National Nutrition Month: Making Nutrition Work for Your Recovery

National Nutrition Month

While nutrition should always be top of mind for your recovery, March is a great month to put an even greater focus on the foods you’re eating. It’s National Nutrition Month, which was launched in 1973 by members of the American Dietetic Association (now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) to educate the public about the importance of nutrition. Good nutrition is important for everyone — and it’s even more important for people recovering from a substance use disorder. For one, the right foods can help repair physical damage from alcohol or drug abuse. Eating healthy can also boost your […]

Common Stumbling Blocks of Recovery

stumbling blocks

As anyone in recovery can attest, getting and staying sober is not a straight line. Instead, there are ups and downs and many stumbling blocks along the way. While it won’t be easy, knowing what to expect can make recovery a little easier to navigate. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has created some great tools to help paint a better picture of some of the stumbling blocks to expect in recovery. They also offer some practical steps so these stumbling blocks don’t detour you from achieving your goal of lasting sobriety. The definition of a stumbling […]

Decluttering to Enhance Your Recovery

decluttering

More and more experts are making a connection between clutter and mental health. Simply put, too much mess causes stress. How? Clutter has been found to cause your body to produce more cortisol, a hormone linked to stress. What’s more, clutter can make it harder to focus and process information. The mess messes with our ability to understand what is going on around us. Keeping a clean and clutter-free home, on the other hand, can make room for a healthier recovery. You’ll have more time and energy to devote to recovery activities, self-care and sober fun. A welcoming space: Packing […]

How Do Drugs Change Your Brain?

drugs and brain

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines your brain as “you – everything you think and feel, and who you are.” Not only does your brain regulate the basic functions of the body but it shapes your behavior and enables you to understand and respond to everything you experience. Keeping this definition in mind, it’s not too surprising that drugs can have a negative impact on your brain. These changes are perhaps most profound in the developing brain of teens. Drugs have actually been found to change how the brain functions by altering the organization of pathways in the […]

Why Time Management Helps Your Recovery

time management

Time management is an essential skill for recovery – and it’s about much more than just having time to complete that to-do list. Managing your time allows you to prioritize what matters most to you and your recovery and overall health. Some experts say it should really be called “personal management,” because it helps you be a better you with a better quality of life. There are numerous general health benefits of managing your time, including: Reaching your goals. Improving your relationships. Increasing productivity. Improving your health. Finding stability in life. Here’s a look at a few more ways that […]

Making the Most of Support Groups 

support groups

Finding the right recovery support group can be pretty powerful. You’ll come together with others who understand you and who can offer encouragement and tips for overcoming the many ups and downs of recovery. Yet the more you put into the group, the more you’ll get out of it. In other words, to make the most of your recovery support group you’ll need to do more than just show up and drink coffee. Here are a few ways to make support groups work best for you: Participate: While it’s okay to remain quiet initially, it is important that you eventually […]

Great Ways to Give Back 

giving back

Giving back is a great gift for your recovery and for those who need it most. Here are a few simple ways you can help out this holiday season and show support to those in your community: Purchase a toy. There are roughly 13 million children in America who live in poverty and who will receive few or no toys this season. Toys for Tots has locations in every state – and just one toy or a small monetary donation can make a huge difference in a child’s life. Volunteer for the Veterans. Many vets are spending the holidays alone […]

Nostalgia During Recovery: What You Should Know

nostalgia

It’s easy to get nostalgic during this time of year, especially as you’re beginning to form new supports and new sober traditions. The holidays can bring on feelings of sadness or loneliness – and this alone can trigger nostalgia. Often defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past,” nostalgia has both a positive and negative side during recovery. It can be a great reminder of why you’re working so hard in your recovery, especially if you’re recalling memories that help motivate you to stay sober. Nostalgia for old friends or past parties can be dangerous, however, because […]

Taking Care of Your Whole Self in Recovery 

caring for whole self

When you’re recovering from a substance use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental illness, caring for your whole self is paramount. This means paying attention to your physical, spiritual and emotional health – which are all connected and linked to your lasting sober and overall wellness. According to Mental Health America (MHA), incorporating joy, spirit and relaxation into your life is one way to develop resiliency and stay healthy during recovery. MHA says the four C’s to joy, spirit and relaxation are connect with yourself, connect with others, connect to your community and create joy and satisfaction. By keeping in mind […]

Sober After-Work Activities 

sober activities

Happy hour is not so happy for those of us in recovery. In fact, it’s simply a bad idea when you’re in recovery. But how can you stay social, sober and shake off a little stress? Luckily, there are a bunch of sober activities that you can enjoy with your co-workers – it just takes a little creativity. These ideas will help you get started: Get your art on. Many local art galleries and museums stay open late one day a week. Call around and gather a group of coworkers for a night of art and culture. If this isn’t possible, […]