Millions of Christians Will Be Praying … Will You?

PLEASE JOIN WITH US  DURING THE WEEKEND OF April 15th – 16th, 2023

For The

33rd ANNUAL “Just Pray NO!” to Drugs  WORLDWIDE WEEKEND of PRAYER and FASTING

TO LEARN MORE CLICK HERE

Since April 7th, 1991 “Just Pray NO!” Ltd. has united millions of  Christians  from 150 nations and territories around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families.

 United States    Canada  Great Britain (UK)   South Africa  India    Australia  Philippines  Ireland  Malaysia  Kenya  Germany   Singapore   Netherlands  Nigeria   New Zealand   France   Norway  Brazil  Mexico  Egypt  Uganda  Trinidad and Tobago   Bahamas  Taiwan  Italy  Israel  Switzerland    Poland  Turkey  Japan  Czech Republic  Hong Kong  Peru  Pakistan. Jamaica  Russian Federation  Barbados  Austria United Kingdom  Sweden    Finland  Korea (South)  Indonesia  Belgium United Arab Emirates  Ghana  Romania  Saudi Arabia  Cote D\’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)  Colombia  Spain  Puerto Rico  Saint Lucia  Tanzania  Zambia  Argentina  Thailand  Swaziland Botswana  Malta  Portugal  Vietnam  Denmark  Bulgaria  Zimbabwe  Hungary   Malawi  Yugoslavia  Cameroon  Bahrain  Ecuador  Kuwait  El Salvador  Solomon Islands  Iran  Qatar  Namibia  Bermuda  Lebanon  Sri Lanka  Ethiopia    Rwanda  Bangladesh  Iceland  Ukraine  Uruguay  Virgin Islands (U.S.)  Greece  Armenia  Netherlands Antilles  Costa Rica  Honduras  Lithuania  Mauritius   Chile  Venezuela  Morocco  Aruba  Syria  Estonia  Antigua and Barbuda  Saint Kitts and Nevis  Latvia  Slovak Republic  Oman.  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Papua New Guinea  Jordan  Panama  Libya  Virgin Islands (British)  Moldova  Guatemala  Senegal  Dominican Republic  China  Iraq  Fiji    Bosnia and Herzegovina  Suriname  Dominica  Turks and Caicos Islands  Belize  Anguilla  Cayman Islands  Grenada  Guam  Macedonia. Guyana  Faroe Islands  Slovenia. Gibraltar  Nepal  Sierra Leone Togo  Eritrea. Gambia  French Polynesia  Algeria  Sudan  Cook Islands. Croatia   Mongolia  Cape Verde  Myanmar  Paraguay  Georgia  Bhut   Liberia

Prayer Request from “Just Pray NO!” President Steven Sherman

On September 19th, 2022, I was t-boned by a truck and my car was totaled. I was fortunate enough to come away only with a laceration on my head from the accident. However, in the process of getting a CAT scan to check for internal injuries, doctors discovered a 3.3 cm mass in my right lung.

After a few more tests and a biopsy, doctors discovered that I had adenocarcinoma, a cancer with presence around my lungs and heart.

The cancer already had reached stage 3.

If not for the accident, I would not have known as I had not had any symptoms yet.

While I am thankful that the cancer was caught, I now face a difficult road ahead of having to go through chemotherapy and radiation treatment, a process that can take 7-8 weeks with a serious toll on my health.

I am in good shape otherwise as I have always eaten healthy, exercised, and stayed away from activities that would worsen my health.

That said, the difficulties being faced are not easy, especially with not having a car and being unable to drive.

Today, Friday November 4th, I had my first procedure in preparation for the chemotherapy treatment at Florida’s Mease Countryside Hospital

Doctors placed a surgical port under the skin of my left chest so I may receive medication without having to create multiple holes for injection.

The procedure took a few hours and went successfully without any complications.

I also heard back from the doctors who took my MRI scan that there is no cancer in my brain, a huge relief. They said that the cancer has a much higher chance of successful treatment as it is localized to my chest.

I am now preparing for my daily radiation treatments and am waiting to hear back for when the chemo element will officially begin.

If you find it in your heart, I appreciate anything you can do to help me cover my costs in getting treatment, transport, and bridging for any insurance gaps.

I am retired and on a fixed income, so every little bit helps with this extraordinary situation.

Thank you so much for showing me love as Christ does.

God bless you, Steven Sherman

Support here: https://gofund.me/2ab3d7a4

Finding Positivity and Inspiration During a Change of Life

Entering a new stage of life can be exciting but also daunting and frightening. Sometimes these new stages bring physical and mental health changes, lead people to question their existing relationships, and bring up feelings from the past that the person has yet to deal with fully. But going through a new phase can also bring personal growth and a new enthusiasm for life. Here are some ways to find positivity and inspiration during a life change. 

Learn to Meditate

Meditation can be helpful to those going through stressful times in their lives. Some of its stress-reducing benefits include an improved heart rate and slower breathing. In addition to helping with the negative, meditation brings many positive benefits, including heightened creativity and better self-awareness. Some types of meditation to consider include:

  • Mindfulness meditation, which involves the meditator focusing on being aware of their thoughts and feelings in the present moment and avoiding any judgment of their feelings at that moment
  • Guided meditation, which means that the session is led by a teacher of meditation and as a result, is a good style for beginners
  • Mantra meditation, where the student repeats a spoken or thought word over and over again to produce a calming effect 
  • Tai chi, which combines aspects of meditation with physical movement 

Choose the type of meditation that feels most comfortable for you. 

Consider Changing Careers

With a change in life stage comes the potential for change in other areas of life, including employment. Many people who have been in the corporate world for a while find freedom and success in being self-employed. It is imperative to have a business plan before diving into anything. A good plan includes a description of the business, what products you will sell, the structure of the company, and your sources of funding. Having a solid business plan can even help increase the amount of funding that you receive. 

Reconnect With Friends

Many of your friends may also be experiencing the same changes you are, such as having their children move out of the house. When you have a newly empty house, it is especially important to keep close friends and family in your life to prevent loneliness. If you have been thinking about reconnecting with old friends but do not know how to get in touch with them, a search engine can help. To find former high school classmates, type in the name of your alma mater, your graduation year, and the name of the friend you are searching for. You never know if someone has been trying to contact you as well, so being the first to reach out can positively impact both of your lives. 

Pray

If you are a religious person, you may find comfort in prayer during difficult times. You do not have to attend church in order to benefit from prayer, and prayer can be done from anywhere. 

Find People With Similar Interests

For many people, finding a new hobby can be very inspiring. To make it easier, find a group of people near you who are interested in the same hobby. You can learn new skills and make new friends along the way. 

Make the most of a challenging time by finding the positives in your life. Learn to meditate, consider a career change, find strength in prayer, and reconnect with friends or meet new people with similar interests.

Article submitted by Dylan Wallace  info@preventionconnect.org PreventionConnect.org

How to Foster Peace of Mind in Your Daily Life

It’s all too easy to get lost in the stress that occurs throughout the day. That’s why it’s important to find inner peace and let go of any negativity that might arise. Meditation and prayer are daily practices that will bring peace into your life. For an event to look forward to – mark your calendar to participate in the intercessory prayer and fast on behalf of the world’s addicted and their families on April 15-16, 2023.

Courtesy of Just Pray No, here are some effective ways to bring harmony into your everyday life. 

Make Your Home Your Happy Place

A peaceful routine starts at home. It’s where your day begins and ends, regardless of what happens in between. You can foster a relaxing home environment in many ways, including changing the lighting, using pleasant scents, filling your space with more plants and flowers, or adding a pop of color to your living room.

Also, take inventory of what’s already in your home — is there a painting you’re not that fond of or a piece of furniture you’d get rid of in a heartbeat? It might be time for an upgrade. Even putting up some holiday decorations might do the trick. You’re the one spending time in your home, so make it your own. You deserve your oasis.

Look Forward to Something

When was the last time you changed up your routine? Simple actions like attending a concert, going on a self-guided walking tour, or learning a new artform can bring spark to otherwise dull days. Ramp up the good feels even more by doing something outside of yourself. Consider a volunteer project or spending time with a lonely senior in a nursing home.

Sometimes the problem isn’t with your downtime, but with the way you make a living. If you feel your work life has stalled out or if you spend too many hours every week doing something that doesn’t feel useful or important, you may want to switch careers, and you may want to try teaching. If you already have a degree, you can become teacher-certified in your field with a Master’s Degree in Education by taking classes online. Move up while helping students.

Spend Time Outside

There’s no dispute that spending time outdoors has a number of health benefits. Between the improved memory and lessened stress, there’s no reason you shouldn’t make a daily habit of spending time in nature. These are also great places to walk barefoot in nature, also known as grounding, which has many positive effects on mental and physical health. There’s nothing like a barefoot walk in fresh grass to jolt you out of stress and back into nature.

Be Kind to Yourself

Self-criticism is all too common in today’s world and is often a catalyst for more negative thoughts. However, making a conscious effort to embrace all of who you are — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and being nice to yourself can actually make you a better person. Let go of perfectionism and peace will follow. Make it a point to steer clear of negative self-talk, for instance. Phrases like, “I wish I were better at,” or “I’m too fat,” can be very damaging to your outlook on life.

Instead of focusing on your perceived shortcomings, keep your eyes on being a friend to yourself. Speak to your heart the way you would talk to a friend, offering support, kindness, and compassion.

The Best Is Yet to Come

By reading this article, you’re already taking a step in the right direction. Simple lifestyle actions like finding things that you look forward to and spending some time in nature can be surprisingly beneficial and help you to foster peace. Follow the advice that feels right to you, trust your gut, and you’ll be on your way to a more harmonious life.

Article Submitted by Dylan Wallace info@preventionconnect.org

The Great Outdoors

Why an Outside Hobby Can Help with Anxiety, Stress, and Depression

Millions of Americans suffer from a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. For many seeking a healthier lifestyle, it helps to adopt a hobby to replace destructive behaviors. That might include prayer, anti-depression meds, and ramping up your physical activity.

Healthy pursuits instigate eustress, the kind of stress that makes us feel happy, motivated, and vital. Depending on the hobby, there is likely a chance you’ll develop a sense of community with others who share your interests. Furthermore, hobbies are good for your physical health and promote mindfulness, release stress, and provide us with goals and the motivation to achieve them.

Today, Just Pray NO offers some insight into finding the ideal outdoor hobby to lower your stress and improve your life.

Thinking “Outside” the Box

While there are no “right” hobbies for people trying to overcome mental health issues, those who love a breath of fresh air would do good to consider something that involves the great outdoors. Believe it or not, spending time in nature can be very healing throughout the recovery process. Fresh air and sunlight are good for the body and mind. Generally when we are outside we are also more active, releasing feel-good endorphins and neurotransmitters for an overall better state-of-mind.

And the benefits go beyond helping your body heal after the damage of addiction. Spending time outdoors improves cognitive function, including short-term memory, problem-solving and creativity. Even just looking at photos of nature can help people. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, participants who viewed images of nature scored higher on an attention test than those who viewed pictures of other scenes.

How to Spend More Time in the Great Outdoors

If you are unsure about what kind of outdoor hobbies may appeal to you, there’s no harm in giving anything that sounds good a trial run and just seeing what sticks. While there’s no overstating the importance of goals in one’s life, there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with just going with the flow and enjoying the journey with no discernable destination in sight. Have a standing picnic date with a loved one where you each bring a healthy, outdoor-friendly dish. Commit to taking your dog on more walks and explore different neighborhoods in your town. Do whatever you want to experience this beautiful world and establish grounding while also connecting to the wider world beyond us.

While you should consider a variety of activities that you think you may enjoy, also include some new things that challenge, excite, or even scare you. When you do things that scare you, you help reverse unwelcome neurological patterns. So for every time you make an effort to relax and spend leisure time outdoors, make it a priority to also do something new. Join a co-worker or friend who is into rock climbing on their next expedition. Go on a multi-day camping trip where you hike through a state park. Learn something new and add on amazing mental advantages to the physical and emotional benefits of spending time outdoors.

You can also extend your time outdoors to your backyard. Making your greenspace a welcoming place to relax and unwind offers the perfect chance to enjoy the outside from home. While simply adding some new lawn furniture and potted plants can be perfectly adequate changes, you could also consider larger updates like bringing in professional land grading services before starting a garden, building a deck, or extending your patio. Plus, with these types of improvements, you could easily see your home’s value increase!

Start Small — Be Kind to Yourself

While it’s important to live healthily, and it’s great that you want to turn things around, sudden sweeping changes in your lifestyle aren’t always best. That’s why it’s important to set small, reasonable goals and not be too hard on yourself. Outdoor hobbies are a great place to start because they encourage healthy coping mechanisms and get us out of our own heads for a while. While activities can be calming and leisurely, it’s also healthy to try new and scary things. A variety of outdoor pursuits both nourishes and challenges the mind and body.

Just Pray NO is taking a stance against drugs and proving that the power of prayer is still impacting lives around the world. We’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to email us at justprayno@aol.com.

Article Submitted by Dylan Wallace info@preventionconnect.org

COVID-19, Drug Abuse, and Overdose Deaths

According to the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry, COVID-19 related social isolation and stress can increase susceptibility to substance misuse, addiction, and relapse. Substance abuse use can lead to immune system, respiratory, and pulmonary changes and may increase susceptibility to COVID-19 as well as complications.

While the COVID-19 pandemic plagues this nation, so, too, do transnational criminal organizations and violent street gangs, adjusting to pandemic restrictions to flood our communities with dangerous drugs.

According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths now total more than 100,000 annually in the United States. The number of overdose deaths accelerated significantly during the pandemic.

While synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, continue to be the primary cause of these deaths, there has also been an alarming increase in the number of deaths involving illicit stimulants, particularly methamphetamine. Overdose deaths connected to meth increased almost 35 percent in 2020, exceeding the number of cocaine-related deaths.

Another great concern is that a new synthetic opioid was found in the Tampa Bay area of Florida in January of this year. Commonly known as ISO, the synthetic opioid is 20 times more potent than fentanyl.

Addiction in America is an ever-increasing national crisis!

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” –James 5:16

Not only is substance abuse America’s number one health problem, the devastation of alcoholism and other drug addiction has impacted families and communities worldwide. Substance abuse has been directly linked to violence and sexual immorality and is a major source of income for organized crime and terrorist activities.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” –Ephesians 6:12

Please put on the full armor of God and fervently pray in spirit and in truth for those held captive by addiction to be set free!!!

Thank you! Steven L. Sherman, Founder “Just Pray NO!” Ltd.

6 Things to Stop Doing Now If You’re Recovering from Alcohol Addiction

If you are currently in recovery from alcoholism, you understand what you have had to go through to get where you are. You also know how challenging it can be to stay sober and that you must do everything you can to position yourself for avoiding relapse.

It’s essential to take actionable steps each day to stay clean and build a healthy, fulfilling life. But sometimes, there are things that you need to stop doing so that you can reach your goals. Below, Just Pray NO! has listed six practices to cease immediately if you are in recovery.

1. Working an Unhealthy Job

When you are in recovery, stress can be one of the biggest triggers for relapse. And one of the most common sources of stress for adults in the workplace. If your current job is leaving you overwhelmed, or if you simply don’t like it, it might be time to change careers. Don’t let your demotivation, irritability, anxiety, or lack of concentration keep you from recovering or building a fulfilling life.

2. Ignoring Your Triggers

“Trigger” is a well-known term for those recovering from addiction and other obstacles. One of the most important things you can do to stay sober and improve your wellbeing is to understand your external triggers.

Your triggers may be places, things, situations, people, or anything else that leaves you craving or thinking about alcohol. Moreover, understand that your internal triggers can also set you back, including your thoughts, emotions, and feelings about alcohol. After identifying your triggers, begin structuring your life so that you can avoid them.

3. Ignoring the Warning Signs

Similar to triggers, it’s essential to recognize the warning signs that you are headed towards a relapse. In many cases, a relapse sneaks up on you, and knowing what signs to look for can keep that from happening. If you have been going back to your addictive thinking patterns, behaving more recklessly, thinking irrationally, engaging in self-defeating behavior, or justifying the use of alcohol for any reason, it could be time to take a breath and focus on your recovery.

4. Continuing Old Routines

Maintaining old routines can quickly lead to relapse. If you neglect to change your circumstances and spend time with the people you associate with alcohol, it will be challenging to stay sober for the long haul. Think of anyways that you can revamp your routine so that you can begin developing healthy habits.

5. Isolating Yourself      

Healthy relationships are key to staying sober. You cannot expect yourself to avoid alcohol if you keep hanging out with your drinking babies. At the same time, you cannot isolate yourself. The best approach is to focus on the friends and family members with whom you have positive relationships.

You will also need to get any support you need. Many people in alcohol recovery meet with a support group regularly, which can provide you with a sense of camaraderie and wisdom on how to stay sober and healthy.

6. Avoiding Self-Care

Finally, a major aspect of your recovery will be fostering your physical, mental, and emotional health each day. Not only will improving your health help you stay sober, but it will also benefit virtually every part of your life. Make sure you are eating a nutritious balanced diet and exercising at least five days a week. And if you have trouble getting at least seven hours of sleep per life, figure out a relaxing activity or two that will help you unwind. Furthermore, consider finding a hobby that helps you relax. Whether it’s going hiking, building birdhouses, or planting a garden, try to do your hobby at least once a week. Make sure your home functions as a safe haven as well. To ensure it remains a sanctuary, keep it clean, decluttering and free of negativity.

Recovering from alcoholism is one of the hardest and bravest tasks you could ever take on. You want to make sure you don’t make it more difficult than necessary. Remember the six things above and try to structure your life in a way that helps you avoid doing them. And never stop looking for other ways to build a healthy, fulfilling life.

Article Submitted by Dylan Wallace info@preventionconnect.org

Here Are the Best Tips for Planning Your Clean Getaway

Planning a sober vacation may sound tough if you are a recovering addict. However, you have many great options for a fun and relaxing vacation. “Just Pray NO!” shares the best tips for setting yourself up for a successful getaway.

Benefits of travel. Travel is excellent for your mental health. Some studies show that travel reduces stress, puts you in a better mood, keeps you physically active, strengthens relationships, and sharpens your mind. You might even decide to go solo. U.S. News & World Report notes that getting out of your routine, being in a new place and around different people opens your mind to self-discovery. It’s easy to see how a vacation can help you in your recovery.

Get away and avoid triggers. According to some experts, it’s healthy to break your routine and do something fun during recovery. One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from relapse is to avoid triggers. By getting out of town, you change up your routine and get away from your normal stressors.

Plan your getaway. It may seem challenging to plan a sober vacation. USA Today explains, “it can be difficult for sober people to feel at ease traveling, especially when so many resorts and hotels encourage drinking.” Fortunately you have some great choices available to you that fit a variety of budgets and interests.

Sober retreats. One of the options available is a sober retreat. Groups of recovering addicts travel together with activities and outings structured around staying clean and having a blast. Themed trips are available with diverse options such as safaris, skiing, and beaches. As you enjoy time away with fellow recovering addicts, you’ll see firsthand the truth behind 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

National Parks. Explore National Parks to see everything from glaciers to geysers.

Sober music festivals. Enjoying concerts is probably something you wrote off when you gave up your bad habit. Music festivals typically are a haven for drugs and alcohol. Fortunately there are now sober options for people who want to revel in music substance-free.

Sun worship, diving and snorkeling. Some sun, sea and sand may be the vacation you have in mind.

Tips for your trip. Whatever you choose, here are some important tips from Psychology Today that will help you stay sober on your vacation:

  • Talk to your companions about your trip. If you have traveling companions, communication is key. Discuss the importance of your sobriety and how they can be supportive. Voice concerns you may have and what roles you expect everyone to play.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. 
  • Plan for fun. Schedule events ahead of time so you have structure through your trip.
  • Stay positive. Remember that if someone else is choosing to abuse a substance you are making a healthy choice by staying sober.
  • Keep in touch. Maintain contact with your support network.
  • Good timing. Go on your trip when you are in a stable part of your recovery.
  • Choose carefully. Cancun during spring break or Germany during Oktoberfest are unwise options. Think through places and dates that will support your good decisions.
  • Be prepared for triggers. When you have downtime next to a bar or have travel delays, have a book handy, enjoy fun apps on your phone, or pull out a pillow and sleep mask to provide relief. When you encounter a stressful situation, like a missed flight or a stolen wallet, incorporate some stress management techniques.
  • Plan for emergencies. Plan for the worst when traveling abroad. For example, if your wallet is lost or stolen in a foreign locale like Bejing or Manila, your family can quickly – and affordably – send you funds through a secure service like Remitly. Fees are never higher than $2.99 when transferring funds to China, for example, and you can use Alipay or WeChat to expedite the process.

Your clean getaway. You’ve worked hard to get clean and it may sound challenging to arrange a sober vacation. With careful planning your vacation is a step in your recovery program. You avoid triggers and break your routine. Make good choices and set yourself up for success. By using the tools at your disposal, you can have a wonderful time. Follow these great tips and enjoy a clean getaway!

“Just Pray NO!” seeks to unite Christians in spiritual warfare to battle addiction. Reach out for more info today! justprayno@aol.com

Article Submitted by Dylan Wallace info@preventionconnect.org

Three Ways to Make Money When You’re in Between Jobs

If you’ve lost your job recently as a result of a substance abuse addiction, the pandemic, or other factors, then chances are you’re experiencing a lot of stress right now. One factor that can ease stress is finding more financial security. Courtesy of Just Pray NO!, here are a few ways you can create your own small business or side gig and use it to better your financial situation and remove at least one worry during these challenging times

First, Make it Official

Whatever caused you to become unemployed, making ends meet can be difficult. But it’s not impossible. The key is to regroup and start seeking new opportunities. Starting your own small business is a fulfilling and lucrative way of doing so.

Remember, you’ll need to pay taxes on your income, so it makes sense to choose a business structure and register with your state before you go too far. Many solo entrepreneurs like the advantages an LLC brings, namely the personal asset protection. It’s easy to register when you use a formation service. And don’t forget to pay yourself. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or hiring staff, a program like Quickbooks is a great tool for processing payroll for small business owners. Just add it to your toolkit so that you can set up auto payments, direct deposit and auto tax filing. In just a couple of quick hours, you’ll be official and ready to go to work!

Become a Pet Sitter

Pet sitters are on the rise across the United States. Fifty years ago, pet sitters hardly existed. Today, though, they have become many pet owners’ go-to if they are planning on leaving their pet alone for an extended period of time. One of the best parts of becoming a pet sitter is that the startup cost is extremely inexpensive. As long as you have reliable transportation, you can become a pet sitter. This makes it extremely easy to get started. 

Of course, not everyone has the personality needed to be a pet sitter. You must be responsible and organized enough to handle juggling multiple clients at a time, but also flexible enough that you can change your schedule if something comes up. Obviously, you should also love dogs and other animals. If you have experience with exotic animals, you can draw in even more customers with your unique experience and know-how.

Take Up a Craft

Craftsmen are hard to come by these days. With a growing number of people taking office jobs or deciding that college is the best path, fewer and fewer people are creating things with their hands. Yet the demand for skilled craftsmen has never decreased. This has led to an extreme skilled labor shortage. It can be difficult to find someone who is qualified to renovate your house or fix electrical issues, so if you have ever wanted to get involved in a trade, now is the time to start.

Of course, there are other ways to make or fix things with your hands that don’t involve building houses or becoming an electrician. The rise of online shopping has made it particularly easy to make things and sell them to a wide variety of customers around the world. Sales platforms like Etsy make it incredibly easy to set up your own online business and use your skills to make a living.

Teach an Instrument

Now is a great time for those lifelong piano lessons to pay off. If you can play an instrument, it’s very possible that you’ll find a market of local people who are willing to pay you to teach them or their children. You don’t have to be a prodigy to teach children to play instruments; you just need to be better than those you’re teaching. Instruments including the piano and violin are the most popular, but it is likely that any instrument you know how to play will draw the interest of others.

Making ends meet while you’re in between jobs can be difficult at best. However, it is absolutely possible to leverage the skills and passions you currently have to get by while you look for full-time work.

June Lawrence is a recovering alcoholic. She’s proud of her journey and knows the incredible amount of work that goes into sobriety every single day, and she’s on a mission to support others find their way to a happy, healthy life through her site, Recovery Island.

Photo credit: Pexels

Helping Someone You Love Through Challenging Times

Support from family and friends is an indispensable component of success when recovering from tough times. Alone, those suffering with stress are more vulnerable to a cascade of issues, even when appearing to have their concerns under control.

Anyone who has someone in their life struggling with major life issues may wonder what role they can play in their loved one’s recovery. One way family and friends can support someone they care about in an impactful way is by helping them to get their lives back on track.

Whether you or someone you love is trying to regain their stride following a divorce, job loss, health event, or other trauma, there is hope. Read on for tips to help them get started.

Defining Recovery

Recovery is a word tossed around relating to various types of mental and physical health concerns. It is also an important concept relating to overcoming challenging times. As Psychology Today explains, recovery is a way to summarize all of the benefits of positive self-care management and maintenance. All aspects of personal health — physical, mental, emotional and social wellness — are included in recovery.

Tools for Recovery

Recovery varies from individual to individual, but finding positive coping strategies is typically at the core. Actions like meditation, time in nature, exercise and de-cluttering can become tools in decreasing daily stress loads and increasing emotional resilience. They can be incorporated into your loved one’s self-care program, bringing balance and well-being into the forefront of life.

It can sound like a lifestyle-overhaul, but a few minutes here and there can make a world of difference. Taking a break before breakfast for meditating on God’s Word going for a walk with the family dog, and spending ten minutes or so doing housework can be enough to breathe new energy into the day. The key is to avoid over thinking it. Look for opportunities that are enjoyable, and make them convenient, rather than a chore.

Rethinking Finances

Tight funds are a common cause of stress, as Financial Web explains. If your loved one is currently struggling because of a rocky financial situation, a balanced budget can bring stability and peace of mind. It’s important to identify where each dollar is going, get spending under control, and ensure basic necessities are covered. A budgeting app like Mint or PocketGuard can help tremendously.

You or your loved one may be trying to come up with ways to earn more money. Looking for a job with a higher salary is one possibility, but what if someone is more interested in striking out on their own? If this is the case, it might be time to think about starting a side hustle or even working to launch a small business.

Whether growing a business while working at another job or focusing on this endeavor as a full-time project, it’s important to think about filing an LLC for the new company to keep personal assets protected. Just make sure that the name selected for the business is truly unique! For example, if you registered your business under your name, you may want to register for a DBA, which allows you to operate under a separate name. Learn more about DBAs here.

Family and friends are a crucial part of recovering from stressful times. Often, the greatest impact a friend or family member can make in someone’s life is to remind them they care. Listening, supporting, and offering assistance when asked can make the difference between feeling supported and feeling alone. Offer love, positivity and tools when appropriate, and eventually tough times can become a distant memory, leaving resilience in their wake.

Article submitted by June Lawrence

junelawrence@recoveryisland.com

Utilizing Fitness to Overcome Addiction

Photo courtesy of Pexels

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Corinthians 10:13

Physical fitness continues to offer us benefits every day that go far beyond just looks and strength. It is one of the most important factors in our overall health. It affects our mental state as well as our physical. Exercise can be a great asset in leading you on a path to recovery from addiction.

Anxiety, stress, and depression are oftentimes some of the leading factors that contribute to addiction. Substance abuse is seen as an outlet to alleviate these symptoms. As soon as the individual stops using the substance, the symptoms return and the cycle continues. The body and the mind are addicted to the substance. Physical exercise has been proven to lower both stress and anxiety, and even reduce cravings to a person’s drug of choice. Fighting the main causes of people turning to substance abuse is an important first step.

A great type of exercise to combat stress is weight lifting. Strengthening muscles in your back can also reduce pain in the lower back, neck, and shoulders – where we hold a lot of that extra tension. Lifting weights can also help you sleep better. Your body needs more rest after lifting, and this will also help build stronger bones.

Cardiovascular fitness is an important part of daily exercise as well. It has some of the same benefits as the other forms of exercise previously discussed. Running, walking, hiking, and jumping rope are different exercises you can do, and most don’t even require a gym. Besides the obvious contribution to heart health, cardio has been proven to help improve memory, mood, and sleep, increase energy, and fight stress.

Whether you are just getting into physical fitness or have been exercising for years, getting into a routine can help you stay on track. Pre-planning what days you will exercise and rest is important to avoid overtraining. Knowing what exercises you will be doing on your workout days will make your workout time more efficient. Plan your workout days so you do cardio almost every day, and alternate between back and triceps and chest and biceps weightlifting.

Depending on how you structure your day, it is often recommended to work out first thing in the morning. This way, you can avoid interruptions and having to cancel if something else pops up unexpectedly throughout the day. Morning workouts also boost metabolism and give your mind time to wake up and get ready for the day. Finally, be sure to track your success. A smartwatch is a great way to do so, just be sure you have a watch band that can withstand all of your activity! Incorporating routine workouts in your daily schedule and tracking your progress will help you make fitness an important part of your lifestyle, which will lead to less stress and help prevent substance abuse.

Being physically and mentally fit is important for everyone, but can be especially crucial for those recovering from addiction. Giving you something to focus on while also reducing some of the main causes of addiction will put you on a clear path to recovery. It’s important to incorporate different kinds of exercise like cardio, weightlifting, and stretching in order to achieve total fitness of the body and the mind. Rest is just as important as the exercise, so make sure to not do too much too fast to avoid having to stop due to injury or overtraining. Make your fitness part of your lifestyle so you can more easily maintain it throughout your everyday life. With all of these tips, you will be on a solid path to recovery.

The night is far gone; the day is at hand.  So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12

by June Lawrence, Founder, RecoveryIsland.com