Why Do Recovery Treatment Facilities Restrict Television Time?

Many sober living homes and treatment facilities for addiction recovery may limit or restrict the amount of time that clients can access television. Some places may only allow the television to be turned on during certain times of the day. Others may limit the total amount of time that a person can watch television on a daily basis. Some of us may enjoy watching television to relax or catch up on current events. We may have shows that we want to watch as part of a series that we follow and might be upset by this restriction. However, treatment centers are strict about television access for many reasons that can be beneficial to our overall health and wellness. Changing our relationship to television might even help us find more fulfillment when we leave our treatment center.

Television as a Sedentary Activity

Recovery from addiction involves adopting healthy habits to replace unhealthy ones. Recovery involves looking at our whole-self health and wellness, which might include changing some other patterns that are not directly related to our addictions. Television can eat up huge parts of a person’s day. Our brains and bodies are wired to attempt to gain the most stimulation for the least amount of effort. This adaptation made sense in primitive times when food and other resources were scarce. We now live in a world where most of our necessary resources are accessed with ease. We no longer need to walk or run several miles to get a change of scenery or see new people. We can simply turn on a television and gain these visuals. Unfortunately, we advanced in technology and resource allocation quicker than our bodies could adapt to the change. Therefore, we still require exercise and movement to maintain our physical health. Television can take away time that we could otherwise use to engage in more meaningful and healthy activities.

Distracting Effects of Television

Television can also be distracting us from our recovery. Even if left on in the background, we might find it challenging to focus with too much noise or stimulation going on around us. By keeping televisions turned off during the day, sober living homes can set up a quiet and distraction-free environment. We can then focus on our recovery and learn the new skills needed to cope with life when we leave treatment. Television can also distract us from learning new activities that we might enjoy more. Many programs will introduce us to new ways of living during treatment, which involves more than just coping skills! We might learn new hobbies or divisionary activities that can bring value to our lives. Recovery is really about enhancing our overall quality of life–when has television ever improved anyone’s quality of life? We may feel that television can help us to socialize. To a degree, television can give people something to talk about. However, when joining a new recovery group, people may benefit from activities that focus on one another instead of a screen. Television can deprive us of the focus that we need to be successful in our recovery from addiction.

Television as an Addiction

Addiction can take many forms in different vices. Overall, addiction occurs when we gain a high reward for a meager amount of effort. Substances, like cocaine, can quickly hijack our brain’s natural reward system. At the same time, we have done nothing to gain such an extreme and unnatural high. Television can be similar in that we get a lot of stimulation for a very low amount of effort. Any substance or activity that has such a disproportionate effort to reward ratio can be addictive. We may spend hours in front of the television as our brains do very little work to gain a high reward for stimulation. Recovery treatment facilities are actively focused on steering us away from quick-fix solutions to boredom or loneliness. Television can easily replace other addictions with its allure and ease of access. We can easily fall into the trap of disconnecting with our loved ones at home or escaping from our lives by watching hour upon hour of television. 

Recovery is about learning to appreciate healthy habits that might require more effort while helping us to grow as individuals. Television, while providing us with information and new, does little in terms of helping us grow. We can start by taking the hours we may be spending in front of the TV and putting that time to something of value.

Sober living homes create a healthy, safe, and supportive environment for people needing recovery from addictions. Many of these homes have guidelines and rules that may seem restrictive or unreasonable at first glance. Many treatment programs restrict the amount of time people spend on devices, like cell phones, tablets, and laptops. They may also enact strict television watching policies, like limiting the number of hours that a TV can be turned on or restricting television to specific times of the day. Recovery from addiction involves making lifestyle changes for the better. Recovery is about more than just remaining sober. Recovery is about adding value to life, finding purpose, and connecting to ourselves and others. At Camelback Recovery, we believe that our residents can focus on their recovery with much more clarity by minimizing distractions. We offer plenty of activities that will enhance your life and help you find healthy ways of coping when out of treatment.

Call us at (602) 466-9880 to discuss our sober living programs!

Supportive Environments: Growth Occurs in a Fertile Garden

A rose grows best in a healthy garden. Provided with adequate, yet not overbearing, amounts of sunlight and water and fertile soil, a rose can blossom to its full potential. In a similar manner, when we are in recovery, we grow to our full potential within a supportive environment. We can become our best selves when we are nurtured with a sense of community and belonging. We thrive within stable and predictable structures. Much like a healthy garden, our environment can determine our potential for growth and change in recovery. Some of us may not have the proper resources for recovery in our current or past home environments. You may have attended short-term recovery programs for only a week or two, then returned prematurely to an unstable home life. The instability, lack of support and structure, and overall feeling of chaos may have led you right back to engaging in your past addictive behaviors.

The Revolving Doors of Treatment

Short-term recovery programs sometimes operate as if they have “revolving doors.” People go into treatment, live a sober life for a few days, feel confident in their recovery, go home, and then find themselves seeking help again only a few weeks later. What happens? Often, we do not have the resources at home to maintain our recovery. We might live with loved ones, who care for us but enable our behaviors. We could live in an area where access to our means of addiction—such as living near a local bar—is readily available. Living in unhealthy environments can lead to us feeling triggered and we can relapse. Then, the cycle of the revolving door treatment begins.

While short-term treatment programs have the best intentions, they may not always provide the adequate length of time necessary for us to change our behaviors. Humans are considered by many people to be “creatures of habit.” We thrive on routines and tend to resist change. Change, for many people, may seem scary. Even change for the better can open the door for more challenges that we may not be ready for. Short-term care may help us find some coping skills or tools to help us manage our addictions. However, if we are returning to an environment that triggers our unhealthy habits before we have had time to develop a truly healthy mindset, we may be doomed to fail and find ourselves going back into the revolving door treatment.

Healthy Environments for Recovery: The 5 Pillars of Recovery

What constitutes a healthy environment for recovery? Mainly, a safe and comfortable home that encompasses these five pillars of recovery:

  • Accountability
    • We need to be held accountable for our actions in order to change for the better. Sometimes, in our homes, we are not held accountable by our loved ones. Though they care for us, they may unintentionally enable our unhealthy habits.
  • Support
    • A healthy environment is made of both the place and the people. Finding support among peers, who are struggling with similar issues, will help you recover. They will understand what you are going through in a way that other individuals in your life may not.
  • Structure
    • Some of us may live in chaotic environments with a lack of routine or structure. We may not have the skills to build a routine and find ourselves lost throughout the day. Healthy environments are structured and predictable. We may struggle at first with healthy routines. However, as time passes, we can adjust and learn how to put more structure into our lives.
  • Community
    • A sense of having a connection with others who are striving toward common goals can help us feel a sense of belonging. Healthy environments help us feel like we are accepted for who we are. Having common goals with those in our immediate environment can help us find support in achieving our goals.
  • Purpose
    • Being in an environment that encourages us to find or to live out our purpose in life can set us on the right track to recovery. When we are surrounded by positive and encouraging people for adequate lengths of time, we can find a new way of looking at life.

Time For Change

Learning new behaviors takes time. A healthy environment for recovery treatment will allow for longer exposure to a supportive and structured space. Often, short-term recovery programs do not provide us with enough time to learn new skills or build resilience. Without building resilience and taking the necessary time to change our mindset, we may be unprepared to face our unhealthy environments and become tempted to utilize our negative coping skills. By spending time at a long-term treatment program or a sober living home, we will likely have an adequate amount of time to acclimate to our newly found sense of hope in recovery.

 

Have you been struggling with relapse due to “revolving door” treatment programs? Is your home environment enabling your unhealthy habits and behaviors? Have you learned healthy ways of living during a week-long recovery program only to find yourself falling back to your unhealthy habits? You may not have had enough time to learn new habits and skills. Learning how to recover from addictions and how to live a healthy lifestyle takes time. You are unlikely to master the skills necessary to maintain sobriety for a lifetime in a short-term treatment program. Camelback Recovery believes that recovery habits need to be fostered in a safe and supportive environment over a long period of time. We use the five pillars of recovery to teach you how to cope with life outside of treatment. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 for more information on how we can you or a loved one recover from addictions.

How Can Going to the Gym Help My Recovery from Addiction?

Many treatment facilities and sober living homes have been emphasizing the importance of physical health in sobriety. Some, like Camelback Recovery, even offer gym memberships to those attending their programs. What does exercise and going to the gym have to do with recovery from addictions? If addiction is rooted in the brain, how can physical activities help? Why are so many programs encouraging fitness in treatment? 

Addiction can be treated with holistic approaches, which involve both our physical and mental health. Holistic approaches are treatment methods and health habits that include strengthening the mind-body connection. We can help our minds recover by focusing on our physical health as well. During addiction, we may have allowed our physical health needs to fall by the wayside. We may have neglected healthy eating and exercise habits. Our physical health can impact how we feel and can play an essential role in our emotional regulation. 

Releasing “Feel Good” Chemicals

Exercise can help us manage anxiety and depression by burning off excess energy and releasing “feel good” chemicals in our brains. These chemicals are released in our minds when we do any physically exerting task. The “feel good” chemicals help us get through challenging physical exercise by rewarding us with good feelings in our minds. We may have used alcohol or other substances to release these chemicals artificially. However, alcohol, substances, or other addictions only provide temporary relief at a substantial cost to our overall physical health. The root cause of addiction may be an underlying issue with anxiety or depression (or both). By exercising or going to the gym during recovery, we can help to address this underlying issue by introducing a healthy habit into our lives.

Building Self-Esteem and Confidence

Exercising can provide us with challenges that we can use to boost our self-esteem and confidence. We can set goals in the gym and see the results as we watch our bodies change and grow stronger. When we accomplish goals or other physical achievements, we can notice a change to our mindset as we begin to believe in ourselves. We may be surprised at what we can accomplish in the gym! This confidence can carry over into other areas of our lives. If we can regularly tackle a challenge in the gym, we may feel more confident dealing with other obstacles on our path to recovery. 

Tips for Success in Exercise and Gyms

When we go to the gym, we may jump into the activity quickly and burn out within a few weeks. This can happen to a lot of people both in and out of recovery treatment. Gym memberships and attendance tend to spike following the New Year’s holiday, as people make vague health resolutions. As weeks go on, attendance drops as people fail to commit to their resolutions and new-found goals. Often, these people are unprepared for the commitment of building a weekly routine for their exercise goals. They also may not be prepared for the length of time required to form new habits and give up before giving themselves an appropriate amount of time to change. Here are some tips that we can use to be more successful in maintaining our exercise and gym routines:

  • Create a playlist of songs we enjoy. Music can help us focus on our exercise routines by cutting out other background noises that can be distracting. Music can also boost our mood or make us feel good or powerful! We might even find that we enjoy going to the gym as a time to listen to our favorite songs.
  • Pick the right time. Many people think that we have to work out in the mornings to get the best results. The truth is that the best time to exercise is whenever we are exercising! Finding a time that will work best for ourselves will help us stick to our new habits. For some people, this is before or after work. Others may have extended lunch breaks and can exercise at this time.
  • Go with a partner. Starting a new workout routine can be challenging to do alone. We might know someone else interested in our new goal. Our gym partner can help to support us and keep us motivated. They can also help to hold us accountable.
  • Set a goal. Our goals to exercise can be simple. We may want to keep a number in mind to help us stick to the plan. Our goal can be something like, “I will run on the treadmill for 20 minutes, three times per week.” Another goal may be, “I will complete a weight lifting routine four times per week.” (Bonus tip: when starting with exercise, set a goal around building the routine and not losing a specific amount of body weight, running a certain speed or benching pressing a set amount of weight.) As we build the habit of going to the gym or routine exercise, we can then start to work towards those other goals. Keep it simple at first!)

 

Physical health and wellness can go a long way in our recovery. We can open the door to forming new healthy habits, building new friendships, and building our self-confidence by exercising regularly. Many recovery treatment facilities and sober living homes emphasize the importance of maintaining our physical health needs as we form healthy habits during recovery. Addiction can take a tremendous toll on our physical selves. We may have gained weight or lost strength due to our bad habits. We may get winded easily and struggle to get through the day. By building up our physical selves, we can be strong to face the daily challenges of recovery! Camelback Recovery understands the critical role that healthy eating and exercise can play in addiction treatment. Call us at (602) 466-9880 to discuss how our sober living programs can help you with your whole-health needs!

Overcoming Shame and Recovering From Sexual Addictions

Many of those seeking to recover from addictions of all kinds struggle in dealing with shame. Sometimes, you experience shame due to feeling weak, admitting that you need help, or having guilt over past actions. For those with sexual addictions, shame is a common barrier to treatment and many people may never find a way to recover. Sexual behavior is a private and personal matter for most people. When sexual behavior is used to cope with other stressors in life, a person might become addicted to the feelings of excitement and release, much like an addiction to drugs or alcohol. While anyone in recovery from sexual addiction or any other addiction has likely hurt others in their past, the key to recovery is separating your addictive behavior from your true self. During recovery, you have to accept responsibility for your actions and make amends. However, you do not need to burden yourself with holding onto shame for your past. Hope is possible and you can change for the better. 

Similarities Between Substance and Sexual Addiction

One way to overcome the shame of sexual addiction is realizing that the motivations for sexual addiction are similar to those of substance or alcohol addictions. When experiencing shame, you may feel that others in society will judge you harshly. You may feel like a criminal or that your actions are beyond redemption. Society has come to terms with viewing addictions to drugs or alcohol as a problem that people can recover from. While in the past, many of those addicted might have denied their issues or hidden them from others, brave individuals have come forward to pave the path for others to heal from their addictions. While sexual addiction might be a somewhat taboo topic today, those who come forward now to face their addiction head-on will help to clear the pathway for others in the future.

Sexual behavior can have similar effects as other substances, which is why some people are vulnerable to addiction. Sexual behavior, like drugs or alcohol, can make a person feel a “high” that they continue to chase. Some people might use sexual behavior to cope with stress or anxiety, just like others may use alcohol or other substances to achieve the same ends. A sign of addiction is when chasing this “high” comes ahead of all other things. When prioritizing sexual behavior above everything else in life, the person might have an addiction. You might also be addicted if sexual behavior is the only way that you cope with any stressors in your life. Many people are susceptible to addictive behaviors and are not alone in recovery. Although sexual addiction may be different from others, the motivations and emotions involved are similar and often the same.

Shame: A Barrier to Healing

Shame can get in the way of healing from all forms of addictive behaviors. For those addicted to sexual behaviors, feelings of shame may be the result of having victimized others or treating a romantic partner poorly. While you need to accept responsibility for your past and your behaviors, the cycle of shame only serves to prevent you from real change. Shame can be a negative coping skill for you; shame enables you to avoid dealing with your addiction. When experiencing shame, you may feel like punishing yourself or feel like your guilt justifies any pain you may have inflicted on others. Shame becomes a layer that separates you from dealing with your emotional pain. Feelings of guilt and shame only block you from dealing with the underlying causes of your addictive behaviors. Being vulnerable to share your experiences with others in recovery can help you begin the process of healing and growth. You will find that you are not alone in your experiences.

Your addictive behaviors are different than who you truly are. Many people with sexual addictions think that they are flawed on the inside and are incapable of change. They may be unable to recognize that their behaviors were the result of poorly coping with stress or other underlying issues. To recover from sexual addiction, you must realize that your past behaviors do not define who you are today. You have other qualities and values that define you. While you cannot change your past or things that you might have done, you can change for the better. Recovery from sexual addictions—like all other addictive behaviors—is possible and there is hope for all those who are struggling. Let go of your shame and guilt; allow yourself to enjoy the gift of recovery. 

 

You are not alone in your addiction, whether you are addicted to substances—like drugs or alcohol—or addicted to behaviors, like sex or gambling. Other people are in recovery from their addictions and are learning new ways to cope with life. They have separated themselves from their addictive behaviors and have broken down the barrier of shame, which impedes many from true growth and change. You may feel guilt for your past behaviors, or you may feel that all hope is lost. However, you can recover from sexual addictions as others have in the past. At Camelback Recovery, we open our doors to those suffering from all kinds of addictive behaviors. Our home environment is a safe place for everyone to share their stories and experiences. 

Call us at (602) 466-9880 to begin your recovery today.

Replacing Unhealthy Behaviors with Healthy Ones

Recovery can be defined as a process of building a healthy lifestyle and making lifelong changes to better our lives. If you are in recovery, you have most likely had some unhealthy habits and behaviors that have held you back from growth and change. When you engage in the recovery process, you may have to give up a lot of your unhealthy habits. While these unhealthy habits or behaviors were not conducive to building a meaningful life, they were likely motivated by fulfilling some need or want. To find suitable replacement behaviors, you have to consider the underlying motivations of your unhealthy behaviors. When you know why you engaged in your addictive behaviors, you can start to explore healthier options to meet the same needs, wants, or desires.

Behavior: A Form of Communication

Most of our behaviors serve as a way of communicating something to ourselves or others. Generally, behaviors are ways of communicating about what we want by taking action to obtain those things. What purpose did your unhealthy behaviors serve? What were you trying to communicate by engaging in them? Here are six common reasons people give for their unhealthy behaviors:

  • The need to belong. Peer pressure is a common reason that people engage in risky behaviors. Peer pressure is motivated by the need to be accepted and liked. The need to belong and having a sense of community is a strong motivator for behaviors, both healthy and unhealthy.


  • Boredom. Sometimes, we are simply bored and are unsure of healthy ways to quell our boredom. We may have grown up with parents who also engaged in unhealthy recreational activities, such as drinking excessively or using drugs. We may not have a good example to follow for how to occupy our time appropriately.


  • Co-occurring disorders. Some of us have underlying co-occurring mental health issues that drive our unhealthy behaviors. Some people use alcohol to cope with social anxiety. Others may become addicted to drugs to cope with depression. If our primary motivation is that we are seeking relief from mental anguish, then we can seek healthy treatment options for our mental wellness.


  • Pain management. We may be suffering from chronic pain and use unhealthy methods of numbing the pain by using alcohol or other substances. We also might find ourselves addicted to substances following dependence on pain management medications. Underlying emotional and physical issues might need to be addressed for recovery.


  • Trauma. People may behave in unhealthy ways to deal with trauma or to numb themselves from past experiences. Risky or unhealthy habits might serve as a distraction from thinking about our traumatic past.


  • Stress. We may not have learned healthy ways to manage stress or other emotions. Unhealthy behaviors might be our way of coping with stress. However, they usually lead to a lower quality of life and can cause more problems than the issues we sought to solve. Stress management techniques, like mindfulness and deep breathing, can enhance our quality of life and help us in our recovery.

 

Did any of these stick out to you as a motivation for some of your unhealthy habits? If so, now you can begin to find healthy methods of obtaining the same needs. When you engage in healthy behaviors, you set yourself up for growth and positive changes. 

Healthy Replacement Behaviors

Healthy replacement behaviors are ways of meeting our needs with ways that do not cause more problems in our lives. For those of us in recovery, we may need to explore some of our hobbies and interests to find new activities to fill our time. We might want to try physical fitness or other exercise programs to release natural endorphins that make us feel good. We may need to learn to express our emotions to heal from them, rather than numbing them to escape our pain. We might need to make some life changes to manage our stress levels. We also may need to learn how to say “no” and set boundaries with others, who pressure us to do things we do not want to do. 

Once you understand your motivations, you can begin to find healthy coping mechanisms. Recovery is the process of replacing your unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones. Healthy behaviors enhance our lives and help us change for the better. On your recovery path, you will learn new ways of living that may not have been apparent to you before. Be open-minded and try new things to live the best life on your journey of recovery.  

 

One of the hardest parts of recovery is changing our habits. Most of us are so accustomed to our routines that we have a difficult time making any changes, even changes for the better. Sometimes we know we want to make a change, yet we are unsure of where to start. By understanding our underlying motivations, we can begin to find healthy replacements for our unhealthy and unfulfilling habits. Once we understand why we behave a certain way, we can begin to find alternatives to achieve similar ends. We might need some time in a positive and supportive environment to create new habits. Change is hard, but you do not have to do it alone. At Camelback Recovery, we teach replacement behaviors to help others learn new ways of replacing bad habits. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 for more information to help you or a loved one!

Discovering Purpose: Why Are We Here?

An important aspect of being successful in your recovery experience is discovering your purpose. Your purpose drives you toward your life goals and can help to push you through challenging times. When we live a life of purpose, we feel connected to something beyond ourselves. “Purpose” is one of the pillars of recovery in many treatment programs. Without having a purpose in life, we may feel lost or we may easily stray from our recovery pathway. Having a purpose can give us a reason to wake each morning and face the challenges of the day. Some of us in recovery may have never thought about our life purpose in life. We may not know what we are looking for in life, as we may have been living day by day while dealing with our addictions. Working on discovering your purpose can take some time, as you need to think deeply about your life and what you truly value.

6 Tips for Discovering Your Purpose

If finding a purpose is new to you, here are some tips to help you discover your purpose in life:

  • Help Others: Volunteering can help you find your purpose in life. You may have a unique skill that can benefit others. You can even help your peers in recovery. Volunteering regularly can help you build relationships and connections with others. You may then discover a purpose as people come to value your help and your contributions.


  • Spend Time with Uplifting and Positive People: Start spending more time with people who inspire you or who make you feel good. If you find yourself spending a lot of time with negative people, who often weigh you down with their troubles or tell you that you cannot achieve your goals, you may want to spend less time with them. Uplifting and positive people can help you maintain the positive mindset needed to discover your passions and your purpose.


  • Explore Your Interests: How do you spend your free time? Do you watch specific types of television shows that might indicate an interest of yours? What things do you like to learn about? Start to explore the things that interest you. These could be new hobbies or new places to travel. Maybe you want to learn an instrument or take up yoga. Try something new to expose yourself to new experiences.


  • Thinking Back to Our Childhood: When we were children, most of us had an idea of what we wanted to be when we grew up. Your childhood dreams might still be attainable. Try to think back on those times and see if those things still excite you.


  • List Your Heroes: Who do you admire? These could be fictional characters or real people. They could be people you know or they could be people you have only heard about in the media. Think about who you admire and why you admire them. We often admire people who have characteristics we would like to have ourselves. Knowing these characteristics might help you understand what you value and can direct you toward your purpose.


Making Sense of Your Purpose

Sometimes, we get caught up in specific details when we look for purpose in life. We may have the idea that only one or two specific things will make us happy and fulfilled. You may find it helpful to simplify your life’s purpose into one or two sentences. To simplify your purpose, you need to look at the underlying motivation for your actions. For example, if you wanted to be a fireman when you grew up, you might consider connecting with a local fire company to volunteer. If your community may not have any opportunities available, you can consider your fundamental motivations. Why did you want to be a fireman? Did you want to help people? Did you like the sense of adventure? Figuring out why you are passionate about something can help guide you to your life’s purpose. Understanding what you truly love about a hobby or an interest can point you in the direction of more things that you may find fulfilling. Knowing what you care about—or who you care about—can also help you focus on being the best version of yourself. Keep in mind that finding purpose is a process. Be flexible and open to the multitude of avenues presented to you as you discover your purpose. Overall, having a purpose will help you in recovery because you will contribute to something greater than yourself. 

 

Discovering your life’s purpose can be a rewarding exercise unto itself. Open yourself up to the process of understanding your passions and the things you care about. Engage in this process as you work on your recovery. Once you know your purpose, you will have something to strive toward to make the world a better place. You will be able to focus on your recovery, as you will best serve others when you have first helped yourself. At Camelback Recovery, we believe that having purpose is one of the pillars of recovery. We teach our clients about our five pillars of recovery: accountability, support, structure, community, and purpose. We believe these pillars are fundamental to the recovery process. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to begin your recovery journey!

How Is Technology Helping Those in Addiction Recovery?

Advances in technology have impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. For those of us struggling with addiction, technology has helped us in many ways, like providing assessments, finding services, gaining information, and maintaining support. While many of these advances are helpful, some negative consequences, like cell phone addiction, have been commonplace. The key is to find a balance to gain benefits and minimize unintended consequences. We need to be cautious and verify information found on the internet. We also could become addicted to cell phones or other devices.

Access to Self-Assessments

Some people may be unsure of what their underlying issues may be. They may feel confused or misinformed about their behaviors and thoughts. Online, there are hundreds of mental health and addiction assessments available for people to take. Self-assessments are relatively quick and easy to complete. While they may not provide a comprehensive evaluation, self-assessments can help people narrow down some of their issues and can point people in the right direction towards getting help. We must also be sure to verify with our doctor or a medical professional about any problems uncovered during an online self-assessment. A self-assessment is not a diagnosis; however, self-assessments can help us open up a conversation with professionals to begin finding appropriate help.

Finding Services and Treatment Facilities

The internet has provided an easy way for people to search for services when they need help. Searching the web can help us find treatment facilities or out-patient clinics in our area. We can also find support groups in our community by completing an online search. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have a substantial online presence, which can help us find 12-Step programs in our communities. Treatment facilities and sober living homes, like Camelback Recovery, have been using technology and social media to spread their message of recovery and hope to those in need.

Access to Knowledge and Information

When in recovery, we may struggle with a specific issue and can benefit from more knowledge on the topic. Online magazines and blogs can provide a wealth of information ranging from tips on remaining sober to information on treatment facilities. We might find information on cooking healthy meals, exercise routines, yoga practices, mindfulness exercises, and other activities that we can engage in to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some apps offer entire exercise plans and even meal plans to help us. Unfortunately, we also have to be mindful of misinformation. Due to the ease of posting information online, people may post things that are not true or even harmful. Be sure to review the source of your information carefully to see if the information is valid. Sources from trusted publications or government websites are often more reputable than online forums, where anyone can freely post whatever they want–accurate or not!

Maintain Support During Lockdowns and Restrictions

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in our world. The disruption in our lives and routines has left many of us struggling with our mental health. While under lockdowns or other social restrictions, many of us felt alone and had a difficult time maintaining a support system. Technology has helped many people continue getting the support they needed during lockdowns. Apps, like Zoom and Facetime, allowed for people to continue meeting with their counselors or engaging in group therapy sessions. They also helped people maintain contact with family members and other supports. Telehealth sessions have become popular for medical appointments and screenings to provide help while minimizing contact in public spaces.

Issues Arising from Technology

Technology also has some negative consequences. Some people find themselves addicted to their phones or feel anxious to stay up to date with social media continually. Push notifications can be intrusive and disruptive to our daily lives. When entering treatment, cell phones might be a distraction to those who need to focus on their recovery. Many apps have been developed to help people curb their cell phone usage by limiting the number of times social media apps are opened or limiting our daily screen time. We can look at our phone usage in our setting menu to get an idea of which apps dominate our time on cell phones. People in recovery from addiction are also prone to cell phone addiction. They may replace their drinking or drug habits with excessive phone usage. Finding healthy habits, like exercise and healthy eating, can replace our bad habits more effectively. When we engage in recovery, we find healthy ways of living that can help us resist replacing our practices with other addictive behaviors.

 

Technology can be a handy tool for those in recovery. We can find services, information, support systems, or self-assessments online. We can also use technology to maintain contact with our support system and medical professionals when direct connection is not an option. Some issues can arise from the use of technology, like cell phone addiction or misinformation. We must be careful to find information from trustworthy sources. We also should be mindful of our usage on devices, as they may distract us from sobriety and from living our lives. Camelback Recovery has been using technology and social media to provide information for those suffering from addiction. We have a social media presence to spread our message to others in need. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 for more information about our sober living homes!

Where Should I Live in the Early Stages of Recovery From Addiction?

“Surround yourself with people who remind you more of your future than your past.”

-Dan Sullivan, Author and Speaker

Success in recovery can depend significantly upon the environment in which you choose to live. Where you live when you are clean and sober plays a significant role in your life. The people you surround yourself with, especially at home, will play a key role in your ability to remain clean and sober. Choosing to live with people who are like-minded and on a similar path to recovery will help you in your recovery. Your living environment can help or hinder your chances of success and your long-term recovery. Think about what you want to become in your future and find people on the same path. You might also consider finding people who are already where you would like to be. These people can provide you with a positive role model for maintaining sobriety.

Environments that are conducive to making good decisions will help you succeed. When you live with people who are not clean and sober, you may be triggered or tempted to engage in addictive or unhealthy behaviors more easily. You want to find people who are not drinking or taking drugs. Ideally, you want to find people working a 12-Step program as well. People with shared goals can support and encourage each other. In the early stages of recovery, building a support system will help you overcome some of the initial challenges of sobriety. Surround yourself with people who are understanding and can cheer you on. You can also help your peers in recovery by setting an example and embodying a robust and positive presence. 

You will also want to be mindful of your surroundings and the community outside of your home. For example, most people would have difficulty living next to a bar or night club. You might be triggered by the behaviors of those going to those places. You may also find those places to be loud and disruptive to keeping a regular sleeping routine.

Community Means Everything

Community is one of the pillars of recovery that Camelback Recovery believes will help you in your recovery. Often, we hear that each person is a composite or an average of the five people they spend most of their time with. Surrounding yourself with people who are stable and also want to be better can help you build the community you need in recovery. Look for people with regular routines and schedules, people with a purpose in life, and people who make good decisions. Live in a supportive environment with people who will hold you accountable to your sobriety and encourage positive life changes. Find people who are able and willing to call out destructive behaviors or notice when you are slipping. You also want to be able to provide this accountability to others to foster a structured community.

Sharing Healthy Habits and Routines

“Your daily routine is the clearest indicator of where you’re going.”

-Benjamin P. Hardy, Author of Willpower Doesn’t Work

A living environment without a clear structure or routine can lead you back to unhealthy habits. When choosing where to live when in recovery, find people who engage in healthy daily habits, like exercise and eating nutritional meals. You will be able to build a healthy structure together if you live with others who are serious and committed to sober living. When you surround yourself with others making good decisions, you have more opportunities to make good decisions yourself. Essentially, you want to find partners in sobriety and other healthy lifestyle choices. You also want to have a sense of camaraderie among your peers as you create a healthy living routine.

Combating “Decision Fatigue”

Decision fatigue occurs when a person has recently undergone a long period of making decisions. Think about how many decisions you have made along your path to recovery! You had to decide on a program, a treatment plan, a facility, additional medical support, or other therapies. You also needed to make decisions as a result of engaging in sober living, such as decisions based on finances or family contact. You may have needed to make decisions about ending unhealthy relationships in your life. Decision fatigue happens when you spend a length of time making numerous decisions. Your decision-making skills begin to fall apart. You may become susceptible to making bad decisions at this time. Finding a structured and supportive sober living environment with others holding you accountable for making good choices can combat decision fatigue.

 

Your environment will play a key factor in your ability to commit to a clean and sober lifestyle, especially during the early stages of recovery. You want to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can both support and inspire you in your sobriety. Find people taking their life changes seriously as they continue to find healthy ways of living in recovery. By being around people of a similar mindset, you can build a supportive and structured community within your home. Finding people with a purpose can inspire you to seek meaning in your life. A supportive environment will set you up with opportunities to make good decisions and combat decision fatigue. Camelback Recovery believes that supportive environments are essential to recovery and sober living. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to discuss our sober living programs and recovery coaching!

How Does My Physical Health Impact my Emotional Wellbeing?

We are all working towards progress and bettering ourselves throughout early recovery. It is always our goal to keep working towards being the best people that we can be. Our recovery process gives us the tools we need to keep our mental health in the best spot. Throughout the entire treatment process, you will be taught specific tools that you can use to keep your head up, even through trials and low places.

We all know that mental illness doesn’t stop for recovery. Instead, it will continue to affect us in many ways and hound the steps we take in recovery. A good part of our lives will be spent focusing on learning what we can about ourselves, and how we can continue to adapt to what life throws at us. Still, recovery isn’t just about keeping our mental health in good shape through brain exercises.

We must also understand that physical fitness is vital to our mental health. Many people lose sight of the importance of physical health and how it works in conjunction with our mental health. But realizing its importance is powerful in helping our lives stay positive as we journey through recovery.

The Wondrous Inter-Connectivity of the Human Body

Our body and its many processes are complex and connected. Our mental state is closely linked to our physical health. Through physical exercise and activity, we can release feel-good chemicals and endorphins through our bodies, helping our moods and emotions improve.

A lot of times, just a quick 10-minute walk can make you feel way better than before. Sometimes all it takes is getting out of the house and into the outdoors. Getting fresh air and feeling the sunshine, in conjunction with the physical exertion, are a great recipe to help yourself feel the best that you can.

Even tending to your garden can be enough to boost your mood and increase feelings of positivity. Combine that with a proper diet, full of nutritious and healthy food, and you can increase that even more. There are a ton of different kinds of food that we need to take in to help our bodies work as efficiently as they can.

Essential fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and water are integral parts of living a healthy life. Each of these things keeps your body oiled like a well-tuned machine, and encourages clear, positive thinking.

The Physical & Mental Impact of Addiction

This also means that a physical condition can cause you to suffer, mentally. If you are a smoker, it can really cause damage to your health. Obviously, we all know about the physical issues that it can cause. Still, those issues will then spill over into our mental health as well.

The nicotine in cigarettes can cause an imbalance with the chemicals in your brain. In the short-term, nicotine can boost dopamine production in your brain, and dopamine is a chemical that influences positive feelings. But, in the long-run, nicotine will shut down the natural dopamine factories in our brains.

Over a more extended period, we won’t produce the amount of dopamine that we need, resulting in lower positivity levels and a higher feeling of sadness or depression. Additionally, the ways that nicotine shuts down dopamine in the brain means that a person will become addicted to smoking to get that little hit of nicotine and experience a bump in dopamine.

Obviously, addiction is a massive problem for anyone, and avoiding it is paramount in leading a good life. Avoiding any sort of substance use in life after recovery is an essential tactic for everyone. Don’t let the short bursts of positivity you may feel convince you that you need to indulge, but steer clear of anything that can cause these kinds of imbalances.

Remember, recovering addicts are still extremely vulnerable to other addictive behaviors and substances. Remember that everything is connected in our bodies. Keeping our physical health up to par is just as important as practicing our breathing exercises or meditation.

We must also seek balance with all things in life. Make sure to keep your physical health in peak condition so that your brain doesn’t have to suffer. Always keep every avenue of improvement open and help make sure that your body and mind are working together to be successful. You deserve that kind of happiness, and you deserve to know how to reach that happiness. You will find that sense of peace, and you can do anything you put your mind to.

The body is an incredible piece of machinery, but it requires ongoing maintenance to operate at peak performance. Most people in early recovery have fallen into unhealthy habits, leaving both body and mind malnourished. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find a sober living community ready to provide you with the tools you’ll need to fulfill all the necessary elements of wellness. If you’re ready to get sober, it’s time to lean on the experience and strength of others who have come before you. Sobriety is not as uncharted as it may seem. Through a holistic recovery program, you can heal spiritually, mentally, and physically – you just need the time to do so. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find the community you’re looking for and the experienced guidance you need. Give us a call at (602) 466-9880. Getting sober isn’t easy, but it can be an exciting period of your life, filled with transformational experiences and incredible growth.