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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.