Month: August 2021

How to Cope With Summertime Sadness and Depression

Summer is here. Summer means hot weather, pool parties, and time for relaxation. What happens when summer isn’t fun and relaxing, though? Summer depression is real, and you may be struggling with it. This can be especially hard if you feel like you’re supposed to be having a great time. Everyone else seems happy about summertime — but why aren’t you?  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) often only gets talked about when the winter months approach. SAD affects many people worldwide and typically causes depression as the days get shorter and colder. However, it is also possible to struggle with summer SAD. This means the onset of summer triggers your depression symptoms, with the longer days and increasing heat and humidity possibly playing a role.  Summer is here, and you feel the creep of depression symptoms. What do you do? Here are tips on how to cope with summertime sadness and…

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Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Whether or not we are suffering from alcoholism or addiction, we all lose our rhythm from time to time. It happens to everybody. Things are going smoothly, and then we hit a bump in the road. Sometimes it’s nothing, just a hiccup, but sometimes the bump is big enough to knock us off the proverbial horse and disrupt our whole deal. It’s a normal part of life that happens every once in a while. In recovery, we have much at our disposal that can not only help us learn from these disruptions but can help us get right back on course, as well. Let’s look at how to get back into the swing of things when we’ve lost our rhythm. A Hiccup or a Serious Problem? First things first, here: we need to be able to differentiate between a bump in the road and a serious issue. Hitting a pothole…

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Outdoor Activities Are More Than Just Fun: They’re Healing

Time and time again, research has shown the importance of sunshine for mental and physical health. Sunshine gives us vitamin D, which is a mood booster and helps promote physical health. However, there are many other benefits to being active outdoors, as well.  The benefits of being outdoors extended to social and natural health, as well as general well-being. Also, being active promotes physical health. So, what are the drawbacks? Only getting wet on a rainy day. Let’s look at some of the benefits. Four Benefits to Outdoor Activities There is a multitude of benefits to being active outdoors. Some of these benefits cannot be measured and are not known, but there are at least the four following: #1. Physical Health: Outdoor activity has been shown over the years to be a promoter of physical health. Not only does our vitamin D level increase, but so does our endurance. Also,…

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Social Anxiety and the End of Lockdown

More and more people are continuing to get vaccinated for COVID-19. As a result, the country is opening up once again. You can now eat inside at a restaurant, visit a mall, or spend time at your favorite amusement park. However, with society opening up once again comes social anxiety for some. Social anxiety is a fear of social situations and includes worrying about meeting strangers, how to act around friends and a general feeling of self-consciousness. It can make everyday life extremely challenging and can even manifest physically through sweating, palpitations, or panic attacks.  The thought of being around people when we are not entirely COVID-free or changing a routine we have become accustomed to can come with crippling anxiety. Because you have been social distancing for over a year, the thought of interacting with people again can be scary. Being in isolation can cause you to forget how…

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How Can I Cope With Temptation in Recovery?

For those of us new to the rooms of recovery, the temptation can be a part of everyday life early on. The good news is, many of us find what the book Alcoholics Anonymous says to be true; “We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality — safe and protected.” This position of neutrality is achieved through working a 12-Step program in its entirety and continuing to actively participate in the 12-Step program as a way of life. It does come if we work for it, but working the Twelve Steps may take some of us a little time. What can we do about temptation in the meantime, until we reach that beautiful position of neutrality? Temptation Takes Many Forms First things first, let’s get familiar with what we’re dealing with. Temptation can take many…

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Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Feeling good is something we all might take for granted. When we feel good, we do not think about what we did to get to that point or what can help us stay resilient to frustrations throughout our day. However, when we are feeling low, depressed, or anxious, pinpointing the reasons is not so difficult. Finding reasons to feel bad is easily done. What is more easily done is taking care of our mental health before we get to that low point.  When we are in that frustrating point of an unhealthy mental state, getting ourselves out of the doldrums is difficult. Taking care of our mental health is easier when we are happy and practicing it regularly. However, seeing the point of keeping up those activities when we are feeling low makes coming back into a healthy state difficult. There are some things to do to keep ourselves mentally…

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I Have Anxiety, Can Recovery Help Me?

Many, if not most people who struggle with alcoholism and addiction in recovery experience at least one co-occurring mental or emotional issue. It’s incredibly common amongst those of us in recovery. Depression and anxiety have both long been known to be exacerbated by alcoholism and addiction, as well as themselves amping up the symptoms of alcoholism and addiction. This phenomenon is known as comorbidity, wherein two conditions intertwine in their causes and effects. It is incredibly common amongst those who suffer from alcoholism or addiction both in and out of recovery. If you are affected by alcoholism or addiction, no matter what other mental or emotional health issues you face, recovery can be of help. We must be careful and clear here, though — recovery alone is not always the sole solution to mental and emotional health issues. There are other methods of care and treatment which must and should…

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Reemerging From Lockdown

In most places around the world, things are slowly, and sometimes quickly, beginning to return to some version of “normal.” As the new “business as usual” begins to settle in, many of us are experiencing a kind of system shock, after such a dramatic, chaotic, and isolated period of time. There is much to consider and discuss when it comes to safeguarding our mental health and recovery as things begin to change once again. Even though much appears to be shifting “back to the way things were,” it can be an extremely difficult transition to make because of how different things have been in the recent past.  We all want to keep up with the changing times, but this can be exceptionally difficult for those of us in recovery from alcoholism and addiction, especially if we have mental and emotional health issues to take into consideration, as well. We need…

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Creating the Community We Crave

Community is crucial in addiction recovery. The community you create can help you in the most challenging of times and be there to enjoy the good times alongside you. Sometimes, the community isn’t the easiest to find, though. After finding a group of people to bond within residential treatment, you may be scrounging to find friends in the outside world. We all crave a community we can belong to, but how do we create that fellowship if we can’t find it? Alumni Programs If the treatment center you attended offers an alumni program, this is a great way to create a community. Not only can you continue relationships with people you met in treatment, but you can develop bonds with those who have been through treatment before. These people may know and understand your struggles better than anybody else you meet and can provide you with a strong sense of…

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What Can I Do About Persistent Character Defects?

All people have character traits they don’t like about themselves. Those who do their best to avoid these traits from coming through will find themselves feeling this way most often. There’s a lot to be said for those who are self-aware enough to feel these traits may be affecting them negatively, but what can you do to change persistent character defects?  Don’t Give Up! A common character defect that many don’t like is their willingness to give up when life gets hard. Everyone has their reason for giving up, but when it comes to creating positive change, don’t give up.  For many who have found success in a challenge through perseverance, they’ll say that they found those little successes to be profound in their ability to not give up. One success would turn to two, snowballing into three, four, or more, and ultimately helping the person to crave more successes…

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