the housework that needs attention, countless emails to respond to and errands to run to stay on top of your job, workouts to complete to stay healthy, and in the midst of it all, remembering to feed yourself, and select good options at that. We all know that in order to stay healthy, we must have well-exercised, well-rested, and well-fed body, therefore, we work extra hard to achieve this, but we neglect our mental health. Or you may even find yourself desperate to find ways to unwind, but incapable of doing so. Some studies even suggest that when you are working too hard at relaxing or stress too much about it, you simply cannot let go enough to induce the feeling.

The Mind-Body Connection

Keep in mind that our bodies affect our minds and emotional wellbeing and vice versa, therefore psychological issues ranging from traumatic stress, depression, anxiety or even a lack of sleep all create a physical response. These and other forms of mental disorders often heighten the “fight or flight” mechanism of the nervous system, leaving the body on high alert. Consequently, this makes it virtually impossible to induce relaxation even in the best of circumstances or environment.  Between the round-the-clock demands of family responsibilities, commitments to work, and all the indeterminable stressors that add up to leave you too exhausted to be bothered with practicing self-care until your body is tense, your neck is full of knots, and your brain is fried. Our bodies often intuitively know what we need, and all but demand that we remember to tune into our internal states. 

How do I find relaxation?

To make it worse, most of us can rarely find the time, let alone the money to afford time away from work to create the sort of imagined scene we think is necessary to relax. Fortunately, just making small lifestyle changes can help you achieve relaxation here and now, and ultimately find a bit more serenity in your life. When it comes to relaxation, one of the most significant barriers that most people face is overcoming a negative mindset about what ‘relaxation’ really is all about. For example, you may sit down to relax, but you may sense that you can’t let go simply because your mind will be spinning thinking about everything that needs to be done. Remember: the world won’t end if you do press-pause once in a while, and there is a reason that most guided imagery tapes begin with something along the lines of, “become aware that there is nothing that you need to do, and no one that you need to respond to for a while”. The key is allowing yourself the time to become present at the moment, trusting that the future will work itself out, and making an investment in one form of relaxation for your physical and mental well-being. Something as small as sitting in a relaxed but uplifted posture or a 5 to 10-minute yoga session while breathing through some poses for a few seconds will not only relax your mind and body, but it can alleviate issues ranging from problems with digestion, stress, and even aid in addiction recovery. Practicing a few minutes of relaxation techniques can have profound benefits, such as:
  • Lowering mental fatigue, improving concentration, mood, and sleep quality
  • Reducing the activity of stress hormones
  • Alleviating frustration and anger
  • Improving digestion 
  • Increasing blood flow to major muscles
  • Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
  • Aiding in slowing down your heart rate and consequently lowering blood pressure
   In moments of turmoil or uncertainty, just going outside for a few minutes observing nature and focusing in the stillness of your surroundings can center you and induce relaxation. Whether you’re listening to a guided visualization or meditation script, or even just decided to leave your phone at home for a neighborhood walk or while you sit in a sauna, true opportunities for relaxation are present, if only we’ll value them enough to seek them out and commit. 

Why Choose Sober Living?

You may have heard that going back home after a sting at rehab is actually not always be a good idea. But why? 

The Difficult Decision

Most people get out of rehab, convinced that they can return to the same negative environment that once fueled their addiction and manage to stay clean for the rest of their lives. However, it’s true what they say that being at an in-patient program is the easiest part of maintaining sobriety.  This is because you are safely tucked away in a setting that safeguards your choices and keeps you in check. In that sober environment, you don’t have the stress of everyday living to worry about or are forced to deal with triggers like particular locations or specific people. This is why most individuals leave rehab feeling very confident in their sobriety only to return home and find that they cannot cope with daily responsibilities, toxic relationships, and everything else that comes with being sober. 

The Right Choice

This is where sober living programs come in handy, and it is, by all means, the right choice for people who are fresh out of treatment. While these programs are a lot less intensive than rehabilitation centers and provide clients the freedom to leave if work or responsibility demands it, and even attend outside meetings and visit loved ones, they have been shown to offer the best defense for long-term sobriety.   No two sober living facilities are alike; however, what the most reputable facilities have in common is that they provide structure while offering support and encouragement through early recovery. They also ensure that the safety of the residents comes first, which means that they aren’t allowed to bring contraband such as drugs and alcohol while additionally being required to submit to random drug and alcohol tests to mitigate unsafe behavior. Sober living homes are designed to be more intensive for a shorter length of time, however, since they are funded primarily by the residents, individuals can typically stay for as long as necessary.   A licensed and fully furnished sober living home like Riviera Recovery offers countless learning experiences, opportunities, therapies, and essential life skills that patients can incorporate into their daily life in order to make the transition back into society much easier. In addition to regular drug testing, such facilities tend to also provide individual therapy, family therapy, animal therapy, group therapy, and so much more.   Anyone who wants to learn to live without the use of alcohol or other drugs needs a structured and safe, reminiscent-of-home type place that is dedicated to creating a supportive, safe, substance-free environment. Therefore, if you or a loved one is thinking about entering a sober living home, ensure the facility you join has the following characteristics to receive the highest quality care possible:
  •   Offer numerous support services
  •   Provide employment or education assistance to help you establish a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle and a new sense of purpose
  •   Provide both off and onsite support staff, while enforcing strict resident rules and regulations
  •   It should be a clean, structurally sound facility that provides comfortable beds, furniture, and fully functional appliances
  •   Provided regular, scheduled interventions including drug and alcohol tests to keep you accountable to your sobriety goals
   

Recovery, Your Pet, and YOU!

It’s no secret that there is a certain amount of comfort and joy that is brought to most humans when in the presence of an animal that they can give affection to and receive affection from. It is an indescribable feeling that at the end of every day,  you are coming home to an animal that expresses unconditional love towards you, no matter what. Often we attach ourselves to our pets, they become family. They need us as we need them. It has been proven that there are ways to benefit from the presence of an animal, be it emotional or physical support. Additionally, those who are in addiction recovery can find many benefits of having a pet as they make their way through the life transition of becoming sober.

Unconditional Acceptance

When faced with the fear of judgment or acceptance throughout this process, there is an undeniable source of the love you desire that comes from a pet. You can depend on your cat or dog to show you unquestionable love in times you may need it the most. This feeling of acceptance is healthy in the healing process as it allows you to become more relaxed and able to open up about your feelings.  A lot of pets are incredibly intuitive and can sense when you are unhappy and make for great snuggles and comfort in darker times. Because some animals are completely capable of expressing emotions like fear, anger, excitement, and a sense of being content, a recovering addict may benefit from this emotional honesty. After spending time becoming numbed by the substances they were addicted to, this interaction with emotion may encourage them to revisit those forgotten emotions.

Learning Responsibility

Because your pets need you, this can help keep you accountable in your recovery process. Committing to giving your pets the love and attention required can be rewarding and can provide a sense of goal achievement for taking great care of your animals. These small victories can easily build a driving force in you that can help your self-esteem and to acquire the ambition to take better care of yourself. Having a loved pet that gives you the feeling that you are wanted and needed is a huge step in building your confidence and in turn, giving you the strength and drive to keep moving forward.

Energy

When you think of a dog, you are most likely to imagine an outgoing, happy, and energetic personality. To be around a dog could benefit you by increasing these mannerisms in yourself, ultimately helping your social skills. Coming out of addiction can be a dark and lonely place if you let it, but with the help of a furry four-legged friend’s upbeat characteristics, you may find yourself less likely to be feeling alone and more likely to have the desire to engage yourself in activities with other people. Animals have so many different quirks and characteristics, and it is uncommon to find an animal that does not make someone smile with their cute and silly behavior. This is why we find the internet filled with videos and memes of cute animals. For someone struggling with an addiction, just the act of smiling because of an animal can be a step in the right direction. The process of recovery can be long and stressful. To have close friends and family is imperative in order to keep accountability and communication, however, there is something so unique to having a relationship with a pet during this time. After everyone leaves, there they are, sympathetic and caring. At Riviera Recovery, we understand the importance of this primal relationship, and the need to keep your dog by your side during this time, which is why we are a pet-friendly sober living facility.

How to Have Fun While Maintaining Your Sobriety

Detoxing alcohol and drugs from your body can be a difficult process. Once you have gone through the detox process and have begun your journey to recovery, you may want to start living your life again. One thing many addicts struggle with is enjoying their life and having fun, while also maintaining their sobriety. For many years, the fun has included the use of alcohol and drugs for many addicts, so many addicts are unsure how to find a new normal that does not include these things. Fortunately, there are many fun things you can do to entertain yourself and enjoy your life, while also maintaining your sobriety. Here are five ways to have fun while maintaining your sobriety.

Improve Your Health

One of the ways that you can fun while maintaining your sobriety is to work on improving your health. Many people focused on their sobriety turn to working out as a way to have fun, release tension and cope with the challenges of daily life while remaining sober. Every person has their own individual likes and dislikes when it comes to fitness, but the great thing is, there is a workout that is perfect for everyone. If you like more calming and relaxing workouts, yoga or pilates may be ideal for you. If you want to burn off some steam and enjoy listening to your music, running or brisk walking may be perfect. Team sports offer you the ability to interact with others while also improving your health. And lifting weights can help to strengthen your body and your resolution to remain sober.

Educate Yourself

Most people do not immediately think of school and learning as being fun. However, attending classes that interest you or can help you grow in your career can provide you with mental stimulation and a sense of accomplishment. For those working towards their sobriety, you want to do things that make you feel proud of yourself and give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. Taking educational courses can provide you with this, and if you enjoy the courses you are taking, can also be fun.

Give Back to the Community

Giving back to the community can be more fun than most people realize. Not only can it be fun, but you are working to help others in need in your community. At one point in time, you were likely in need and your friends and family may have stepped in to assist you. What better way to pay it forward than to do something great for your community. There are many different ways you can give back to your community, including helping at a homeless shelter, serving meals at a soup kitchen, or walking dogs at an animal shelter. Find something that interests you and volunteer your time.

Find a Hobby

As you work toward maintaining your sobriety, it is important to take time for yourself and to find things that you enjoy. Many addicts lose themselves in being an addict. You may no longer know exactly who you are and what you enjoy. Take the time to rediscover yourself and what you like by finding a hobby. You may want to take up carpentry and woodworking, or you may wish to join a bowling league. Find a hobby allows you to spend your time doing something that you enjoy and something that provides you with pleasure.

Cultivate Healthy Relationships

Lastly, take the time to cultivate healthy relationships. Get to know people who live a healthy, sober lifestyle, and then spend time with those people. Go out to lunch, take in a movie, or just go for an evening walk with them. You may lose friendships when you get clean, as you are no longer wish to hang around those who are involved with alcohol and drugs. It can be lonely without those friends who have been in your life. Cultivating healthy friendships helps you to overcome loneliness and allows you to have fun with people who have a positive influence on your life. Are you struggling with addiction? Getting sober is not an easy process, and is not something you should attempt to do on your own. If you want to kick your addiction and work on your sobriety, Riviera Recovery can assist you. Riviera Recovery is a sober living home with locations in Malibu and in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. Contact us today to learn how we can help you on your path to sobriety.

What to Do When You Hit “The Wall” in Recovery

What to Do When You Hit “The Wall” in Recovery

People who are trying to live in sobriety will hear that at some point in recovery, they will “hit the wall”. When people first begin working out, they will notice a big difference in their bodies. This is because the body is experiencing something new and is reacting to it accordingly. After a while though, they hit a plateau. It is not because they are no longer working out. It is more than the body has fully adjusted to the current workout and is ready for something new. When this happens, they have three choices: 1) give up since they no longer see results; 2) remain at that plateau thinking what they are doing is enough and never progressing; or 3) push through it by changing up the current workout. When you plateau in recovery, you are faced with the same three choices. The easiest thing would be to give up, but you did not go into this because it is easy. And yes, you can just hover where you are, but then you will never reach your goal. The best option is to push through it with everything you have inside of you. The following are some ways to help you do just that.

Remember Where You Came From

When you hit a wall, you often look around and feel you have not done enough, that you are not good enough, and that you just wasted your time because you think you are no better than when you started. That is absolutely not true. You have to remember where you came from, how low you were when you started. When you think about how you used to be, you will see the difference and that will push you to continue.

Know Your Enemy

Often, when you know something is coming, you can prepare for it. Understanding what it means to “hit the wall” in your sobriety is the first step in battling it. You do not want anything to catch you off guard that regresses your progress. Study the signs and symptoms, and talk to others who have been there to hear how it really feels. This will help you recognize what is going on before it gets too far, so if you do hit a wall, you can recognize the negative self-talk for what it is: lies.

Be Open About It

One of the worst things that you can do when suffering from any emotions or negative thoughts is to keep it to yourself. Suffering in silence is not going to help you in the recovery process. There are people who know what you are going through because they have been there, but they cannot help if you do not allow them to. Also, speaking to your therapist, counselors, and anyone else involved in your recovery about it can let them know that it is time to change up your program. Discuss these feeling with them and ask what you might do differently or in addition to your current program to stimulate your recovery once again. They, too, are committed to your success and will do what they can to help you move past this phase.

Surround Yourself with Support

There are people who love and care about you, and they want to see you succeed. If you are committed to your sobriety, they are most likely willing to do whatever it takes to support you. Also, when you do feel like you have gone nowhere, those are the people that can tell you just how far you have come. Ask them how they feel about your progress so far and you will probably find that they are proud of you. Hearing the praise can boost your self-confidence and push you toward the finish line.

Conclusion

Though hitting a wall in your recovery may seem intimidating, it does not have to be. It is completely possible to run straight through it with the right support and program. Remember why you chose to reach for sobriety in the first place and keep that goal in mind. Do not wait for help to find you. If you feel yourself struggling with your recovery, reach out to the people that can help you keep pushing and hold you up when necessary. Above all, do not give up hope.

Importance of Physical Self-Care

Our body is an ultra-sophisticated machine which shelters our spirit and above all allows us to survive in the biological sense. It is therefore essential to take care of it. The importance of physical self-care definitely extends to all the physiological aspects of our health. This type of caring for oneself includes a wide range of habits to adopt in order to keep our body in perfect health. They include our diet, physical activity, our state of hydration and even our sleeping routine.   Improve your overall health: There is evidence that a number of self-care activities activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). This means that your body enters a restful and rejuvenating mode, helping it to strengthen its immune system. Thus, with better self-care, there are often fewer infections and organs tend to function more properly. Improved self-esteem: When you regularly spend time meeting your own needs, you send a positive message to your subconscious. Specifically, in doing so, you treat yourself as if you are important and increase your sense of your own intrinsic value. This can go a long way in discouraging negative inner dialogue and a critical inner voice. Increased self-awareness: Self-care requires thinking about what you really like to do. The exercise of finding out what you are passionate about can also help you better understand yourself. Sometimes this can even lead to a career change or a redefinition of previously abandoned leisure priorities. Increased happiness: Happiness also triggers many other positive effects: The person becomes more open to others mentally and intellectually more available, they are able to manage stressful situations better and gain greater control over their lives.

Physical Well-Being

Physical activity is an essential part of self-care. It is essential not only for your body’s well-being but it also has many benefits to your psyche and even on your emotions and relationships. In addition, physical activity is the main guarantor of good health because it helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, as well as many types of cancer and obesity. Physical self-care also makes it easier to undertake the activities required by everyday life (climbing stairs, walking a long distance, etc.). And beyond its benefits on the physiological functioning of our body, it also helps to counter depression, social isolation and anxiety. Here are some important tips to take care of your physical self:

1. Eat regularly and healthily

The food we eat is the fuel of our body. A rich and varied diet that contains enough vitamins and antioxidants helps to reduce the risk of many diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It also helps to promote the functioning of our various organs including the brain, which allows better regulation of mood, and more controlled thought processes.  Drink enough water. (Most studies recommend drinking at least 8 cups a day).  Vary the food you eat – Eat enough fruits, vegetables, and fibers.  Limit your intake of refined sugars and processed foods.  Avoid an excess of alcohol.  Avoid toxic habits such as tobacco and drugs.

2. Exercise, dance, swim, walk, run, play sports, anything to get up and MOVE.

Whether it is a simple walk, a hike through the hills or a bike in the countryside, get up, get outdoors, and MOVE. For those looking for a greater challenge, sign up for a gym membership, join a dance class or learn a new sport. Whether you go on a solo run or enlist a friend to keep you motivated and accountable, taking responsibility for your physical movement can go a long way in securing mental stability.

3. Get enough sleep

Experts recommend engaging in 7-9 hours of sleep per night, especially for those in early recovery. Establishing consistent routines centered around going to bed at a decent time, and regulating when you wake can be one of the most beneficial things you do for your health.   

4. Rest when needed

Don’t let a busy schedule get in the way of taking care of your physical body. Whether it’s taking regular baths or scheduling a monthly massage, make sure to allow your body the downtime it needs. Of course, taking a vacation is not always feasible, but what about scaling the venture to something more manageable, either a ‘staycation’ at home or a ‘daycation’ somewhere local. When we don’t feel good, it is difficult to function well in other areas of life. Make sure to get regular medical care for the prevention of further illnesses, and to allow yourself to take time off work when you’re sick and seek the medical care you may need. If you missed it, make sure to read about The Importance of Self Care and check out the next part of the series on Psychological Self Care.  

How to Get Clean & Sober for Good

Have you recently stopped drinking, or given up your addictive behavior? Are you serious about remaining sober this time? Do you want to find a way to avoid having a relapse? The fact is, up to 90 percent of people who achieve sobriety for the long term experienced a relapse along the way. As a result, you may need some tips for recovery. After all, being informed, knowing what to expect and how to conduct yourself is the best way to continue living your new, sober lifestyle. Make Smart Changes If you want to maintain your sobriety, then it is absolutely essential you abandon your old hangouts, habits, and routines. In some cases, you may need to make other changes, too. It doesn’t matter what type of changes you make – the goal is to participate in behavior that’s different than what you did in the past. If you want to develop and keep a drug- and addiction-free lifestyle, you will know the immediate changes that need to be made. These include things like not hanging around people you got drugs from or drank with. If you want to remain sober, you can’t hang around the people you used to drink with. There are some people who have discovered it’s best to make new friends if they really want to remain sober. If you find this challenging, then consider joining a support group, or even participating in a fellowship. Another option is to try to spend more time with your family. Plan activities that everyone will enjoy and that will help your entire family live a healthier life. This can also help you avoid situations where you would be tempted to drink or do drugs. Find a Sense of Balance in Your Life A common mistake for many people who have recently become sober is substituting a brand-new compulsion or addiction for the ones they had in the past. After all, someone who has become an alcoholic or addict is typically compulsive, which can be quite dangerous and lead to a relapse. If you are new to recovery, you may find that you are compulsive when it comes to a new diet, exercise routine, or even a support group. If this is the case, you are simply substituting one addiction for a new one. Even if your new activity is productive and healthy, it can be a stumbling block that prevents you from ever fully recovering. The goal is for you to find some level of balance and to take control of everything in your life, as well as all of the choices that you make. You need to figure out that you have options and that you can maintain control of your life. If there is any part of your life that is considered out of control, then this is going to hinder your ability to continue living your new, sober life. Deal with the Mistakes You Made in the Past If you have made it to recovery, chances are you have also left quite a bit of suffering and pain behind you. There are probably many things in your past that cause feelings of guilt and shame. If you want to maintain your sobriety, there is no question that the guilt and shame may become toxic. This can result in you relapsing if you don’t properly deal with it. Shame is when you have negative believes about yourself, as well as your self-worth. Guilt is if you have any type of negative or bad feelings about your past behavior. If you are in recovery you may have shame for getting addicted to being with. The best way to deal with these feelings is by facing your past. You have to apologize to those you hurt and try to make amends. This is going to help you maintain your new-found sobriety. Living a Sober Life: It’s Possible Remaining drug and addiction free for life is your ultimate goal. If you want to achieve this goal, then you have to take control and stop living in the past. The only way to ensure you don’t repeat the behaviors of the past is to move forward and live each day in your new sober life. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, do NOT be afraid to reach out. Contact us today to talk to an addiction treatment professional.