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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Why Quiet Time Counts

Once you’ve completed detox and the early stages of recovery, you may find yourself trying to fill your schedule with an activity, volunteer opportunity, or social engagement. After all, the saying goes: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Right?

While it’s true that keeping busy can serve as a healthy distraction from your addictive ways — and it can help you discover new hobbies and friends — you also need to carve out some quiet, reflective time as part of your sustained recovery. 

Quite time not only enhances your mental focus but it also let’s you better process and integrate things you’ve learned, heard, or done. Even taking just five minutes to tune out from the hustle and bustle of life and tune into your inner dialogue will make a difference. You’ll give your brain the breathing room it needs think, relax, brainstorm, and reflect on how far you've come and where you want to go next. 

3 Ways to Carve Out Quiet Time
These activities will help you create stillness among the madness and busyness of daily life. 

Take a more mindful walk. This is different than power walking to get your heart rate up. Walking mindfully means taking time to experience the beauty of nature — note the flowers, trees, sounds of birds, etc. The goal is to encourage a more reflective state where your problems take a back seat and out-of-the-blue thoughts come to the forefront.

Make time for journaling. Writing about your feelings and inner thoughts (uncensored and without judgment) can help release feelings that may have gotten buried during the bustle of daily life. 

Practice meditation. Meditating helps quiet your mind from its constant chatter, creating a calmer state-of-mind. The result: Less stress and more space for reflection. 

Holistic Healing at Red Oak
The expansive, open spaces of The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® offer opportunities for our clients to spend the solitary time they need for processing, meditation, and stillness in connection with nature. To learn more, call 866-831-9107.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mental Health: Not a Dirty Word

In honor of World Mental Health Day on Monday, October 10, advocates, celebrities, and even royals spoke up to stop the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Perhaps one of the most poignant quotes from the day was from Prince William, who along with Princess Kate and Prince Harry, attended an event hosted by Heads Together, the mental health organization the royal trio helped create.

“Mental health is not a dirty word — we all have mental health like we do physical health, good or ill. But not seeking help at those times when it all seems too much, or we are depressed or anxious, can impact the rest of our lives,” William said. “Put simply, the three of us want to make asking for help no longer a big deal.”

Addiction and Mental Illness: The Connection

Seeking help for a mental illness, including depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, or an eating disorder, is especially important if you also suffer from addiction. Unfortunately, both conditions are often intertwined. Nearly one-third of people with a mental disorder and one-half of people with severe mental illness also struggle with substance use disorder (SUD), according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

There are even several terms for it: co-occurring disorders, dual diagnosis, or co-morbid disorder are all defined as having an addiction(s) and a mental disorder(s).

Some more facts about mental illness:
• You’re not alone. Mental illness impacts roughly one in 17 U.S. adults, interfering with or limiting one or more major life activities, like performing duties at work or in school. 

• You can’t overcome it through willpower, not is mental illness a reflection of your character or intelligence.
• Failing to get help can lead to serious health consequences, even death. Sadly, a large percentage of Americans fail to get help for co-occurring disorders — only 7.4 percent receive treatment for both the addiction and the mental illness — and 55.8 percent receiving no treatment at all.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders
Your best chance of recovery lies in integrated dual-diagnosis treatment that addresses both conditions in one recovery program. Our clinical team at Red Oak understands the challenge of co-occurring mental health disorders and works with you or your loved one to create a personalized treatment plan. To learn more, call 866-831-9107.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Real-life Lessons from Recovery

While there’s no such thing as a “do-over” button in life, there is a silver lining to some bad experiences. Mainly, you can use what you’ve learned to help others navigate a rough patch. 

A recent article published by the grassroots organization Collective Evolution asked a handful of people in recovery to share their best hard-won advice when it comes to battling addiction. 

Of course, everyone’s recovery journey is different – and what works for one person might not work for you – but these insights may just give you the inspiration you need to stay the sober course.

“Don’t give up after one meeting.” Whether you decide to go the 12-step route or along an alternative addiction treatment path, the message is the same: Recovery takes time and you owe it to yourself to give it a chance.  

“Be in it for yourself.” Recovery is something you should do for you – not for a family member or friend. Along these lines, if someone is threatening your sobriety, it’s best to steer clear.

“Accept that not everyone is ready to forgive you.” Even if you’re doing your best to make amends, not everyone who you hurt will be willing to forgive and forget. You can’t fault them, however, nor can you push the process. 

“Use what you’ve learned to help others.” While it’s important to put yourself and your recovery first, it’s also healing to help others. By doing so, “you’re taking a negative (your addiction) and turning it into something positive (helping others recover),” writes author Amanda Bartow.

Your Individual Road to Recovery
At Red Oak, we know that everyone’s journey from addiction to sobriety is different and we’re here to help guide and support you in yours. 
Our addiction programs utilize many paths to develop lasting change in emotional and spiritual growth. To learn more, call today: 866-831-9107.