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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How to Practice Self-Love

Self-love isn’t selfish, but a matter of survival to give yourself the respect and attention you deserve as you journey toward lasting sobriety. 

In fact, building (or improving upon) a love relationship with yourself will help you make better decisions, pick better partners and friends and better cope with the ups and downs of your new sober life. 

A few relatively simple activities can help ensure that you’re kind to yourself – mind, body and spirit. Start by giving a few of these self-love activities a whirl this Valentine’s Day:
  • Wake up with love. Instead of grabbing your smartphone, grab a piece of paper and write yourself a little love note. Remind yourself why you are so deserving of the great day you are bound to have today. 
  • Make time to meditate. If this isn’t already part of your daily practice, you may consider giving it a try. Start with five minutes of quiet meditation and follow it up with five minutes of writing in a journal to document your experience.
  • Put a stop to negative thinking. Grab an elastic band and put it on your right wrist. If you criticize yourself today, move it to your left as a reminder to put an end to any negative self-talk. 
  • Enjoy little pleasures. Go for a brisk walk or jog, cook up a healthful breakfast, take an extra long shower, sit with a crossword puzzle, meet a friend for coffee, splurge on a movie – do something today that awakens your body and mind. 
Your Path to Better Mental Health
The Haven at Pismo can help you achieve inner harmony while building the skills to maintain it over the long term. Our dual diagnosis programs are recommended for those experiencing the doubly damaging effects of addiction and mental illness. To connect with a caring and understanding admissions counselor, call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Talking to Kids About Drugs

With the current opioid crisis and increasing legalization of marijuana, parents need to talk to their kids about the dangers of drugs more than ever. But how do you get started?

Experts say open, honest and ongoing communication is best and that parents should look for “teachable moments” in daily life. And your kids will listen. According to research, kids want their parents' advice about drugs and children who hear the facts from their parents are significantly less likely to use. 

Here are some tips from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on making drug prevention part of your parenting strategy: 
  • Give the facts. Explain why taking drugs can hurt their health, friends and family and future.
  • Set clear rules and consequences. Rules help kids learn what is safe and what can get them in trouble. Research shows that children are less likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs if their parents have established a pattern of setting clear rules and consequences for breaking them.
  • Be a part of their lives.  Give your child your full attention. This means putting away your smartphone or computer and really listening. Similarly, make a point to know where your children are and what they’re doing – and get to know your child’s friends and their parents. 
  • Teach your children how to refuse drugs. Kids often do drugs just to fit in with the other kids. Help them practice how to say no if someone offers them drugs. Give some examples: "My mom (or dad) would kill me if I smoked pot," for instance, or "No thanks, I don’t do drugs.”
  • Be a good example for your children. Always try to be a good role model. Your actions speak louder than words. Show them how to deal with stress in a healthy manner and how to care for your mental and physical health. 
  • Make your home safe. Know the people you have in the house and avoid having people who abuse drugs and alcohol there. Lock away any painkillers and keep track of medicines and cleaning products you have in the house.
Did You Do Drugs?
If you choose to tell your kids about your past drug use, here are a few things to keep in mind, according to NIDA:
  • Don't give a lot of details about your past drug use.
  • Point out the problems your drug use might have caused. For instance, are there things you don't remember because you were on drugs? Did drug use keep you from saving money, getting better grades or getting a better job?
  • Talk about how we now know more about the bad effects of drugs, especially how drugs can hurt the developing brain.
  • Tell your kids that you want them to avoid making the same mistakes you made.
  • Be open to responses that your kids may have to your past drug use.
Getting Help for Drug or Alcohol Abuse
The Haven at Pismo provides a continuum of care that includes medical detox, residential programs for men and women, partial hospitalization, and outpatient programs. If you or a loved one is showing signs of a substance use disorder, call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Can Living in the Moment Improve Your Health?

It’s a great question, and one that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) set out to answer in one of its articles. 

The short answer is yes, but before we go into how it can help your health (and, of course, your recovery), let’s take a look at what mindfulness really means. 

What Is Mindfulness?
This ancient practice involves being completely aware of what’s happening in the present, including what’s going on inside of you and around you. It’s about experiencing each moment of life – the good and bad – without judgment or preconceived notions, notes the NIH. 

How Can Mindfulness Help You?
People who practice mindfulness report a greater ability to relax, more enthusiasm for life and enhanced self-esteem. This is because mindfulness practices can help you better manage stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and let go of any negative emotions. 

The concept of mindfulness is simple, but it takes practice. You’ll need to flex your mindfulness muscle daily to keep it strong. Start with these tips from NIH: 
  • Practice conscious breathing. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often throughout the day.
  • Take a thoughtful stroll. Note your breath as well as the sights and sounds around you as you walk. And, if negative thoughts and worries enter your mind, be sure to acknowledge them but then quickly return to the present.
  • Practice mindful eating. As you take a bite, hone in on the taste, textures and flavors of the food. Also, listen to your body to tell when you are hungry or full. 
  • Seek out mindfulness resources. This can include yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, guided meditations and/or books.
Staying Centered at The Haven
Taking a few moments to meditate before stressful situations can lead to more mindful decisions and greater strength to remain sober. At The Haven at Pismo, we offer a variety of holistic treatment approaches, including yoga and meditation, to our clients. To learn more, call 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Recovery Activities to Count Down the New Year

Whether you have been in recovery for just a few short months or for many years, the upcoming New Year is the perfect time for reflection and celebration. With the New Year less than a week away, here are a few recovery activities to squeeze in before 2018.
  • Count your blessings. The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on your recovery and the positive impact it’s had on your life. Take a few hours this week to make a list of the things you’re grateful for in 2017. 
  • Record your milestones. Taking stock of both big and small recovery wins is a great way to stay motivated. As the year ends, time to write down a few of these victories. Some examples: “I’ve gone 100 day without a drink.” “I’ve spoken up in group therapy.” “I’ve gotten out of bed on days that feel hopeless.” 
  • Share your recovery story. Giving back to others is an important part of recovery and the perfect way to stay focused on your own goals. Think back to what inspired you and find an opportunity to share these tools to inspire someone else in recovery. 
  • Set some goals. Your new sober life is full of new experiences, a wider social circle, better health and a wealth of opportunities. Think about what you’d like to achieve in both the short- and long-term and list a few small steady steps to ensure you get there. 
  • Make a promise for better health. This time of year it’s typical to hear folks make a lot of promises to themselves – “I’m going to lose 20 pounds or exercise every day or quit smoking for good” – but what about just try to be a healthier you. Promise yourself to practice self-care, including eating better, exercising more and learning to better manage stress.
Wishing you a safe, sober, healthy and happy 2018! 

Start Your Sober Life with Complete Harmony
If you are starting the New Year with a resolution to begin life without addiction, we can help you progress along your journey. To learn about our addiction treatment programs and services, call us today: 805-202-3440. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How Creativity Can Help Your Recovery

A little creativity comes with a long list of benefits for people in addiction recovery. For one, a creative hobby is the perfect sober distraction to fill the void you may feel after years of active addiction. 

Creativity has also been linked with better emotional health. From simple doodling to singing your favorite song, moments of intentional creativity can come to the rescue during the highs and lows of recovery.

Here are a few more ways that creativity can benefit your recovery: 
  • You’ll process your feelings. Addiction recovery comes with a host of emotions and tapping into your creativity can help you better understand and resolve those emotions so they don’t lead to relapse. 
  • You’ll ease anxiety. Even creating for 45 minutes with simple art supplies — like markers and paper — can help decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, according to a study published in Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. Similar to meditation, artistic expression provides a perfect distraction and mental space from daily stress. 
  • You’ll experience sober fun. An important part of lasting recovery is creating a fulfilling sober life – and finding a creative hobby can help make this happen. Creative activities promote play, after all, and can help you rediscover the fun, lighthearted part of yourself. 
  • You’ll grow your sober social circle. People bond through common experiences and interests. Joining a knitting group, for instance, can help you meet new, like-minded friends. 
About Our Holistic Therapies 
The Haven at Pismo is set apart from other California addiction recovery facilities by our unique blend of multi-modal therapies. We believe that the most successful addiction treatment programs take into account the body, mind and spirit, which are all impacted by the disease of addiction. To learn more about our specialized treatments and customized holistic therapies, call today: 805-202-3440.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Great Ideas to Express Gratitude

Counting your blessings comes with a host of benefits – today, on Thanksgiving and every day. We’ve talked in the past about how practicing gratitude can help with your overall health and recovery. To recap: It improves your sleep, self-care, self-esteem, emotional balance, willpower, stress management skills and more. 

Perhaps the most popular (and helpful) way to express gratitude in your daily life is to write down what you’re thankful for. You can do this in a formal journal or on post-it notes to remind yourself of all the good in your new sober life. And there are other ways to express gratitude, too. 

Here are some ideas – take a look and add any that you think might work for you. 
  • Take part in a “30 days of thanks” challenge, either formally or self-created.
  • Call a friend or family member and let them know how much they mean to you. 
  • Invite a loved one to coffee to thank them for supporting your recovery.
  • Write a note or email to a recovery peer or addiction counselor and let them know how they’ve helped you.
  • Take a picture of something in your every day life your grateful for. 
  • Hold the door open and/or give someone the gift of a smile.
  • Focus on one of your five senses and uncover some amazing things around you. 
  • Head out into nature and take time to notice and appreciate the beauty.
  • Volunteer your time at a local animal shelter or soup kitchen. 

We Are Grateful for the Chance to Help You
The Haven at Pismo is the only residential detox and addiction treatment center on California’s Central Coast. Our multi-faceted, outcome-focused program includes traditional and complementary therapies offered at our beautiful, private campus. To learn more or to speak with a caring and understanding admissions counselor, call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Nearly Half of Americans Have Loved One With Past or Current Addiction

Do you have a good friend or family member with a current or past substance use disorder? If so, you’re among nearly 46 percent of U.S. adults, according to a Pew Research Center Survey. And, according to the survey, there's no statistically significant differences between sex, race, age, education levels and even partisan lines.

In 2016, nearly 20.1 million Americans 12 or older had a substance use disorder, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. And opioid use disorder (2.1 million) and alcohol use disorder (15.1 million) topped the list. 

When a Loved One Has a Substance Abuse Problem
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) put together a list of questions to help you determine if someone you care about needs help. If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, your friend or loved one might have a substance abuse problem.  ("Drugs" is used here to refer to illicit drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol, notes the NIDA.)
  • Does the person take the drug in larger amounts or for longer than intended?
  • Do they want to cut down or stop using the drug but can’t?
  • Do they spend a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the drug?
  • Do they have cravings and urges to use the drug?
  • Are they unable to manage responsibilities at work, home, or school because of drug use?
  • Do they continue to use a drug, even when it causes problems in relationships?
  • Do they give up important social, recreational, or work-related activities because of drug use?
  • Do they use drugs again and again, even when it puts them in danger?
  • Do they continue to use, even while knowing that a physical or mental problem could have been caused or made worse by the drug?
  • Do they take more of the drug to get the wanted effect?
  • Have they developed withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the drug? (Some withdrawal symptoms can be obvious, but others can be more subtle — like irritability or nervousness.)
Getting Help for Drug or Alcohol Abuse
The Haven at Pismo provides a continuum of care that includes medical detox, residential programs for men and women, partial hospitalization, and outpatient programs. If you or a loved one is showing signs of a substance use disorder, call today: 805-202-3440.