Category Archives: recovery

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

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

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