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  • Self-Care in Recovery: H.A.L.T. at the Crossroads

    Posted on January 20, 2017
    Self-Care in Recovery H.A.L.T. At The Crossroads by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. I recently received a request from a reader to examine H.A.L.T. in light of current research. H.A.L.T. is a commonly used acronym by 12-Step circles in discussions of triggers and relapse prevention, and it stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. It is based largely on the content of four chapters from the Alcoholics Anonymous publication Living Sober. This article will explore each of the four topics referenced in the H.A.L.T. acronym with empirical and self-empowering inclusions. Hungry The Living Sober book suggests that eating or drinking something, particularly something sweet, is an effective method of dampening the desire to drink. SMART Recovery would call the technique of eating ice cream in...
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  • Rebuilding Your Life After Addiction, Pt. 2

    Posted on July 1, 2016
    Rebuilding Your Life after Recovery, Pt. 2: Time Management Last week, we covered work ethic in terms of rebuilding your life after recovery. This week, we cover how to better manage your professional and personal life with time management skills. We all have busy lives managing several parts of our professional and personal life.  Do you have that friend that seems to always have extra time on their hands and seems to be able to get everything done in a day?  Do you also have that friend who seems to always be rushing, late to events or appears to be challenged with multi tasks? Managing our time effectively is a skill we can all improve upon. It is easy to get distracted or lose focus with so much going on in our lives, even though the concept itself is quite easy to understand. I...
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  • Recovery from Addiction: Forgiving Yourself

    Posted on April 8, 2016
    Learning to forgive yourself in recovery is essential. Learning to forgive yourself is essential as you begin to do more self-healing in your recovery.  We often have a tendency to hold ourselves to such strict standards that we find no reason or justification to forgive ourselves.  Maybe you’ve found yourself in a certain situation, able to forgive someone else for even the harshest of pains yet you may be torturing yourself over a lesser offense. It is common to hold on to past mistakes that we feel are not forgivable out of fear of forgetting the hurt and repeating the behavior. So, we torture ourselves by replaying the feelings, punishment or guilt over and over again.  Staying in this cycle keeps us stuck. It is nearly impossible to truly move through the stages of healing while h...
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  • Self-Confidence vs. Self-Esteem

    Posted on March 25, 2016
    The difference between self-confidence and self-esteem: Confidence and self-esteem are often confused with one another, when in fact there is something unique and different to be said about them both individually.  "Confidence" comes from the Latin confidere, meaning "to trust." To be self-confident is to trust in oneself, particularly in one’s ability or aptitude to engage successfully or at least adequately with the world. The more successful and positive experiences we have in a designated area helps increase our self-confidence in that skill or area of interest.  However, it is possible to be self-confident in a specific area such as writing or sports, yet simultaneously feel insecure in another area (for example, cooking). "Esteem" is derived from the Latin aestimare, meaning, ...
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  • On Being a SEN Master, Part 2

    Posted on January 29, 2016
    by A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP Part 1 of this 2-part series focused on the importance getting a good night’s sleep in recovery from addiction. Here, in the second part of this series, we focus on exercise and nutrition. Exercise The three components of fitness are endurance (of the heart-lungs, or “cardio”), strength and flexibility. The benefits of having a basic level of fitness are numerous: improved mood (lower stress), weight loss, prevention of many health problems, more energy, etc. Sleep also improves with exercise. The components of SEN can work together in a mutually reinforcing upward spiral of healthy living. If you have not been exercising regularly the simplest way to begin probably is walking. Of course, if you are under a physician’s care (or should be) it would ...
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  • 8 Tips for Better Sleep

    Posted on October 2, 2015
    Sleep is a crucial element of healthy recovery from addiction. “Without sleep, we all become tall 2 year olds.” -JoJo Jensen According to a study by Harvard Health, lack of sleep affects many aspects of our overall well-being, including memory, metabolism, mood, cardiovascular health and disease. In early recovery, sleep is especially important, giving you energy and willpower to cope with cravings and make rational decisions. There are lots of ways to set yourself up for a restorative night of sleep. Here are some reminders: Set a regular time for sleeping and waking up. Stick to this schedule! (Even on the weekends) Avoid consuming caffeine late in the day if you’re sensitive, after mid- to late afternoon. (According to information from the National Sleep Foundation, once in...
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  • Recovery: Separating Using from the Stuff of Life

    Posted on September 18, 2015
    One recovery group states, “We know that when your addiction is over, your other problems will probably fade or disappear, and that in a consistently abstinent state, you will find solutions to the problems you face.” Indeed, life tends to get better as you remove a major source of your problems. But some people are really bummed to find out that once they stop using drugs and alcohol, their problems don’t just disappear and they really have to do the hard work of separating using from the stuff of life. In other words, long-term recovery can involve much more than just giving up your drug(s) of choice. It also includes learning how to cope with life’s ups and downs without a glass or bottle in your hand or without turning to drugs. So many of those past associations are strong – for...
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  • Dating In Recovery: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself

    Posted on July 30, 2015
    So you’ve begun to get the cravings under control and are starting to rebuild your life. You’re changing habits, changing your thinking and feeling hopeful about the future. As you begin to find more enjoyment throughout your days, you might also be thinking it would be nice to have someone to share all these beautiful things with. But before you jump head first into dating, or a relationship, you need to ask yourself if you’re really ready for dating in recovery. While finding that special someone to share your life with has many benefits, it’s also a big responsibility. Below are four questions to help you decide whether it’s time to write dating into this chapter of your life. 1. Have you given yourself enough time to develop your ideal version of you? Often during active addiction...
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  • Benefits of Yoga

    Posted on July 17, 2015
    In our fast-paced society, it can be easy to get caught up in running around and forgetting to de-stress. Self-care, including reducing our stress levels, is an integral part of the recovery process. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to slow down and reduce every day stress, including yoga. With several benefits in addition to stress reduction, yoga becomes an easy choice when looking for new ways to decompress. Here, we look at 3 of the additional benefits of yoga. Increased Strength First of all, yoga increases your strength. By holding your body in proper form, you gain strength in your upper and lower body, as well as your core. You can choose more demanding styles of yoga, such as Ashtanga or Iyangar to build up more strength, but all forms will contribute to overall strength ...
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  • Building Trust in Recovery

    Posted on March 24, 2015
    By Devon Berkheiser You can build trust again! Often, building trust with loved ones is a significant part of the recovery process. It’s not uncommon for people in the midst of an addiction to engage in lying, sneaking, and other behaviors that create a loss of trust in relationships. While it can be daunting to think about repairing your important relationships, here are 5 ways to help you manage the process: 1. Be patient First and foremost, recognize that rebuilding trust takes time. Addictive behaviors may have occurred over a span of many years, so it’s not realistic to think that you’ll be able to regain trust immediately. Your friends and family members have their own feelings to work through, so give them time and space for that. It’s normal to want to make things better...
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