All-Natural Ways to Manage Holiday Stress

The holidays are supposed to be a time of good cheer, but unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed and end up stressing out over things that are supposed to be celebratory. It can seem as if you’re getting pulled in too many different directions at once, and there never seems to be enough time to do all the things people expect of you. Your aunt Linda will be crushed if you say you can’t come to her annual holiday potluck and white elephant gift exchange, even though it overlaps with your child’s school play. Or, maybe your homeowners’ […]

Managing Emotional Ups and Downs in Ongoing Sobriety

When you are struggling with complex emotions like depression, anxiety, trauma or grief, modern American culture teaches us alcohol and drugs are the easiest way to feel better. Unfortunately, while you might find the first days of usage relaxing, continued use of drugs and alcohol can cause a cascade of behavioral and mental health issues. In early sobriety, you may be caught off-balance by the variety of emotions you feel after years of numbing yourself with various substances. During active addiction, feeling virtually nothing can become your daily norm. In the process of recovery, all the emotions you haven’t fully […]

Benefits of Living in a Sober House

The day you get discharged from rehab, you may initially feel as if you have “cured” your addiction. However, in reality, you’ll find the end of your rehab program is only the beginning of your lifelong recovery journey. No matter how smoothly your initial treatment period went, there’s always a chance you’ll feel like you’re on unsteady ground once you find yourself back in the real world, outside the regimented environment of rehab. While you want to avoid relapse at all costs, you’re uncertain whether you have all the tools to do the right thing in every scenario. If this […]

3 Ways to Build Your Emotional Intelligence in Recovery

The decision to give up drugs and alcohol represents a significant milestone in your life, but unless you are willing to put in the work to tackle the root causes of your addiction, you aren’t likely to make the progress you want. Emotional stability, or lack thereof, can be a significant contributor to the behavioral issues that accompany substance misuse disorders. Once you are in recovery, you will need to rebuild your emotional intelligence as part of your commitment to bettering yourself. Here are three ways to do so. 1. Find Healthy Ways to Manage Stress Stress can wear down […]

Creative Ideas for Making Self-Care Part of Your Daily Routine

In addiction recovery, you must put your needs first. Ensuring self-care is part of your everyday life is essential because it provides you with a healthy outlet for minimizing stress and anxiety – two things that could put you at risk of relapsing. If you’re new to the idea of self-care, it can be any healthy activity that helps you relax or reward yourself. Self-care doesn’t mean splurging on expensive items you can’t afford – indeed, you’ll find many of the most helpful self-care ideas are inexpensive or even free. It’s also essential to make a clear-cut distinction between self-care […]

Maintaining a Social Life While in Recovery

One of the leading reasons people living with addiction both relapse and avoid treatment is fear of the unknown – in this case, not having a clear picture of what their sober socialization will look like for the rest of their life. However, there’s good news: People have accomplished it, and continue to do so every day. Many recovering addicts navigate sober social lives by implementing a few common-sense strategies and skills, such as the ones below. 1. Knowing When to Say No Now that you’re working on your recovery, you may be feeling awkward about contacting old friends again. […]

5 Spooky, Sober Halloween Ideas

Halloween is less than a week away, and if you haven’t prepared for how to face the occasion as a recovering addict, you could be setting yourself up for a significant challenge. This time of year is often full of traps, tricks and triggers for the unwary traveler on the road to health and happiness. And just like the protagonist of your favorite childhood ghost story, you need to have tools for dealing with dangers that lurk in the shadows. The good news is that it’s not too late to plan the perfect sober Halloween get-together that brings the “boo” […]

How to Move Past Fear in Sobriety

Fear is a normal human emotion that has promoted the survival of our species over the millennia. However, excessive fear can hold you back and prevent you from accomplishing all your sobriety goals. Pursuing recovery represents one of the most significant changes you’ll ever make in life, and it can bring many strong emotions with it. Instead of letting the fear win, you can learn healthy ways to respond to it and set it aside when necessary. Here are five examples of how to overcome your fears. 1. Bring Fears Into the Light The best way to deal with fear […]

Ways to Avoid Boredom in Addiction Recovery

Excessive boredom is unhealthy for everyone, but for men and women in the process of recovering from a substance misuse disorder, it can be disastrous. While boredom itself is a natural emotion, feeling bored can lead you back down a pathway of self-destructive behavior and leave you vulnerable to a relapse. Fortunately, there are ways to fill your idle hours in addiction recovery that do not entail a return to substance abuse. Before you can implement these strategies, you must get a grasp on how boredom affects you. Factors Contributing to Boredom A variety of factors can cause boredom. You […]

Learning to Manage Triggers and Cravings

triggers and cravings

Contrary to what many people believe, addiction is not a choice. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as “a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” The “chronic” part of this definition means there is no cure, but that you can learn to manage it for the rest of your life. Meanwhile, “relapsing” means any setback you encounter on the road to recovery, including backsliding into self-destructive behavior. Some people amass years of recovery experience without any problems, but two possible incentives to return to substance use remain lurking behind the […]