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Self-Improvement

Recovery, Self-Improvement

Letting Go of Anxious Thoughts

By Jennifer McDougall

It’s one thing to have a thought or two about this or that, but it’s a whole other ballgame when you find yourself anxiously thinking and dwelling on all the possibilities or worries you have running through your head. Trust me, it’s not uncommon to feel this way. It’s not uncommon to overthink things or worry about this or that, but that doesn’t make it healthy. At Passages, we are here to help you train your mind to let go of anxious thoughts so you can experience a more peaceful mindset.

You may find yourself sitting there at a traffic light going over everything you did or said. You may be there lying in bed at night going over every anxious little wonder you have in your busy mind. We have all been there at some point where we can’t seem to just chill and let go of all the anxiety clouding up our mind. It could be stress over a job, relationship, risky decision, or a worry you have about the coming day. It’s understandable. Life can be stressful at times and things may feel a bit overwhelming, but there is a way to release that tense energy and settle your thoughts so you can think more clearly and get a better night’s sleep.

Here are 10 simple ways to start practicing letting go of all those anxious thoughts.

  1. Remind yourself that no matter what, every little things gonna be alright.
  2. Take 3 deep breathes. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Feel yourself letting go of all your stresses and all your worries; no matter how big or small they are.
  3. Get on a healthy workout routine to release endorphins and burn off built up tension.
  4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day so you remain hydrated. This is crucial to your overall wellbeing. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!
  5. Write it down. Journal your thoughts and experiences in a notebook. Keep it by your bed, in your purse, backpack—wherever is most accessible to you throughout the day so whenever an anxious thought comes to mind you can write it down and get it off your chest.
  6. Talk to a professional therapist. Friends are great to lean on and vent to, but sometimes we need a professional’s unbiased take on specific situations we are experiencing.
  7. Once a week do something you’ve never done before. Go hike a trail you’ve never been on. Explore a place you’ve never been. Try something challenging such as surfing, golfing, or public speaking to get you out of your comfort zone. Afterwards you will feel rewarded and have a sense of accomplishment.
  8. Pick up that book sitting on your bookshelf that’s been staring you in the face for longer than you’d like to admit. Pick it up and start reading. We also encourage you to visit our wellness store for a collection of self-help books that will change your life.
  9. Meditation is great way to relieve anxiety. We recommend you invest 30 minutes per day to meditate away your worries.
  10. Make a gratitude list of even the most simplest things in life you are grateful for.

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Self-Improvement, Sober Lifestyle

How to Make Life More Exciting

By Jennifer McDougall

Sometimes we slip into a rut, where life feels less than exciting and maybe a bit too mundane. What can you do to turn up the wick and liven up your burnt-out routine? At Passages, we encourage you step out of your comfort zone and shake up your routine so that you can thrive in life—without the use of drugs and alcohol. If you are someone who feels their life is not all that exciting, this article is for you.

Getting started, let’s evaluate how you are spending your down time. When you get home from work, or have free time at any given point during the day, what are you doing during that time? Are you taking the opportunity to learn something new or pick up a gratifying hobby? Have you gone anywhere different; away from your standard day-to-today stomping ground?

These are some of the questions you need to first ask yourself if you’re feeling a bit grey, or that you’re in a bit of a rut.

Maybe you are lacking social interaction. Maybe your motivation is at an all-time low. Maybe you have way too much quiet time and not enough courage to put forth the effort in making a change. If so, don’t feel hopeless. There are many things you can do to spice up your life and drive fuel to your inner flame. All it takes are a few changes; maybe even a strong dose of bravery to shake things up. Trust me, this dullness you’re feeling is only temporary—it will pass when you choose to do something about it. Within only 24 hours, with the power you have within yourself, you can begin living a life that is fulfilling and way more exciting.

BUT HOW?

  1. Shake up your morning routine a couple days a week. Starting the day off differently every so often will help increase your flow of creativity and motivation. Start by planning ahead the night before with 3 major key things you would like to accomplish before lunch time the next day.
  2. Host an event. It could be at your house, at a park, or a venue nearby. Invite friends and family or get involved with com to schedule something to involve the community and like-minded people who would be interested in attending.
  3. Get a make-over or a fresh new look that will have you feeling bold and confident. We don’t recommend taking drastic measures as this could affect your mental and emotional wellbeing. DO make a few minor adjustments to improve your look.
  4. Get out of the house. If you work from home, go work from a coffee shop, library, or park where you are around other people. Sign up for a fitness class or local sporting team to be a part of. Step out of your comfort zone.
  5. Go someplace locally that you’ve never been before, such as an art gallery, museum, book store, animal shelter, or park.
  6. Plan a trip and explore this incredible planet we are so fortunate to live on.
  7. Try a new recipe and invite some friends over for a sober dinner party.
  8. Go to a rock concert.
  9. Move around your furniture to mix up your living space a bit. Maybe add some fun lighting or buy a new piece of art.
  10. Take time to forgive yourself when you’re feeling bored. This is a sign of depression in which you need to look at your current circumstances and adjust your outlook. Remind yourself how fortunate you are to have the life you do. Make changes when necessary, but don’t beat yourself down with negative feelings of regret.

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Addiction, Dependency, Rehab, Self-Improvement

10 Ways to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

By Jennifer McDougall

 

Accepting the loss of someone you loved and cared for, no matter the time or relationship, it can be extremely difficult. Leaning on loved ones and avoiding the urge to isolate into your own personal shell is important.  When someone you love passes on, there is a numbing pain that is usually felt within our core. We want to run from pain too often when it arrives. When challenges or circumstances present themselves, it is best not to run or try and hide from the emotion or event that is or has recently taken place. By running, I am also talking about resorting to substances for temporary relief. You must know that drugs and alcohol won’t bring your loved one back and attempting to drown your pain with addictive substances can not only be fatal, but can also make matters much worse.

Recently, a friend of mine passed away from an on-going battle with addiction. Heroin was his coping mechanism. Heroin is also what took him from this world. He himself was looking for an escape. For years, he was in discomfort with himself; in pain for many of the pieces in his life never added up to a fulfilling measure (his own personal belief). The truth is, he was a bright young man with a great sense of humor. He was loved by many people, but sometimes (for reasons we don’t always understand) that’s not enough.

There are underlying reasons to why a person does what they do. Behind every person’s addiction, behind every reason to escape the consciousness we know and feel completely when sober, is an underlying reason driving the force of every thought and action.

When someone feels pain, they typically want to run away from it. The trouble is that pain is meant to be felt. It is a natural sensation that can benefit us in many ways. If you avoid the feelings of sadness and loss, you prologue the grieving process in which delays the natural cycle of healing. It is important that you feel everything during this process. If you don’t, it can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger, insomnia, job loss, relationship trouble, financial difficulties, unresolved guilt, and many other things you are much better off without.

Symptoms of Grief:

  • Shock and Disbelief– There’s a feeling of numbness that usually hits when the news is broken to loved ones of a sudden passing. The disbelief and denial of the truth is common. Only by accepting the truth and handling the news in the most conscious and collective manner possible will we be better off.
  • Sadness – Despair, loneliness, a sense of emptiness and absence are common symptoms to feel during the grieving process. Crying is not a sin, so if you feel sad let it out. Feel what you feel.
  • Guilt – You may feel guilty for things you said or did to this person who has passed away. Even if the death was out of your control, you still might blame yourself for reasons you should only stop and learn to forgive now that the person has passed on.
  • Anger – You may be mad at yourself, God, the situation itself, the drug that caused the death, the driver behind the wheel, or the medical team who couldn’t save them. You could be mad due to feeling abandoned. That’s okay, but don’t stay mad for too long. Forgiveness goes a long way.
  • Fear – Loss can trigger feelings of worry, a loss of hope, and create insecurities.
  • Physical Symptoms (Nausea, fatigue, weight loss or weight gain, insomnia, body aches)

 

How to Cope with Loss:

  1. Seek support in others rather than grieving alone (join a support group, talk to a therapist, turn to family and friends)
  2. Take care of yourself (Be real with how YOU feel, express your emotions in a creative way, workout, shower daily, stay hydrated and eat nutritious meals)
  3. Do your best to be POSITIVE
  4. Engage in activities with others
  5. Avoid drugs and alcohol – treat yourself to a sweet dessert or a sweaty workout instead (total opposites, I know)
  6. Daily meditation for healing benefits and mental stability
  7. Make plans for the future to give yourself and others suffering something to look forward to
  8. Get out of the house at least once a day and be around other people
  9. Accept that the feelings of guilt, regret, pain, and suffering will soon pass
  10. Be patient through the grieving and healing process – take your time and allow yourself to go through every motion as you best feel fitting for yourself

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Addiction, Rehab, Self-Improvement

Repairing Broken Relationships in Recovery

By Jennifer McDougall

 

Healing broken relationships in recovery is extremely important. Letting go of the past, asking and accepting of forgiveness, being authentic in your actions, and using the tools you acquired during rehab is essential to your sobriety. Broken relationships carry a weight of regret and miscommunication. There’s a strong chance that throughout your days of substance abuse, you most likely hurt people along the way. When we use and abuse drugs and alcohol, we lose our authenticity—meaning we alter our consciousness to be less than intentional and in many cases hurtful to those we love and care about.

Drugs and alcohol have been ruining families and relationships of all types for years. That is no secret. Many arguments and disagreements are fueled by intoxicated behavior. The end result is rarely a pretty sight to see. Picking up the broken pieces from the destruction caused by carelessness is a process. To mend these broken relationships the following tips will help you in repairing them in the days to come.

  1. Communicate with Honesty
  2. Listen to Them Carefully
  3. Acknowledge Yours Short-Comings
  4. Ask and Accept Forgiveness
  5. Keep Your Promises (Rebuild Trust)
  6. Stay Sober
  7. Be Active in the Relationship
  8. Set Realistic Expectations
  9. Focus on Those Who Support You
  10. Be Patient as the Wounds Heal

Also read: Marriage & Family Therapy at Passages Malibu

Purchase a copy of The Laws of Love at the Passages Wellness Store

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Image via We Heart It

Recovery, Self-Improvement

5 Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety

By Jennifer McDougall

 

Have you ever felt uncomfortable in a social setting where your nerves are racing around from beneath your skin, you feel overwhelming and intense anxiety, and want to hide out in the corner of a room? This is what it feels like to have social anxiety. Its more common than you may think. For some, they can go out and be in a public setting where they interact with others and feel completely comfortable and confident. For others, they participate in these interactions only to then go home and sink deep into an obsession of overthinking every move they made and every word they said.

“Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others.” – Defined by WebMD

Behavioral symptoms

  • Fear of being judged
  • Avoiding social interactions altogether
  • Fear of talking to others
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Excessive drinking or drug use
  • Avoiding direct eye contact because of self-doubt
  • Trembling, shaky voice, blushing, and/or sweating
  • Avoiding situations that you may be the center of attention
  • Worrying about the worst possible outcome of the situation
  • Analyzing the event after its taken place

Physical symptoms

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Stomach ache
  • Muscle tension
  • Confusion or “out of body” feeling

There are many ways you can overcome this fearful situation. We have 5 helpful ways for you to breakthrough from this turbulent feeling. We want to help you feel more at ease when you’re around other people and have to interact when it feels most uncomfortable. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Try visualization
  2. Deep breathing exercises
  3. Work with a therapist
  4. Go to more social functions
  5. Identify your behaviors so you can eliminate them

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image via We Heart It

Recovery, Self-Improvement

30 Simple Tips for Self-Care

By Jennifer McDougall

 

Do you ever get so busy you forget to take care of yourself? You get so caught up in the day-to-day motions of work, family, and all the plans you set out for yourself, therefore, you unfortunately forget to leave time practice self-care. This happens to all of us from time to time because we aren’t always careful to pay attention to when we need to slow down and focus on treating ourselves. When life gets busy, remind yourself that you need to slow down and take a break. Don’t exhaust yourself. Stay connected to your mind, body, and soul. As a result, you to be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.

Here are 30 tips or suggestions for you to stay in tune with yourself, making sure you feel great, look great, and take the best care of yourself so you can be productive in all areas of your life.

  1. Practice good hygiene every single day
  2. Eat healthy meals and stay properly fueled
  3. Surround yourself with positive people
  4. Forgive yourself wholeheartedly
  5. Be gentle with your thoughts- your mind is a powerful thing
  6. Keep your home clean and organized
  7. Get outside and soak up the sun
  8. Take a nap
  9. Go to sleep early & wake up early
  10. Stop beating yourself up for not adding up to your own standards
  11. Avoid drugs and alcohol
  12. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated everyday
  13. Avoid negative influences and interactions
  14. Stop comparing yourself to others—we are all on our path, respect that
  15. Do something nice for someone else
  16. Think things out before making any rational decisions—feel it out
  17. Pay attention to how you’re feeling. Listen to your body.
  18. Exercise for at least 30 minutes’ daily
  19. Journal your thoughts and daily experiences
  20. Build strong relationships with friends, family, and co-workers
  21. Allow yourself to have new experiences
  22. Step outside of your comfort zone with fearlessness and confidence
  23. Read for 20 minutes a day
  24. Mediate at least once a day
  25. If it doesn’t feel right or doesn’t suit you, say “NO” and don’t feel bad about it
  26. Pay your bills on time
  27. Spend less. Save more.
  28. Treat yourself to fresh flowers and desserts
  29. Turn up the music—sway to the rhythm
  30. Take the proper vitamins and supplements your body needs to thrive

moveforward

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Images via We Heart It

Recovery, Self-Improvement, Sober Lifestyle

How to Find Inspiration When You Need It Most

By Jennifer McDougall

 

Often times we search for inspiration to stimulate our creative capabilities. Inspiration is what boosts our motivation to feel or do new things and helps push new ideas through the creative process. When we lack inspiration, the world may seem grey or dull; it’s not as colorful or exciting as it would be if we felt inspired.

At Passages, we recommend trying these 15 helpful tips for you to discover the inspiration you need.

1. Change up your daily routine and surroundings.

Take a different route to work. Clean and redecorate your home and office space. Add color and light to dark corners. Create a sticky note to put by your computer with an inspiration quote- change it out every couple weeks.  Turn up the music. Create a new playlist. These things help change your day to day view, which in turn expands creativity.

2. Do your best to avoid distractions.

Set your phone aside and turn the ringer off. Focus only on the task at hand.

3. Let go of doubt, regret, and pity.

Leave the past in the past. Try not to dwell on negative events or mistakes. Focus on this moment, right here, right now. Be grateful for your many blessings for there are others in the world who are far less fortunate. Open your heart and open your mind to forgiveness.

4. Meditate for 10-20 minutes at least once a day.

Meditation helps improve the way your brain processes information. Studies have shown  that meditation reduces blood pressure, anxiety, pain, symptoms of depression, and increases your mental strength and ability focus.

5. Exercise at least 5 times a week.

Exercise helps you look and feel better. It also helps with mental clarity and the relief of stress.

6. Wake up with the sun and get an early start to your day.

Get to bed at a decent hour (9:30pm- 10:30pm) and plan to wake up fifteen to thirty minutes earlier than normal. As you make these gradual changes you will find that you have more energy throughout the day.

7. Distance yourself from negative and toxic energy.

Who we surround ourselves with can have a major impact on the way we feel and the decisions we make. It is important to keep a positive circle of people who contribute only good to the world around us. Negative influences and energy will leave you feeling drained, and unmotivated.

8. Avoid the use of all drugs and alcohol.

Drugs and alcohol cloud our minds and alter our conciousness. By avoiding these substances we can discover clarity and a healthy flow of energy.

9. Work on building self-confidence.

This can be a tricky one. We are all a little hard on ourselves sometimes. Too often we compare our lives to those on social media and think less of what we have and who we are. Don’t. Remind yourself how much you have to offer. Think nothing less of yourself, but remember to always stay humble!

10. Talk to those around you and be sure to ask plenty of questions- be curious.

Asking questions helps broaden your horizons on other possible perspectives. It helps open your mind to learn new things and adds depth to your thinking process. Never underestimate the power in being curious.

11. Watch a Movie based on a true story. 

There is something so inspirational than a good movie based on a true story.

12. Change up your playlist. 

Maybe its time to listen to something new or something you haven’t heard in a while. Browse around on Spotify or Apple Music and see what else might appeal to you.

13. Detox- Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally

It may be time to detox for a few days and rid your body of any harsh toxins.

14. Read a book. 

Stop by the Passages Wellness Store and pick up a new book today.

15. Take a vacation. 

Broaden your horizons by exploring new territories. Get out of your comfort zone and travel to places less familiar. This will allow you to think outside of the box. Unwind and relax for a few days without any distractions. Recharge your energy and refocus your mind.

 

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Image via We Heart It

Addiction, Dependency, Relationships, Self-Improvement

10 Signs of Self-Destruction

By Jennifer McDougall

There’s a chance you know someone who has self-destructive behavior. You may have already recognized the signs and maybe you’ve talked to them about your concerns. The truth is that they might not realize what they are doing. Typically, those who have self-destruct tendencies do so for attention, self-pity, or maybe it’s because they have a load of issues they are unwilling to deal with. It’s an obvious cry for help. Instead, they choose to act out and behave in a careless manner that benefits no one, not even themselves, regardless of the people they drag down with them.

Here are 10 signs someone you know is self-destructive:

  1. Disregard for personal safety and security
  2. Careless spending
  3. Negative conversation
  4. Poor choices in friendships
  5. Blame others for their circumstances
  6. Overindulgence; purchases, eating habits, etc.
  7. Suicidal or bodily cutting
  8. Overuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  9. Refuse professional help or advice
  10. Ignore personal routine tasks; hygiene, personal finances, etc.

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Addiction, Dependency, Recovery, Self-Improvement

What is Self-Destruction?

Self-destruction comes in many forms. It can be mental, emotional or physical.

In human context, selfdestructive behavior is a widely used phrase that conceptualizes certain kinds of destructive acts as belonging to the self. It also has the property that it characterizes certain kinds of self-inflicted acts as destructive 

It is possible that you or someone you know is self-destructive. It can become a bad habit that can only be corrected when the person realizes what they are doing and wants to stop. Sometimes it takes a person to hit rock bottom to then ask, “How did this happen to me?”

What Does it Mean to be Self-Destructive?

Many of those who are self-destructive have low self-esteem or self-respect.  This can be brought on by a personal life event such as a change in job status, death of a loved one, or past trauma.  Self-destructive behavior can also be a result of previous neglect, abuse, bullying (classmates, co-workers, ex-lovers, etc.), or a lack of accomplishment. A person may react with carelessness, anger, uncontrollable emotions, and irrational actions.  Feelings of sadness, loneliness, and depression can be overwhelming, and cause the person to lose hope in life. In many cases, they will pretend to be happy and act like everything is fine; not admitting that they are struggling to cope.

You can help a loved one who suffers from self-destruction by being supportive, loving, kind, reassuring of their capabilities, and letting them know that they are special.  There are cases that require professional help.  To learn more, read “10 Signs of Self-Destruction” on our blog.

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image via Pixabay

Recovery, Rehab, Self-Improvement, Sober Lifestyle

21 Ways to Manage Emotional, Mental and Physical Pain

By Jennifer McDougall

We know by now that drugs and alcohol are not the answers to our problems. In fact, they just complicate things and make us feel worse than we did before. So here are 21 alternative ways to help manage the pain you’re feeling:

  1. Acupuncture treatment by a professional
  2. Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol.
  3. Learn to take control of stress.
  4. Low impact exercises 30-60 minutes a day such as yoga, Tai Chi, walking, swimming or scenic hiking
  5. Write in a private journal every day.
  6. Avoid cigarettes and nicotine.
  7. Take a scenic drive.
  8. Eat healthy foods regularly (lots of omega-3, and whole grains)
  9. Drink plenty of water every day.
  10. Watch a funny movie and allow yourself to laugh
  11. Read an insightful and thought-provoking book or novel
  12. Listen to relaxing music.
  13. Talk to close friends and family members over a meal or cup of tea.
  14. Indulge in a 20-30 minute warm lavender infused bath with soft lights and music before bedtime.
  15. Hypnosis and guided imagery
  16. Guided Meditation or meditation of your choice twice a day
  17. 20 seconds deep breathing exercises
  18. Herbal remedies and supplements
  19. Massage therapy
  20. Hydrotherapy
  21. Rest and be sure you’re getting enough sleep (listen to your body).

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image via Pixabay

Recovery, Relationships, Self-Improvement, Sober Lifestyle

20 Ways to Create a Healthy and Sober Lifestyle

By Jennifer McDougall

If you are someone who just completed treatment and are looking to get back home and resituated into the comfort of your own surroundings you may be wondering what to do when you get there. First off, it’s important for friends and family to know that you are sober now and ready to focus on creating a lifestyle that reflects your good choices and healthy habits. If you are lucky, they will be supportive.

In some cases, family and friends have pushed back and said things like, “No you don’t need to eliminate certain things entirely. You just need to learn to use in moderation.” If you are someone who has a track record of addiction and abuse this may not be the best advice for you to hear.

You must feel comfortable and confident with your choices. They are only yours to make and when the influence of other people weighs in too deep it’s easy to get sidetracked. Don’t let this happen. Know who your true friends are and lean on those who support your choices to better yourself. This is the best possible way for people to respect you and your new lifestyle.

When you get back home, try to avoid all the people, places, and things that would encourage drug or alcohol use before you went into treatment. Remind yourself that this is a new path you are walking down and the only time you need to look back is to see how far you have come.  Here are a few ideas to keep yourself on course:

  1. Go to bed (9-10pm) and wake up early (6-7am).
  2. Sign up for a local gym and attend 3-4 times a week.
  3. Take weekly lessons for a sport you enjoy.
  4. Fill your bookshelf with new reading material.
  5. Stock up on delicious and non-processed food and beverage items (no sodas).
  6. Plan your meals each week without overdoing it.
  7. Attend local events (art shows, sporting events, live music).
  8. Travel to places you’ve never been before.
  9. Buy an assortment of herbal teas.
  10. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  11. Distance yourself from toxic people who make you feel less than amazing.
  12. Pick up a new hobby such as photography, drawing, reading, writing, golf, tennis, or basketball.
  13. Utilize a daily planner and to-do lists to make the most of your day.
  14. Spend time outdoors and in the sun to get vitamin D and fresh air.
  15. Keep track of your goals and aspirations.
  16. Learn new skills to better your career.
  17. Spend quality one on one time with those you love and who make you laugh.
  18. Let go of regrets from the past.
  19. Maintain stable relationships.
  20. Keep a level head and learn patience when necessary so that anxiety does not get the best of you.

Creating a productive routine for yourself will help broaden your perspective on life and what you are capable of achieving. The best way to create this routine is by practicing a set of tasks every day that makes you feel good about yourself and ensure absolute peace of mind. Crossing things off your list as you go and doing your best not to procrastinate on difficult tasks will help keep you motivated.

When you spend 30-45 minutes at the gym 3-4 times a week will not only help transform your body and release anxiety and tension, it will help you focus at work, at home, and on yourself. Exercise is essential to getting and staying healthy.

For other sober lifestyle tips, please read our other articles on the Passages Blog site and share them with friends, family, and co-workers. You are not alone in your journey to get and stay sober.

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Recovery, Self-Improvement

7 Simple Tips for Managing Stress

By Laurel Janssen Byrne

Stress is the body’s mental, physical and emotional response to changes in and around itself. Stress is normal, and everyone experiences it.

So why is managing ongoing stress important? Unrelieved stress can contribute to distress, which is a negative stress reaction. There are many symptoms of distress, like chest pain, sleep issues, blood pressure elevation, gastrointestinal disturbances and headaches. Over time, chronic stress can contribute to diseases and severe health problems, like depression, anxiety, hypertension, heart disease, asthma and arthritis.

It is important to control stress in positive ways, avoiding the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, which can lead to more stress and severe health problems. Thankfully there are many positive, simple ways for you to manage your stress. Here are a few good ones:

1. Regular Exercise releases stress, builds strength, and releases endorphins, the body’s natural chemical which relieves pain and improves mood. People who exercise regularly are generally happier due to reduced stress levels and improved health. A little goes a long way – a daily walk, a quick jog, an invigorating hike, lifting weights, practicing yoga, etc. Just get moving.

2. Getting enough sleep is often an overlooked key to great health and reduced stress. In fact, adequate sleep enables our body’s systems to function normally. Inadequate sleep can cause the body to release excess amounts of cortisol, or “the stress hormone.” While our bodies need some, excess amounts of cortisol can lead to weight gain and reduced immunity, and can prevent us from experiencing the restorative benefits of sleep. 7-9 hours nightly is recommended by most health professionals.

3. Meditation can provide great relief from the stresses of every day life. It trains the brain to move into a state of relaxation, rather than a stressed state. Meditation has been known to improve overall health, and can reduce negative health conditions like obesity and even cancer.

4. Laughter is  the best medicine, and has been known to have an anesthesia effect on a stressed body. Whether it’s chatting with your favorite cousin or seeing a funny movie, start laughing!

5. Eating a healthy, balance diet is crucial to proper bodily function. Ingesting processed foods has negative effects on the body and mind, as the chemicals, sugars and fats in these foods can cause obesity and addiction. Ditch fast food for healthier options, like lean proteins and plenty of fruits and veggies. These healthy foods allow your body to function smoothly, controlling stress and its harmful side effects. Your grandmother was right – you are what you eat.

6. Joining a healthy community can be a fulfilling, healthy, stress-reducing experience. Whether you go to church, take a fun class, or join a kayaking club, you will benefit from being around others with common interests, which alleviates loneliness. Lonely people often suffer from hearth disease more than their social counterparts.

7. Expressing your creative self can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of a healthy life. Creative expression releases endorphins, much like exercise. This lowers your heart rate, decreases your blood pressure, slows down your breathing, and lowers cortisol. Paint. Draw. Sing. Dance. Sculpt. Cook.

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Photo credit: Jennifer McDougall