Category Archives: Tools for 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

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

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