Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tips for a Successful First Semester

As you approach a new school year, keep in mind the following tips to start off the semester and safeguard your sobriety:
  • Create a plan to handle stress. Back to school can bring with it added academic pressure and stress, which could easily spell relapse if you don’t have a plan in place. Start by identifying some key coping strategies that have worked for you in the past, whether deep breathing, meditation, yoga or a walk outside. Along these lines, you’ll likely need to utilize some of the time management strategies you learned during early recovery.
  • Make a productive workspace. Take time to arrange your desk or work area so you can stay organized and focused. And don’t forget to add something beautiful, calming or inspiring – like flowers, plants or a scented candle.  
  • Prioritize self-care. Be careful not to let college interfere with your self-care, which is critical to long-term sobriety. Beyond the basics – sleeping well, eating right, exercising – be sure to nurture your emotional and spiritual health, too. This could be as simple as making time each week to do something you love. Bonus: Studies show that people who practice self-care are more productive at school and in addiction treatment. 
  • Celebrate your successes. You should be proud of yourself for getting sober and going back to school – this is a big deal and you deserve to pat yourself on the back! 
Colleges Near Santa Monica 
If you’re interested in going back to school, there are numerous community and junior colleges within 25 miles of Santa Monica, including: 
  • Santa Monica College
  • West Los Angeles College
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Los Angeles Valley College
  • El Camino Community College
  • Los Angeles Pierce College
  • Los Angeles Southwest College 
  • Los Angeles Trade Technical College
  • Glendale Community College
  • East Lost Angeles College
  • El Camino College Compton Center
  • Los Angeles Harbor College
  • Los Angeles Mission College
  • Pasadena City College 
  • Cerritos College
  • Long Beach City College
Make the Most of Our Mentors
Don't be afraid to ask for help or to talk to fellow residents about any stumbling blocks as you head back to school. A built-in support system is one of the many advantages of the mentoring program at HAUS. To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Recovery

A big part of building a sober life is being able to recognize and regulate your own emotions, while also empathizing with others – and this, in a nutshell, is having emotional intelligence (EQ). 

EQ can help you better manage relationships (leading to a strong support system) and reduce stress and anxiety (both common relapse triggers). What’s more, EQ can help you as you reenter the workplace. 

The good news is that EQ can be developed with practice – and you can start today! 
  • Take time to reflect. Jot down your strengths, weaknesses, triggers, values, goals, etc. Doing this regularly will make you more familiar with you and, in turn, better able to regulate your emotions. 
  • Make a point to be mindful. Learning to observe your thoughts and feelings, without judgment, will decrease the odds of your being unknowingly sideswiped by any negative emotions.
  • Practice not reacting. Part of having a high EQ is learning to respond (not react) to situations. Make an effort to slow down and ask yourself: “Why am I feeling/doing this?” This will help you develop emotional regulation. 
  • Take a walk in someone’s shoes. Emotionally intelligent people are skilled in empathy. Make an effort to walk in the shoes of someone else or to really imagine how you would feel in a given situation. Being empathetic helps you connect more strongly with others and can even teach you more about you. 
  • Celebrate optimism. You likely know the power of positivity and you can add better relationships and greater resilience against negative emotions to the list. Plus, the more you pay attention to positive emotions, the more likely they’ll resurface as a result. Practicing gratitude and journaling are great activities to help you see the bright side of life. 
Sober Living Support
At Haus Recovery, we offer the support needed to maintain abstinence, embrace the fun in a life of recovery and acquire the skills needed to make these changes last. To learn more about our sober living services, call today: 888-551-4715.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Study: Loneliness Growing Threat to Public Health

Loneliness and social isolation may be a greater threat to your health than obesity, according to research presented at the 125th annual convention of the American Psychological Association. What’s more, researchers found that people with a greater social connection cut their risk of premature death in half. 

"Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need — crucial to both well-being and survival,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, in a statement. "Yet an increasing portion of the U.S. population now experiences isolation regularly." 

According to the most recent U.S. census data, more than a quarter of the population lives alone, more than half is unmarried, and the number of children per household has declined. Heavy use of social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram has also been linked to feelings of social isolation.

"These trends suggest that Americans are becoming less socially connected and experiencing more loneliness," said Holt-Lunstad.

How Loneliness Harms Your Recovery
This isn’t the first study to show the dangers of being lonely. In fact, one previous study cited loneliness as being as bad for your health as 15 cigarettes per day. And those of us in the addiction community know the dangers all too well: Loneliness is a common relapse trigger. It may even have contributed to your addiction in the first place. 

Loneliness goes beyond feeling alone; it’s feeling alone, misunderstood, and uncared for even when loved ones are there to support you. The good news: You can do your part to prevent loneliness from harming your health and your sobriety.
  • Go to a 12-step meeting. There’s nothing like meeting others who have been in your shoes to remind you that you’re not alone and that staying sober is worth the work.
  • Vow to volunteer: We promise you’ll get back as much (if not more) than you give. That’s because you’ll get out into the community, meet positive people and make a difference. 
  • Find a hobby. We’ve talked about the many health benefits of hobbies — and you can add combating loneliness to the list. The right hobby can help you make new friends and give you something to be passionate about – something that you want to share and talk about with others. 
  • Make time for friends and family. Carve out time to spend with your loved ones, whether a weekly dinner or morning walk. And remember: This is perhaps most important on those down days where your natural instinct may be to retreat into isolation.  
Consider HAUS Mentoring
Another way to remain connected to the recovery community and combat loneliness is to take advantage of our recovery mentoring services. We’ll ensure that you have a wonderful support team to help you as you transition from treatment to “normal life.” To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.