This holiday season was challenging for everyone in one way or another. Whether you stayed home or took risks to see family, you might be holding onto feelings from the past few months. Managing stress is an essential part of learning to live, adapt, and survive without alcohol or drugs.
New Year’s is the time of year we spend reflecting. For humans, the passage of time is significant. We love to mark birthdays on a calendar. You probably have a “sober birthday” date you’re keeping track of as well. 2020 and now 2021 are years that will probably be etched into our brains for years to come. Recent current events and unrest, as well as living in a pandemic, are remarkable stressors. And, as with many things, most of us are pretty powerless over what people outside ourselves. But we must learn to manage as life goes on.
The new year is also a time of reflection. It’s also a time we set goals and think about our hopes and dreams. Letting go of stress and learning to cope with it using healthy methods is an integral part of maintaining your recovery and sanity these days.
Managing Stress in a Healthy Way
There are no promises that anyone can make in 2021 other than it’s a new year. However, you can take time to manage and take care of your feelings and emotions. Managing stress is an important skill. For many people, managing life a day at a time is an important skill to master again and again. Nobody is perfect, and these skills take practice. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel overwhelmed. Take a deep breath, and make sure you’re doing the following:
- Maintaining your healthy habits. Sometimes it’s hard to take care of yourself, especially if you are prone to depression or loneliness. However, taking care of yourself will help you stay sober. Ensure you are eating well-rounded meals three times a day, getting exercise at least three times a week, taking any medications you have correctly, and getting enough sleep.
- Recharging regularly. That means do something that lifts your spirits and practicing self-care. Spen some time in the morning sipping coffee and listening to your favorite music. Go for a run in the park. Practice yoga or meditation. Do things that you feel help nurture your spirit.
- Eating healthy foods. You may feel pressured to have extreme weight loss goals around the New Year or stick to an unsustainable fitness plan. Many people in recovery from addiction also have disordered eating habits. Don't stress about your weight or obsess about your diet. Instead of setting weight loss goals, focus on all-around wellness. Eat healthy, balanced meals, and try to reach for a banana instead of a candy bar. If you want to lose weight, consult a doctor or nutritionist to help you balance your meals. If you
- Getting exercise without being unrealistic. Exercise can be good for your pheremones, but it can also be an addiction. It’s hard to walk an hour a day, every day, or lift weights every day. Some days, you might have trouble doing it or may be busy. Just make time to get some exercise when you can, a few times a week.
- Be social. Even with COVID-19, social interaction is one of the most significant parts of our existence as humans. We need interaction. Many people are experiencing loneliness, but that doesn’t make you alone! Try going to meetings online and reaching out to your network. Ask them to set up chats online using Zoom or another software system.
So much of life today is putting one foot in front of the other. Remember, you are here to stay sober just for today. You are not alone, and you have a choice today that you didn’t when you were sober.
Take the time to practice the basics in recovery, and remember you are powerless over other people, places, and things.
If you need help, it is available, but you need to make sure you ask for it.
Do you or somebody you love have a problem with alcohol or drugs? Get sober in a safe, therapeutic environment. We can help you get sober and stay sober a day at a time in a peaceful and inspiring atmosphere.
We are open and accepting new patients! We take pains to keep everyone safe. Give us a call to learn more about our options. Call us at 619-363-4767.
Everyone feels anxiety every once in a while. In recovery, you’ll often feel confronted with something that’s difficult, which can easily make you feel fearful or nervous.
Feeling anxious is a normal state for most people in early recovery. It’s hard to start over, and it may feel like you’re doing many things in life for the first time. It’s normal to feel nervous every once in a while. You also may have some anxiety and mood swings as well as your body adjusts to life without the use of substances. Your body still needs time to adjust to the newer, healthier you.
Getting used to life in recovery may feel challenging, but you’re up for it! You’ll learn new coping skills and with time will walk through the fear on your own. Doing things that you’re scared of will help you feel less scared of other challenges in the future.
If you find that your anxiety is overwhelming or you have panic attacks, it’s important to speak with a therapist, psychiatrist or other mental health professional to help you
Here are some proven ways to help yourself learn to cope with anxiety:
- Act it out: If you’re nervous about certain situations that you’re going to confront in life, such as running into old drinking or using buddies, act out the situations with your sponsor or somebody else you trust. The first time you act it out, play the other person instead of yourself. This will give your counterpart a view of how you see the situation and what you believe will happen. Then reverse roles, playing yourself again. Ask for tips on what to say or do. You can repeat your part multiple times until you feel comfortable.
- Learn how to relax and let go. Relaxation techniques can help you learn to let go of anxiety and live in the moment, appreciating it. There are a lot of different ways to relax available to you, and the Internet is your friend. Look for videos teaching mindfulness, relaxation, and meditation. Your phone’s app store also has a lot of apps to help you with this as well. Videos teaching these are easy to find online. There are also phone apps that can help you relax as well, and more of them are free.
- Do something that you used to love. Everyone has hobbies or other activities they like to do. When you were using alcohol and drugs, you probably stopped doing those things. There’s never a better time to revisit the things you loved to do before you started using alcohol or drugs. Even if these interests go back to your childhood, you may still want to give yourself a chance to resume it. Collect race car toys, learn how to make jewelry, or learn how to make bread. If you don’t have the money to start these hobbies, you can always watch videos about them online for free or check out a book at the library to learn more. If your hobby was listening to music, then you find endless supplies of legal music downloads and streams online.
- Commit to regular exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should get “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.” This will help regulate your blood pressure, which can play a role in anxiety. Exercise helps release endorphins, a feel-good chemical that helps combat anxiety as well as depression. Take a walk on the side of the beach or to your favorite park. Join a bicycling club. If you’ve never really exercised before, start slow. Try taking a 15-minute walk every day and build up to longer walks.
These are just a few creative ways to help you cope with anxiety. See which ones work for you and don’t feel shy about asking other people in recovery what they do, too, to combat anxiety.
Getting Help for Addiction
Are you or somebody you love currently struggling with addiction? Reclaim your life and start on the road to recovery. In our caring, holistic environment we will help you face the challenges of detoxing your body, mind and spirit from drugs and alcohol. Our programs offer medication-assisted treatment, when appropriate. We’ll help you start a plan for your next steps, including our inpatient recovery program for longer-term treatment. Give us a call at 619-363-4767
Present Moments detox and drug rehab center is the premier provider of comfortable and safe Addiction treatment in San Diego. Call us and get help today.
Many people who get clean and sober celebrate the many ways their lives are enriched in recovery. One of the tools that is important to try out is exercise. Regular exercise offers many benefits for people who choose to stick with it. Some of these are physical benefits while others are mental. Read on to learn why physical fitness is such an important part of recovery for some people.
Using Exercise to Calm Your Mind
People who get regular exercise often seem calmer than others. There’s actually a science behind this; studies show that exercising releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that also are overactivated when a person uses certain drugs. Endorphins can also help calm pain in the body and help you react better to stress.
People who are depressed and start an exercise regimen often report better moods, just like people who run before studying for a test feel more centered. The endorphins interact with other chemicals in the body, creating a natural feel-good buzz that helps us think more clearly and find the time after we exercise more rewarding.
Getting Started With Exercise
If you don’t get regular exercise, it’s advisable you have a visit with a doctor before you jump into a new lifestyle routine. The easiest and gentlest way to start exercising is walking. In fact, it only takes about fifteen minutes of walking every day to start to have benefits such as better blood sugar and less stress or anxiety.
Some people in recovery want to return to things they once enjoyed, such as soccer or volleyball on the beach or surfing. Once you’ve had a checkup with your doctor, it’s up to you to make the decision how you jump back in to exercise. Just remember, go slow at first. Make sure you are fueling your body with healthy meals, too.
Recovery often brings inspiration to daily life. You may want to try new things, such as joining an adult soccer team or playing pick-up basketball. It’s up to you to find what you enjoy most! Exercise should be fun, not tedious.
If you or somebody you love has a problem with alcohol or drugs, recovery is possible! We have helped many people in various stages of their recovery journey get and stay clean. Give yourself a chance and call us at 1-619-363-4767 to learn more about our programs.
The holidays are always a bit stressful, aren’t they? For many people in recovery, the holidays are more than stressful; they’re upsetting or intimidating. The holiday season can cause people in recovery strife for many reasons.
Some people have trauma in their pasts that brings up issues. You may be living with mental illness and have a family that’s not quite the best at understanding it or may have even handled it in a way that caused harm. You may feel guilt and shame for the pain your addiction caused your family. You may have been a “big partier” in the past, and not feel comfortable
Whatever the reason the holidays feel difficult, you’re not alone. Nobody has a perfect family or background that makes Thanksgiving and Christmas the best time of the year. Staying clean during the holidays can sometimes require creative problem-solving. Reaching out to somebody else in recovery is always your best option if you don't know what to do.
Here are four important things to try during the holidays:
- Have a sober buddy. Ask permission to bring them to your holiday celebrations. Your sponsor is one person you can invite, or choose somebody else who doesn’t drink who will already be there. You may have an uncle or family member that is a lot of fun but doesn’t drink like the rest of the crowd.
- Make a plan to check in with others in recovery. Call or text your sponsor and friends to let them know how things are going and if you’re feeling stressed. Chances are, they may be having stress too! It’s easier when you know you’re not alone.
- Practice mindfulness if you’re upset. You can download mindfulness meditations from most cell phone app stores. Keep your phone with you and retreat to a private area for a few minutes. You’ll be able to slow your breathing and center yourself.
- Go to 12-step meetings. Some 12-step meetings have “marathons” or other special times for the holidays. If you think it’s going to be a hard day, plan to go to one meeting before a holiday event, and one session after.
The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but people new to recovery often feel fragile this time of year. It’s natural to feel a loss, shame, guilt, hurt and other emotions, but you don’t have to get high or drink over them. Staying clean is your top priority, and it’s important to take care of yourself.
Are you or somebody you love struggling with addiction? Are you unsure which services you need to get started on the path to recovery? Please give us a call at (619) 393-4767 to learn more about your options.