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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

5 Holistic Therapies You'll Experience in Rehab

When used in conjunction with traditional addiction treatment, holistic therapies have been proved to be very effective in addressing both the physical and psychological impact of addiction. In fact, alternative treatments are becoming more mainstream, helping those struggling with substance use disorders to develop the necessary skills for lasting sobriety. 

Here’s a look at a few holistic therapies that you might experience during rehab – and why they can work for you: 
  • Equine therapy: Spending time with horses has been used for centuries to treat a variety of medical conditions, including addiction. Horses have been found to help clients recovering from substance use disorders to build relationships, develop rapport, communicate trust and learn healthy boundaries. Horses can also teach clients to be gentle and kind with themselves and with others.
  • Art therapy: Art therapy has become an integral part of the counseling and support services in many addiction centers. By drawing, painting and using other creative media like sculpture, clients learn to increase self-awareness and express emotions (both conscious and unconscious) about addiction and recovery – and even the meaning of life.
  • Adventure therapy: Adventure therapy encourages patients to use recovery tools to complete a team task, achieve a fitness goal or overcome adversity. Whether surfing, kayaking, camping, backpacking, rock climbing or rappelling, adventure therapy helps clients move beyond their comfort zone to achieve better self-understanding, self-confidence and self-esteem. The healing power of nature also helps tame anxiety and stress.
  • Hypnotherapy: Especially helpful for clients dealing with buried resentment, fear, regret, jealous or anger, addiction professionals use hypnosis to delve into the root of a client’s addiction. Some of its many benefits include the ability to treat trauma, resolve self-sabotaging thoughts, correct destructive habits and bring about behavioral changes that align with sobriety goals.  
  • Sound therapy: This cutting-edge alternative therapy works at a cellular level to initiate healing. Sound therapy uses vibrations played at varying pitches and intervals to help improve chi, release negative emotions, alleviate pain and stress and balance the mind, body and spirit. It’s also helpful for clients who struggle with the practice of meditation, as the vibration provides a targeted focal point to distract from outside influences.
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, August 28, 2017

How to Discover Your Personal Strengths

Learning to identify your personal strengths can greatly benefit your recovery. Once you become aware of what you’re good at and what makes you unique, you can utilize these qualities to stay confident and motivated as you create a new sober life. 

Recognizing your personal strengths isn’t easy, especially when you’re rediscovering yourself in recovery. Below, we list a few simple ways to find your personal strengths. Give them a try or cherry-pick the tips that resonate most with you. 
  • Create a personal strength wish-list. Jot down what qualities and traits mean most to you and your recovery – and then take a look and think about whether you display any of these strengths yourself. 
  • Note the things you enjoy. What do you really love to do? Often, the kinds of activities you enjoy require the skills and traits you naturally enjoy and excel at.  
  • Ask a friend or family member to weigh in. It’s not always easy to see ourselves clearly, so you may need an outside perspective. Ask those whom you trust most to tell you some of your strengths – and see if any surprise you. 
  • Take compliments to heart. If you don’t feel comfortable asking a loved one to weigh in on your personal strengths, then think back to any compliments you’ve received. Have you been told that you’re a good listener, for example, or that you’re funny?
  • Think about what makes you proud. Write down three times in your life that you truly felt proud to be you. How did you act or what did you do? What values did you display? Your answers will likely reveal your personal strengths.
Learning Life Skills at The Haven
Working collaboratively with our coaches to uncover new perspectives and new life skills, program participants learn what their best life can look like and receive the support to take the actions to make it a reality. To learn more, call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tips to Nix Negative Thinking

Whether you always focus on your flaws or anticipate worst-case scenarios, negative thinking can be demoralizing, de-motivating and damaging to your recovery efforts. 

Unfortunately, becoming sober doesn’t mean you’ll develop a sunny outlook. And for many folks in recovery, negative thinking has likely become yet another hard habit to break. 

Now for the good news: You can put a stop to your pattern of pessimism and learn to brighten your perspective. These tips can help:  
  • Switch your thoughts from negative to positive. For example, instead of thinking: “I’m going to have a hard time with recovery,” think: “I’ll face some challenges during recovery, but the hard work will pay off.”
  • Head outdoors. It may sound simple, but stepping outside into the sunshine will give you a sunnier outlook. Breathe in the fresh air and breathe out those negative thoughts. 
  • Reach out. We all have that one notoriously optimistic friend or loved one who is masterful at turning negative chatter into positive thinking. Pick up the phone and reach out when you’re in a rut. 
  • Meditate: Whether you choose to mediate when you first wake or before bedtime, this calming practice can help quiet your mind and keep you positive.  
  • Help someone else: Donating your time and energy to a worthy cause or organization is often a great wake-up call. It will help you to put things in perspective and be thankful for the good in your life – and you’ll be making someone else’s day sunny. 
  • Stop and write. The next time you find yourself spiraling into a negative cycle, stop and list five things that you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be complicated: your cat, fresh fruit, your friends, your family, your sobriety – anything that makes you feel happy and positive. 
Dealing With Emotions During Addiction Treatment 
Meditation is just one of the many holistic approaches we teach clients to help them stay positive, motivated and mentally strong as they journey toward sobriety. To learn more, call 805-202-3440.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

PAWS: What It Is And How to Cope

If you’re a month or so into being free from drugs or alcohol and are struggling with trouble sleeping, irritability, anxiety, memory loss, and extreme cravings, you’re likely experiencing what’s known as PAWS, or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (protracted withdrawal syndrome). 

PAWS encompasses a variety of symptoms that exist after the period of acute withdrawal ceases. Some experts define it as an adjustment period during which the brain attempts to stabilize or re-organize itself without substances. Drugs linked to PAWS include alcohol, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, opioids, and stimulants.

Learning the Symptoms
PAWS symptoms can come and go and differ depending on your drug of abuse as well as the severity of damage to the brain functioning during active addiction. Below are a few symptoms common to PAWS:
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Alcohol or drug cravings
  • Impaired executive control
  • Anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure from anything beyond use of the drug)
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks
  • Dysphoria or depression
  • Irritability
  • Unexplained physical complaints
  • Reduced interest in sex Extreme drug cravings and obsessions
Coping With PAWS
A few steps can help you better manage the symptoms of PAWS. 
  • Educate yourself: Learning to recognize the symptoms of PAWS is perhaps your best defense. This will enable you to better prepare and have a plan should these symptoms strike without warning. 
  • Exercise: Staying active is a sure-fire way to help restore balance to the brain, easing a lot of the emotional turbulence of PAWS. 
  • Identify and avoid triggers: Write down the situations, people, places, events that tend to trigger or exacerbate your symptoms. 
  • Seek support: Managing PAWS is tough and there's no reason to do it alone. Talk about your symptoms with your addiction counselors, therapist, support groups, peers or loved ones. 
  • Be patient and positive: It takes time for your mind and body to heal, but remind yourself that feelings of normalcy and emotional stability will return. In the meantime, try to remain calm and relaxed and focus on the positive goals of sobriety. 
Preparing for Active Recovery
The Pines detox residence strives to stabilize your physical health, cleanse your body of toxins, and lay the groundwork for long-term sobriety success. The road ahead of you will no doubt be difficult, but supervised detox provides the support, resources, and camaraderie you need to pursue lasting recovery. To learn more, call today: 805-202-3440.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Have You Identified Your Triggers?

An important part of rehab is learning to safeguard your sobriety once treatment ends. And this means learning to understand and identify triggers. 

This step is crucial for lasting sobriety – and it’s perhaps your best defense against relapse. Triggers are a very real part of addiction and they can’t always be avoided. 

What Is a Trigger?
Think of triggers as temptations – or people, places, things, situations, memories, or feelings that make you want to use again. For instance, does seeing an old drinking buddy make you want to drink? Or, perhaps an argument with a loved one results in a craving? The acronym “H.A.L.T.” – which stand for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired – is the term used by many addiction experts to describe some common situations that spark temptation. 

Create Your Trigger Action Plan 
As part of your relapse prevention plan, it’s essential to identify your unique personal triggers.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:
  • What were you feeling the last time you had a craving?
  • What were you doing the last time you had a craving?
  • Who were you with the last time you had a craving?
  • Were you trying to numb uncomfortable feelings or negative emotions?
  • Did you feel pressured by peers or loved ones?
  • What was your stress level?
Next, you'll need to jot down your answers and come up with a plan of how to counteract these influences in healthier ways. For example, if your triggers are stress-related, you’ll need to figure out new sober ways to ease these feelings of anxiety. And don't be afraid to ask others about what has (and hasn't) worked for them.

Don't wait until it's too late. If you feel yourself slipping, take time to slow yourself down and think about what kind of triggers you may have encountered. This is also the time to lean on your support network by calling a sponsor, counselor or loved one or attending therapy or a local support group. Together, you can prevent triggers from destroying your hard-won sobriety.  

Aftercare for Lifetime Sobriety
Aftercare plans are invaluable additions to your recovery toolbox. At The Haven at Pismo, our team of addiction specialists will help you to develop relapse strategies to help you maintain sobriety once returning home. Call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

4 Ways to Stay Sober in Difficult Situations

Learning how to stay sober in difficult situations is a skill that will serve you well in recovery. After all, life is full of unexpected events and triggers – whether an impromptu party, work event or family get-together – and these may be even more frequent during the summer months. 

The key is to be prepared and to always have a few stay-sober strategies in your pocket. Start with these four: 
  • Become a self-expert. In other words, work to figure out your individual triggers along with what coping mechanisms work best for you. Remember: This is a process -- and it’ll likely change depending on your stage of recovery. Keep a list and add to it as you think of new ways to cope. 
  • Make water your friend. It can be plain or sparkling or with lemon – whichever way allows you to stay hydrated, keep your hands busy and avoid awkward questions. Similarly, never allow someone to freshen up your drink. You should always be in charge of what you consume.
  • Seek support. No one expects you to walk alone on the path toward lasting sobriety. We all need someone to lean on, especially during early recovery. Ask a sober friend, sponsor or relative to be your party date or at least be on call if you need some extra reinforcement. 
  • Think about the positives. Remind yourself about all of the advantages of being sober. Here are a few: You’ll look better, feel better, have better relationships and live a fuller, healthier life! 
Aftercare Planning for Long-Term Recovery
At The Haven, we know that returning home after rehab can be a defining moment in your sobriety journey. That’s why we help our clients prepare for the transition by giving them tools and strategies to reduce the risk of relapse and stay on the sober course. To learn more, call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

20 Ways to Manage Stress

Being stressed is unfortunately becoming the nationwide norm these days. Despite a hopeful drop in overall stress levels last summer, a survey earlier this year showed a significant spike, according to the American Psychological Association.

To review: Chronic stress can unsettle nearly all bodily processes and trigger a slew of health problems, including anxiety, depression, heart disease, weight gain, memory impairment and weakened immune system. And it’s also one of the leading causes of relapse. 

So how can you safeguard your sobriety and keep stress in check? Fortunately, some simple strategies have been study-proven to help tame those tensions — whether you’re dealing with a craving or family conflict.

Here are a few healthy steps to try today: 
  1. Identify your stress triggers.
  2. Write in a journal.
  3. Take slow, deep breaths.
  4. Focus on the now with mindfulness exercises.
  5. Meditate.
  6. Turn up the tunes.
  7. Go for a walk or hike. 
  8. Take up some sort of regular exercise, like yoga.
  9. Learn to say “no” once in a while.
  10. Do something creative or engage in a favorite hobby.
  11. Make a to-do list to organize daily tasks. 
  12. Call up a good friend.
  13. Take a relaxing and calming bath.
  14. Avoid bad habits, including poor food choices as well as addictive substances and behaviors.  
  15. Make sleep (and good sleep) a priority. 
  16. Learn to laugh; humor does heal. 
  17. Spend some quiet time in nature.
  18. Take breaks from smart phones and social media.
  19. Spend quality time with supportive friends and family.
  20. Seek professional help, if none of these methods seem to do the trick. 
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.