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Friday, February 24, 2017

How to Practice Patience

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight; in fact, sobriety is a lifelong process. It takes time to heal your mind, body and spirit – and being patient with the process will help you slow down and take things in stride. Learning to cultivate patience will also help as you repair relationships and allow friends and family time to heal any wounds caused by your active addiction. 

We can all stand to practice being a bit more patient – and these steps can help.

  1. Train yourself to wait. Count to 20 before responding to a text message or intentionally hold out for dessert. Bonus: This type of willpower exercise may also help you fend off any cravings. 
  2. Practice gratitude. Just like you practice being patient, you can also practice being thankful. One helpful exercise: Jot down three things for which you’re grateful for today.  
  3. Vent in a healthy way. Go for a hike, meditate or talk with an understanding loved one – anything that helps you release frustration and make room for patience. 
  4. Concentrate on your breathing. Breathing is a simple way to slow down when you begin to lose your patience. Try it: Inhale slowly and count to 10. Now exhale. Repeat this three times and notice your frustration slowly melt away.
  5. Remind yourself that all good things take time. If you expect things to happen instantly, you’re more likely to get impatient. Instead, realize that everything takes time – but it’s worth the wait!
Don't Wait to Get Help
From day one, our treatment model prepares young adults with the skills needed to succeed in sobriety and in life after rehab, including the ability to be patient and deal with life stressors in a positive way. To learn more about how you can start on your journey toward sobriety, call us today: 866-831-9107. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tips for Better Financial Health

Drug and alcohol abuse can certainly weigh heavy on your wallet — both in terms of paying for the addictive substance and the time taken away from other activities, including work.

Financial problems are often cited as a possible symptom of addiction. This is partly because active addiction can cause you to neglect important money matters, such as paying bills on time, monitoring credit card spending, saving or invested. One UC Davis study found that long-term, heavy marijuana users have frequent difficulties meeting basic living expenses, such as rent and food.

But take heart: Now that you’re in recovery, you can begin to heal all aspects of your life, including your physical and mental wellbeing, your relationships, your career or education — and your financial health. 

Start by following these simple yet empowering steps to take back control of your financial future:

  • Get organized. Piles of bills can be intimidating and overwhelming — so it makes sense that your first step is to sort through everything and get organized. Make a detailed list of recurring bills and due dates and then set up an automatic bill pay or alert on your smartphone several days prior to the due dates.
  • Take control of credit card spending. Unfortunately, credit card debt is common for many in recovery. Make an inventory of your current balances and take the cards out of your wallet so you’re less likely to do more damage. Another tip: Call your creditors and ask about lower interest rates. 
  • Set a spending budget. You don't have to be a financial wiz; download an app to help you plan a monthly budget — and then do your best to stick with it!. 
Young Adult Addiction Treatment
At Red Oak, we strive to provide young adults with the hope, tools, and encouragement needed to begin a journey toward lifelong sobriety. To learn more about our research-backed therapy, treatment and groups, call today: 866-831-9107.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

E-Cigarettes Less Toxic Than Cigarettes

Thinking of quitting smoking? Using e-cigarettes may be a safe health tool, according to a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. 

Researchers found fewer cancer-causing substances in the body of people who switched from smoking regular cigarettes to e-cigarettes or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as gum or patches, for at least six months. 

Those who consumed e-cigarettes or NRT but didn’t completely quit smoking, however, did not have the same drop in toxin levels. “Switching to e-cigarettes can significantly reduce harm to smokers, with greatly reduced exposure to carcinogens and toxins,” Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at the government authority Public Health England, said in a statement. “…[But] the benefit is only realized if people stop smoking completely and make a total switch. The best thing a smoker can do, for themselves and those around them, is to quit now, completely and forever.”

While many health experts tout e-cigarettes that don’t contain tobacco as a stop-smoking tool, others still question their long-term safety and worry that they may become a “gateway” to taking up conventional cigarettes, according to Huffington Post.

What's more, new research shows that as many as a quarter of U.S. kids who are using e-cigarettes may be taking them apart and "dripping" — a method that gives them a potentially higher hit of nicotine. More research is needed, however, to determine if it's more dangerous.

Going Beyond E-Cigarettes
Of course, there are many natural methods available to help you quit smoking. Perhaps the most effective and least inexpensive is exercise. Making physical activity part of your quit-smoking strategy can help ease the physical and psychological aspects of nicotine addiction by helping you to…
  • Reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for cigarettes -- during exercise and for up to 50 minutes afterward
  • Provide distraction from thoughts of smoking
  • Better manage stress
  • Increase your energy
  • Elevate your mood
  • Minimize weight gain 
Healing at Red Oak
At Red Oak, we help our clients learn how to lead a sober and healthy life. We combine conventional and holistic treatment modalities to address mental, physical, spiritual and emotional needs and to increase the likelihood of long-term recovery. To learn more, call today: 866-831-9107.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Depression?

According to a new study, sticking to a Mediterranean diet and getting nutritional support could be a powerful duo when it comes to depression symptoms. 

Although the study was small – involving 67 participants with major depressive disorder – the results were striking: Nearly a third of those who got support from a clinical dietician and increased their consumption of Mediterranean-type foods were in remission compared to just eight percent of those who just got social support, according to a study published in BMC Medicine.

The Australian researchers suspect that the healthier diet works against depression by lowering inflammation all over the body and protecting the brain proteins.

While further research is still needed, the study gives credence to the idea of adding dieticians to mental health care teams. “I think the field of nutritional psychiatry, which looks at the effects of nutrients and amino acids on the brain and mood may be taking off in the next 10 years or so,” Sarah Stahl, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told

Some key components of the Mediterranean diet include:
  • Pile on the fruits and vegetables
  • Choose healthy fats – olive oil over butter
  • Pick seeds and nuts
  • Load up on legumes (peas, beans, lentils)
  • Focus on fish (especially fatty fish) and poultry
  • Choose cheese and yogurt as main sources of dairy
  • Go for whole grains 
  • Stick to lean meats
  • Add herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit
Depression Treatment at Red Oak Recovery®
Whether drug and alcohol abuse led to your depression or you began self-medicating to escape the pain of a mood disorder, chances of successful long-term recovery are greatest when co-occurring conditions are treated together. To learn more about our individualized and integrative depression treatment, call: 866-831-9107.