Healing Our Community for Over 20 Years

Healing Our Community for Over 20 Years

For any industry with a mission to serve, community inclusion and service are crucial to success and sustainability. Creating space for community members in need and offering something different to fulfill those needs is critical. Enlightened Solutions has accomplished this and more by finding creative ways to promote healing within the community.

For over two decades, the Enlightened Solutions family, rooted in the Hansen Foundation, has been immersed in the community through various events and hosting activities open to the public. By doing so, awareness of the services offered and the potential for community change and treatment through Enlightened's unique treatment approaches has increased.

Our Founder

Jennifer Hansen is the founder of Enlightened Solutions and the well-known non-profit The Hansen Foundation. She created The Hansen Foundation approximately two decades ago to fund sober living facilities for men and women in South Jersey after entering recovery herself. After this success, Jennifer founded Enlightened Solutions to continue helping others who were impacted by substance abuse. Jennifer has dedicated herself to healing and restoring the community over the last two decades.

Jennifer lives a holistic lifestyle and believes in the value it can bring to community members and those in treatment and recovery. A yoga instructor herself, she incorporates yoga into the treatment programs offered at Enlightened Solutions. Through yoga, clients and community members can experience healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Specialized yoga classes tieing in the 12-Step process have been proven especially beneficial for those in treatment. Each of the Twelve Steps is associated with a unique yoga pose, allowing for a physical connection to that step.

Jennifer finds great value in consuming organic, nutritious foods and feels strongly about protecting and nurturing the earth that provides them. You will find that the menu at Enlightened Solutions sites is composed of locally grown fresh foods to promote healing from the inside out.

The Enlightened Farm

The Enlightened Farm serves as somewhat of a focal point and produces the nutrient-rich, organic foods that Enlightened Solutions offers its clients. Horticulture programs at the farm aim to bring together those battling addiction, those in recovery, and those who strive for holistic wellness.

Through the Regenerative Agriculture Program, organic vegetables, eggs, herbs, and flowers are produced and provided to the various Enlightened campuses and Serenity Houses in South Jersey. Things such as soil health, companion planting, and integration with wildlife are prioritized. The farm's Sustainability Program involves transferring all food scraps from the various kitchen sites weekly to be used as compost creating organic fertilizer and topsoil.

The farm also hosts horticulture therapy. This allows clients to experience various natural mediums to promote healing, overall wellness, and environmental awareness. Sessions are offered to clients twice a week, and families are welcome to attend monthly to encourage reintegration. This alternative therapy is one of many offered by Enlightened Solutions.

The Enlightened Farm also provides opportunities for community service, volunteering, and employment. This can be a huge area of need for those in treatment or recovery. The Growing Gratitude Program offers weekly opportunities to serve the community through service at the farm.

The Enlightened Volunteer Program is a community-inclusive activity and is open to anyone interested in learning to care for a farm or wanting to contribute to the overall mission. Alumni, community members, and members of local organizations and businesses are welcome to participate.

By hosting Community Volunteer Day open to the public twice per month, community members are able to get involved and learn more about what Enlightened has to offer. Participating members are offered a free recreational class in appreciation for their efforts.

Seeking and securing employment can be difficult following treatment and during recovery. Enlightened Farm offers a Solid Roots Employment Program that assists those new to recovery in transitioning back into the work world. Benefits include job training, skill development, and positive socialization and fellowship.

Community Events

In addition to recurring offerings at the farm, Enlightened Solutions hosts a variety of events each year designed to serve and involve the community. Examples include a Charity Golf Tournament, Fluke Tournament, and drug and alcohol-free music festivals. By offering such events, the community becomes more aware of the mission and more inclined to consider getting involved.

Enlightened Solutions makes every effort to remain integrated into the community and extend its knowledge and belief in holistic healing. By offering programs and activities at the farm and hosting large events for the community, Enlightened continues to reach and positively impact more community members each year. Consider stopping by the farm or attending the next open event to experience the power of community healing for yourself.

Enlightened Solutions is unique in a variety of ways. In addition to our various holistic treatment modalities offered and whole-person healing objectives, we aim to serve and involve the community as much as possible. We believe in helping the community become healthier, more informed, and live more sustainably. The Enlightened Farm offers many programs to meet the needs of those in treatment, in recovery, or who want to learn more about farming or our mission. By providing opportunities for community service, volunteering, and employment, the farm can serve as a stepping stone for those in treatment or new to recovery as they regain their footing and prepare to re-enter the workforce. By involving the community in farm activities and local events, Enlightened Solutions touches lives and spreads the mission of the organization well beyond the facility doors. If you are in need of treatment, call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.

How Destructive Character Patterns Affect Addiction

How Destructive Character Patterns Affect Addiction

Certain personality traits, environmental factors, and even genetics can lead to addiction to drugs or alcohol. It can be common to see specific patterns of thoughts or behaviors that are present when seeking treatment. It is important to be aware of these behaviors and thoughts and work to adjust or avoid them. Some destructive character patterns can include:

  • Lack of impulse control
  • Loss or lack of self-control
  • Poor stress management
  • Neglecting (or undiagnosed) co-occurring disorders
  • Risk-taking behavior

Impulse Control

One common pattern of behavior when it comes to addiction is impulsivity. When you develop an addiction to alcohol, cocaine, opioids, or other substances, you may often struggle with impulse control. This refers to the inability or lack of consideration when it comes to the consequences of your actions. If you struggle with impulse control, you may engage in risky or detrimental behaviors without weighing the negative impacts your decisions may have.

When you struggle with impulse control, you may lack the inner dialogue that occurs when you are deciding what to do. This refers to the ability to negotiate and comprehend the potential consequences of a decision. Self-regulation is also a skill that you may struggle with if you lack impulse control.


Another common pattern of behavior when it comes to addiction is a lack of self-control. This can be similar to impulse control; however, this speaks more to being able to stop doing something or moderate your thoughts or behaviors when you want or need to. For example, you may be fully aware of the consequences of a poor decision but find yourself unable to avoid making the decision that leads to the negative consequences.

Addiction is a perfect example of this concept. When struggling with substance use disorder, you might be aware of the harmful effects of using. Although, you might have no control over your dependency on the substance you are using.

This can be difficult to understand for those who have not experienced addiction firsthand and can even be difficult to process when you enter treatment. At Enlightened Solutions, we use 12-Step principles to help you identify your loss of control over your addiction and embrace the healing that comes with that realization.

Stress Tolerance

Stress affects everyone differently. You may have a high tolerance for stress and may even feel motivated by it. Yet, you could be very debilitated by stress and anxiety. This can often lead to self-medicating or seeking release in the form of drugs or alcohol.

Managing stress well is essential to your health for many reasons. In addition to the risk of addiction, increased stress levels can lead to poor mental and physical health. It can even trigger life-threatening conditions such as poor cardiovascular health.

Co-Occurring Disorders

It is normal for you to discover that you have a co-occurring diagnosis upon completing the intake and assessment process. A co-occurring disorder refers to the presence of an underlying diagnosis that could be triggering or reinforcing your substance use. A few common co-occurring diagnoses include depression and anxiety.

Similar to those seeking substances to relieve stress, you might choose to drink alcohol or use drugs to ease symptoms of anxiety or depression. Neglecting to address these disorders can lead to substance use and abuse. At Enlightened Solutions, we provide a full mental health evaluation to be sure we provide you with everything you need during treatment to find healing and good health.

Risk-Taking Behaviors

In some cases, taking risks can be a beneficial thing. While this can be harmless in some situations, it can sometimes lead to much worse.

When you take risks often, you may lack some or several of the aforementioned character traits. You may lack impulse control, which affects your judgment and processing of consequences. Perhaps you lack self-control and, despite knowing something is dangerous, feel unable to refrain from taking the risk.

Sometimes, there may be an underlying condition or disorder that could be leading to dangerous or risky behavior. Substance use can often begin as a one-time experimental thing out of curiosity. If you enjoy taking risks often, you may not consider the long-term impact of your decisions but only consider the immediate risk. After all, you are not intending to become addicted to substances.

During treatment, clinical professionals will help you identify any potentially harmful thoughts and behavior patterns that could have led to your substance use in the first place. Learning more about these behaviors and developing strategies for change is crucial. By participating in therapy and focusing on healing and change during treatment, you can stay on track and be successful in recovery.

Harmful behavior patterns can often lead to substance abuse. Some common examples can include lack of impulse control, loss of self-control, poor stress management, the presence of a co-occurring disorder, or engaging in risk-taking behaviors. Some may exhibit a combination of these traits. Possessing any of these characteristics or behaviors significantly increases the likelihood of substance abuse. It is important to address and correct these behavior patterns to avoid addiction and relapse. At Enlightened Solutions, we help clients recognize any underlying issues that may have led to their addiction and pose potential for relapse in recovery. Our programs help you develop strategies for correcting destructive thoughts and behaviors and create more productive and healthy habits. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to hear from you. Call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How Mindfulness Can Help in Addiction Recovery

How Mindfulness Can Help in Addiction Recovery

What is mindfulness, anyway? Mindfulness refers to being present in the moment. It means being aware of yourself and your surroundings at any given time. Mindfulness may come easily sometimes, but other times it might be a little more difficult.

Mindfulness requires quieting the mind and forgetting about any stressors or worries in order to focus only on the present moment. Although, this can be easier said than done. Drowning out life's everyday distractions can be challenging, but setting aside time each day to practice mindfulness can be very beneficial.

When it comes to treatment and recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol, spending time meditating or practicing mindfulness each day can really enhance your quality of life and help you stay on track. While there are many benefits of mindfulness, a few advantages during treatment and recovery can include:

  • Promotes balance
  • Relieves stress
  • Helps combat cravings

Promotes Balance

Finding balance during treatment and recovery can be difficult. Learning to prioritize your health and wellness while still fulfilling other obligations and responsibilities can be difficult. For so long, your only focus, thought, and priority was likely your addiction. You likely became so fixated on substance use that everything else seemed less important or secondary. As you enter treatment, you learn to reconnect with yourself and what is truly meaningful in your life.

As you regain your awareness of who you are and what really matters, practicing mindfulness can help you balance your thoughts, feelings, and goals.

Relieves Stress

Mindfulness can be very beneficial when it comes to managing stress. It goes without saying that addiction recovery comes with a fair share of stress. It is normal to experience stress in your life at some point. When you are working hard each day to stay on track and make the right decisions to avoid relapse, there can be some added pressure.

Mindfulness can often afford you a temporary escape from the stressors of daily life. It encourages you to focus only on what you are feeling and experiencing in that moment. Your mind might tend to run a little wild sometimes, especially when there is something stressing you out. Spending some time reconnecting with your inner self and checking in about how you are feeling in the moment can be very calming and reassuring.

Combats Cravings

Cravings are something that you will experience when recovering from addiction. It is best to try to avoid any known triggers, but despite these efforts, cravings may still occur. Just as practicing mindfulness and meditating can help ease stress by temporarily taking your focus away from those worries, it can do the same thing for cravings. By re-centering yourself and focusing on your surroundings in the present moment, you can stop those thought patterns that can often lead to relapse.

Sometimes, one of the best ways to combat cravings is by distracting yourself. What could be a better distraction than taking some time to re-center, regroup, and connect with yourself?

How to Practice Mindfulness

How do you practice mindfulness? Mindfulness can look different for everyone. Many activities such as meditation and yoga can incorporate mindfulness into your life. However, mindfulness can even be practiced in your kitchen or while you are on a walk.

Practicing mindfulness can be done on a whim, or it could be planned as part of a structured activity. Usually, mindfulness is most beneficial in environments where there are fewer distractions. Finding a quiet place that does not offer too much sensory stimulation is usually best. This is because the focus is to connect with your inner thoughts and feelings and only focus on what you are feeling and experiencing in that present moment. Too many external stimuli can disrupt the process.

Enlightened Solutions offers a variety of yoga classes and programs to promote mindfulness. Yoga creates a mind and body connection that promotes healing during the treatment and recovery process. Our instructors will teach you how to create a yoga practice that works for you and encourages mindfulness on a regular basis.

Many other forms of therapy can also encourage mindfulness. Enlightened Solutions often incorporates things such as horticulture therapy or music therapy, both of which involve using the senses and focus on what you are experiencing, seeing, hearing, or smelling in that very moment.

Mindfulness has many benefits and can promote healing when it comes to treatment and addiction. As mentioned, practicing mindfulness can be done in many different ways and in many different settings. What is important, though, is to incorporate mindfulness into your daily and weekly routines.

Mindfulness can have many benefits for the average individual. These benefits can include everything from reduced blood pressure to improved sleep quality and focus. For those in the treatment process or in recovery, it can be exceptionally helpful. Practicing mindfulness regularly can help with things like finding balance in your life, managing and reducing stress, and combating cravings you may experience. Enlightened Solutions offers a variety of activities that are focused on mindfulness and encourage connecting the mind and body while being present in the moment. Our holistic approach to treatment encourages healing in every aspect of life to promote better health and long-term recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help. To learn more about the ways in which mindfulness can benefit you in treatment and recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How to Find Your Community in Treatment and Recovery

How to Find Your Community in Treatment and Recovery

Everyone wants to feel like they belong. Feeling as though you are a part of something can be very encouraging and motivating. Having a close network of friends or supporters is so important when it comes to a good quality of life.

Finding and feeling a sense of community is critical when it comes to treatment and recovery. Typically, following addiction, you will have a very different group of friends with whom you spend your time. Many may find themselves feeling isolated and alone as they enter treatment and begin recovery. Enlightened Solutions facilitates many opportunities to meet like-minded people and integrate into the recovery community.

We understand how important it is to feel like you belong and serve as a part of something bigger than just yourself. We encourage you to make healthy connections and engage with other clients, alumni, and community members during treatment and your recovery.

Group Learning

One of the ways in which Enlightened Solutions creates a sense of community is by encouraging group learning when it comes to wellness and nutrition. We place a significant emphasis on health and wellness during the treatment process. We do this because we know the importance of holistic health and how feeling good physically and mentally aids in your recovery.

We find that when it comes to health and wellness, people tend to learn better in groups. This allows for exchanging ideas, brainstorming, and providing encouragement to one another as you discover new strengths, interests, and ways of life.

Enlightened Solutions offers various health and wellness groups and activities, such as yoga and meditation in group settings. These activities can be very beneficial in establishing a mind and body connection that is essential to good mental and physical health.

We also offer food-based activities such as gardening in the form of horticulture therapy at our Enlightened Farm. This allows you to understand the value of organic, nutritious foods. It also allows you to explore the benefits of fresh herbs and fresh fruits and vegetables when it comes to healing.

Group Therapy

In addition to the food and exercise focus group activities, Enlightened Solutions offers many experiential therapies that promote teamwork and a sense of community among our clients. These activities often encourage sharing personal experiences, struggles, and feelings in the form of art, music, poetry, and more. Allowing you to express yourself in creative ways can be extremely healing and can encourage and facilitate peer connections.

We also offer a variety of therapy groups. We know that there are tremendous benefits when it comes to group therapy for substance-abuse treatment. We also understand that there are advantages to both coed and gender-specific environments. Often, gender-specific therapy can be beneficial in the beginning stages of treatment. This is a time when you are just learning to become comfortable sharing your experiences and struggles aloud. Creating a space of same-gender peers can often make you feel a little more comfortable sharing. This provides a sense of safety, belonging, and relatability within the group.

Community Involvement

Enlightened Solutions makes many efforts to remain connected to the community and allow alumni clients to continue to stay engaged. One of the ways in which we do this is through the Enlightened Farm. Our farm serves many functions, one of which is community engagement. The farm hosts volunteer days, which always pull in community members and provide opportunities to learn more about our recovery-based organization. This allows you to stay connected with Enlightened Solutions programs and helps other supportive community members to get involved.

Forming connections and building your community in treatment and recovery is essential. Having a good support network can help hold you accountable, keep you motivated, and allow you to stay on track and avoid relapse. In order to build relationships and connections, you have to know how to communicate and network within your community. Through our programs at Enlightened Solutions, you will learn how to communicate better, form quality relationships, and maintain those connections that are healthy and serve you well. We offer a variety of classes to help you develop these skills and facilitate daily opportunities to practice them during your time in treatment with us.

Surrounding yourself with other supportive, like-minded people is key to success in recovery from addiction long-term. At Enlightened Solutions, we create a safe and welcoming environment that encourages healing and growth for everyone. By beginning to build your connections and support network in treatment, you are sure to feel a sense of belonging and community in recovery.

Feeling a sense of community is critical for everyone. No one enjoys feeling isolated and alone. The truth is, recovery and treatment for drug or alcohol addiction can be a little isolating and leave you feeling like others may not understand or be able to relate. At Enlightened Solutions, we understand the importance of belonging. We help clients form positive relationships and learn to develop and maintain a good support network in and after treatment. We offer a variety of group therapy styles and learning experiences throughout treatment that will help you begin to build your community in recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help them heal and find their sense of community in recovery. If you need help, please call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE. Our caring team is here for you. 

How to Find Fulfillment in Recovery

How to Find Fulfillment in Recovery

So, you have completed treatment; now what? Immersing yourself back into life outside of treatment can be intimidating. Just as making the decision to seek treatment can be scary, so can leaving treatment. Both of these transitions come with major changes, many of which may be new.

Wondering what you are going to do to fill your time, make money, and live a fulfilling life after treatment is completely normal. At Enlightened Solutions, we aim to give you a clear direction and help you understand what you want to be and do after treatment. We offer a variety of transitional opportunities for work and residential accommodations. As you enter treatment, we begin working with you to establish goals, purpose, and a sense of community that you can carry with you after treatment and into recovery.

Good Health

Enlightened Solutions places a huge priority on helping you heal your body, mind, and spirit after addiction. One of the ways in which we promote this is by encouraging a healthy diet and active lifestyle. By eating organic, fresh foods, you are able to live a healthier life.

Through our programs at Enlightened Farm, we teach you how to grow and harvest organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs so that you are able to take these skills and apply them to your life after treatment.

Occupational Success

Work after treatment might be a huge concern and burden for you. You may have lost your job when you decided to enter treatment. This is a big sacrifice and can serve as a barrier to treatment for you. Perhaps you have a trade or specific skillset you can use to find employment relatively easily. Or maybe you feel lost and unsure of where to begin when it comes to finding a job after treatment. With employment gaps that may be tough to explain or legal charges as a result of addiction, securing a job in recovery can be difficult.

At Enlightened Solutions, we try to offer some relief when it comes to working in recovery. Our programs at Enlightened Farm teach job skills, build confidence, and help you transition back into the workforce after treatment. We provide opportunities for you to utilize your talents and develop new abilities through various activities. We also offer programs for volunteering and community service and provide opportunities for paid employment.

Residential Stability

After deciding to enter treatment, you may find that you do not have a stable, safe home environment to go back to. ?You may have been living with others who engage in substance abuse or may have even been homeless. Having a home that feels safe and stable in recovery is critical.

It is common to transition into a corresponding sober living facility following inpatient treatment. This allows you to stay connected with our program and provides support as needed. Of course, you will not be supervised around the clock as you were during treatment, but this can serve as an excellent next step prior to living completely independently again.

Healthy Relationships and Connections

Social circles and friend groups are bound to change for you after treatment. Usually, the people you spent your time with before entering treatment engage in similar behaviors that would not benefit you to be around in recovery. In fact, spending time with the same people or in the same environments can be triggering and lead to destructive thinking and even relapse.

It is crucial to have a solid and reliable support network around you in recovery. Enlightened Solutions makes every effort to establish a sense of community for our clients. We do this through our wellness and nutrition groups, group therapy sessions, and our various community events that are open to the public. This allows existing clients, past clients, and other like-minded community members to come together in fellowship.

Finding your purpose in life after treatment and in recovery can be hard. In a sense, you may feel like you are starting over completely. Whether your addiction lasted months, years, or even decades, the sensation of starting fresh is the same, which is not a bad thing. It is important to embrace the changes you have gone through and appreciate your progress.

Whether you find great fulfillment in having a remarkable career, having close friendships and supportive networks, or simply having a safe and stable home you are proud of, we can help you. The person you become after going through the treatment process is full of potential. You deserve to live a happy and fulfilling life in recovery.

Finding fulfillment in life after treatment is possible. Consider what is most important to you. Examples could include a stable home, a good career, a healthy lifestyle, and positive connections and relationships. These things are very attainable in recovery. You have worked hard to overcome your battle with addiction and can now pursue your goals in recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we support clients in discovering and becoming the best, healthiest version of themselves. We facilitate activities to promote personal growth and healing and provide clients with the tools they need to succeed in recovery. We help you identify what a fulfilling life might look like for you, and support you in achieving it. If you or someone you care about could benefit from our holistic treatment approach, we would love to hear from you. To begin your journey to fulfillment in recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How to Cope with Occupational Stress in a Healthy Way

How to Cope With Occupational Stress in a Healthy Way

Work is often stressful. Whether you have tension with a coworker, a boss that always seems to be breathing down your neck, or endless deadlines that have you on edge, there will always be stressors when it comes to work. Of course, some jobs are more stressful than others. Some days or seasons may be more stressful than others as well. Because stress is inevitable, it is important to know how to cope with stress at work in a healthy way.

Stress can be a major trigger for substance use and abuse. It is well known that work can be one of the main stressors for many, so coping well with work-related stress is critical. You might be tempted to turn to drugs or alcohol after a long day or week at work. While this may start in moderation, often, as the stress increases, so does the amount or frequency of substance use.

There are many healthy ways of coping with work-related stress that do not involve drugs or alcohol. A few healthy ways to cope with stress at work can include:

  • Exercise and eat healthy foods
  • Take breaks and time off
  • Try therapy or counseling
  • Consider a job or role change

Exercise and Eat Well

One tip for stress management is making sure you are living a healthy lifestyle. While this may sound cliché, it is true. If you are living a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious meals and incorporating some physical activity into your weekly or daily routine, you are more likely to handle stress better. This is because these things promote better sleep, better mood, more energy, and better focus.

With all of these advantages comes better functioning. When you function better at work, you are more efficient. Often, when you are more efficient, you have less work-related stress. You are better able to meet your deadlines, can focus better on your specific job tasks and duties, and have a better mood for interacting with your coworkers and supervisors.

Take a Break

By law, you are legally entitled to breaks throughout your workday. Of course, the number of breaks and duration of each break can vary depending on the length of your shift. It is advisable to take advantage of these breaks.

It can be easy to get so focused on a project or task that you forget to take breaks during the workday. You may be so busy that you forget to even take a lunch break. This is not healthy. It is so important to take breaks when appropriate at work. This gives your mind and body time to refresh and re-energize and focus on something other than work just for a moment.

Taking a break can also mean taking a day off. If you work full time, you are often allotted some paid time off throughout the year. Giving yourself time to decompress and relax, even just for a few minutes, can be very beneficial to your stress levels.

Go to Therapy

Therapy can be very beneficial when it comes to managing stress. Sometimes, just talking about problems and issues that stress you out can be helpful. Therapists can also provide some ideas for coping with your specific situation and challenges.

Therapy can also help you process your thoughts and feelings about your job and help you discover areas in which you may need to make changes. This could involve changes to your daily routine, changes to any extracurricular activities that may be causing stress, or appropriate changes to your job or role.

Make a Change

Sometimes, a change of job or career is what is most appropriate. Burnout is absolutely a real experience and often results in built-up and unresolved stress and tension. Sometimes, a job that is generating a lot of stress and anxiety may just not be a good fit. If this is the case, it is okay.

You might try several different career paths before settling into something you feel is a really good fit for you. Being self-aware and acknowledging when a change is needed is important. Many services and resources are available to help you discover career options that could be a good fit.

Again, it can be common for work-related stress to be a trigger for substance use, which can eventually lead to addiction. At Enlightened Solutions, we can help you develop strategies for coping with stress in healthy ways. We can teach you how to incorporate healthy habits and routines into your lifestyle to help you respond well when you feel stressed.

Work is sometimes stressful. For some, work can be stressful often. Sometimes, the lack of work or a job can be a stressor. Stress can lead to substance use, which can eventually lead to addiction. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way is crucial. At Enlightened Solutions, we teach clients how to handle stressful situations throughout their recovery without using drugs or alcohol. You will learn strategies for reducing stress independently such as deep breathing techniques and meditation. You will also learn to identify when it might be time to get help or seek guidance. We incorporate holistic activities to benefit your overall health, which reduces stress and improves overall mood and mental health. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help. Give Enlightened Solutions a call today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How to Prioritize Exercise During Treatment and Recovery

How to Prioritize Exercise During Treatment and Recovery

Exercise can often be a hate-it or love-it scenario. Usually, you either really enjoy and look forward to exercising or you make excuses or justify why you just cannot make the time. Do you look forward to going to the gym each day after work? Maybe you roll your eyes and sigh at the mere thought of stepping foot in a gym. Or, maybe you fall somewhere in between.

The truth is, exercise really is an essential thing for everyone. Whether you are someone who enjoys spending several hours in the gym each day or you have to drag yourself off of the couch to take a 20-minute walk outside, it is beneficial for all of us.

Exercise During Treatment

When it comes to addiction, your body has been through a lot. Substance use takes a huge toll on you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Exercise can help in all of these areas. Incorporating some form of exercise into your routine during treatment is important.

At Enlightened Solutions, we introduce you to a variety of ways in which you can get some exercise. Some may be more exercise-intentional than others. We have a considerable focus on yoga at our facility as we find that yoga, with its mind-body connecting component, can be very beneficial during treatment and recovery. We also offer a variety of experiential therapy activities that involve physical activity. These can include surfing, paddle boarding, fishing, and more.

Maybe you despise all of the previously mentioned activities but really have a green thumb. The great news is that even gardening can be considered a form of exercise if you allow it to be. If you have ever worked in a garden, you know it can be hard work. Digging, planting, and pulling weeds can be physically demanding. The point is that there are many activities that align with all different interests and personalities that can allow you to incorporate some physical activity into your life.

Benefits of Exercise

It is incredibly important for you to schedule in some physical activity throughout your week. As you go through treatment – and, later, recovery – you are working to heal your body and mind. Exercise helps with this process. Physical activity is known to improve both physical and mental health and functioning. It helps with things like stress levels, focus, sleep, and energy. Exercise can also aid in organ function, digestion, and bone and muscle strength. You can experience all of the benefits just described, and more, just by prioritizing physical activity.

Using substances such as opioids, benzos, and drinking alcohol in excess can really affect your overall health. It can also affect your brain functioning by interrupting typical thought patterns and processing ability. Because exercise promotes better focus and more energy, you are more likely to benefit from therapy and other activities during treatment if you are physically active.

Exercise can also boost confidence. Recovering from addiction can leave you with lots of different emotions. Having the confidence to go back to real life after treatment is critical. Feeling your best both mentally and physically can help you tackle challenges that may come during recovery.

Consider taking that yoga class, or joining the gym down the street. Play some tennis or go golfing with a friend. Or, maybe start with taking a walk a couple of times a week during your lunch break. You are bound to see and feel a difference both mentally and physically.

Find Activities You Enjoy

The great news is that you do not have to be a world-class athlete to incorporate and benefit from a little exercise. You can alter and adapt it to your lifestyle and your interests. Exercise should not feel like a chore. The key is finding activities that you actually enjoy. Maybe you hate going to the gym but really love being outside. Take a few laps around your neighborhood during your lunch break, or schedule in some time over the weekend to do some hiking. Maybe swimming is more your thing. Many gyms have swimming pools, and many communities offer public pools you can use to swim for exercise.

Try thinking about exercise in simple terms. How can you move my body today? Think about your schedule and what you have to accomplish, and consider where you might be able to squeeze in some extra steps or a quick bike ride. Even if it is just for a few minutes each day or a couple of times a week, you will feel much better physically and mentally as a result.

Exercise and physical activity are essential for everyone. Some may really enjoy exercise and consider it to be a consistent part of their everyday routine. Others may really dislike exercise and avoid places like the gym at all costs. Think about the things you enjoy, and consider tailoring your exercise routines to your interests. That is the key to long-term success when it comes to exercise. Physical activity improves the way you feel physically and mentally. It can promote better organ function, metabolic function, focus, sleep, and improve energy levels. Enlightened Solutions takes a holistic approach to help clients heal. We prioritize health and wellness and encourage activities such as yoga, paddleboarding, and more as part of our treatment program. If you or someone you care about could benefit from our holistic treatment approach, don't hesitate to give us a call. Reach out to Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How to Take Recovery One Step at a Time

How to Take Recovery One Step at a Time

You have likely heard a million different phrases that imply that taking things one step at a time is often best. Some of these phrases include:

  • Slow and steady wins the race.
  • Put one foot in front of the other.
  • Rome was not built in a day.

The list goes on and on. When it comes to recovering from addiction, this could not be more true.

When you enter treatment and begin your recovery journey, it is important to focus on your progress. You may want to strive for perfection, but that is just not reality. You are bound to have setbacks and hiccups along the way. Taking treatment and recovery one day at a time helps you focus on your successes and how far you have come.

Staying motivated during treatment and recovery can sometimes be difficult. Focusing on small goals and achievements can motivate and help you stay encouraged. Many facilities, such as Enlightened Solutions, utilize the 12-Step process to encourage you to take your recovery one step at a time. This allows you to focus on making changes to one area and building upon that.

It is important to practice and make a habit of viewing your recovery as a process. While the end goal is long-term sobriety, it takes work each and every day to stay on track. A few tips for maintaining the one step at a time perspective could include:

  • Set small goals
  • Acknowledge each success
  • Learn from mistakes
  • View each day as a new opportunity

Set Small Goals

Anytime you have a large task to tackle, it is a good idea to break it into smaller, more manageable tasks. This can keep you from feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. This also allows you to see and acknowledge progress each step of the way.

Some small goals that you could set during treatment and recovery could include;

  • Making time for meditation each morning
  • Choosing healthy foods throughout the day
  • Trying something new
  • Focusing on your water intake

Setting small goals can help hold you accountable. It gives you little opportunities throughout your day to feel proud and accomplished. Staying motivated and encouraged to push through another day during treatment and recovery can benefit your long-term success.

Acknowledge Each Success

Just as it is important to set small goals for yourself, it is also important to celebrate each little victory. Having a support system around you to help you celebrate can be even more powerful. Sometimes, writing down your goals and being able to actually check them off as you achieve them each day can be very gratifying and empowering.

Acknowledging and giving yourself credit for progress can be especially helpful on tough days. Say you are experiencing cravings or just feeling a little off one day. Despite the way you are feeling, you might make the decision to go on a walk outdoors after lunch. Giving yourself credit for deciding to do something for your mental health by getting outside and moving your body should be acknowledged and praised. Allowing yourself to be proud and feel some sense of accomplishment even on tough days is beneficial.

Learn From Mistakes

During treatment and in recovery, you are bound to make mistakes. This is completely normal. What is most important is how you respond when you make mistakes. It is important to process what led to the mistake and learn from that. For example, maybe you put yourself in an environment or a situation that you knew could be triggering. Perhaps this leads to relapse or resurfacing of trauma. Learn from that experience and avoid those triggers moving forward.

Learning from mistakes can be very powerful. Sometimes, mistakes have to happen in order for you to learn or for information to actually sink in. By taking knowledge and information gathered as a result of missteps during treatment and recovery, you can feel empowered and enlightened moving forward.

Each day provides a new opportunity for growth, learning, and progress. Sometimes, you might just have an off day. This is completely normal. It is important to reassure yourself and find comfort in knowing that tomorrow is a brand new day full of opportunities to redeem yourself and go to bed even healthier, stronger, and better.

At Enlightened Solutions, we encourage you to focus heavily on the progress you make each day. Through each experience, we help you process and appreciate what each specific activity may help you gain or learn. This allows you to focus more on progress over perfection and encourages you to take treatment and recovery one step at a time. This is the perspective that will keep you motivated and encouraged to push forward.

Recovery is a process. There is no quick fix when it comes to healing and recovering from substance abuse. It is critical to take things one step at a time during treatment and throughout recovery. You will have good days and you will have bad days. Find encouragement from the good days and learn from the bad days. Recognize that each day brings promise and opportunity. At Enlightened Solutions, we encourage our clients to focus on progress over perfection. Perfection is not reality, but progress is something we strive for. We help clients recognize their progress and find hope and encouragement in what they do and learn each day. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help. To begin the journey to recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How Can I Have a Healthy Relationship With Food?

How Can I Have a Healthy Relationship With Food?

How do you view food? Are you someone who is constantly on the go and just grabs whatever is quick and convenient? Maybe you’re someone who carefully plans each and every meal and prepares ahead of time when possible. Or, maybe you are somebody who tries your best to eat a healthy and balanced diet but occasionally gives in to cravings for brownies or junk food from time to time.

Establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship with food is important to your health. Sure, treating yourself on occasion is absolutely alright. Sometimes, tough times or stress can distract us from prioritizing healthy eating. However, consuming a balanced and healthy diet is essential to good mental and physical health and can aid in addiction recovery.

Addiction and Appetite

Addiction can impact your appetite and the way you eat. Some people find themselves eating very little while they are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). Food becomes a lesser priority than drugs or alcohol and can often be pushed aside or forgotten. Others may find themselves consuming way too much food or all the wrong types of food during their addiction. Certain substances can encourage you to eat more while others can suppress your appetite leading you to eat less or not enough.

Whether your addiction is to benzos, heroin, or other substances, you are likely to possess some poor eating habits. This being the case, you may find yourself either gaining weight or losing weight during the treatment process. During treatment, your body has the opportunity to heal as it learns to function again without drugs or alcohol. By removing these toxins, your body can reset and begin to absorb the benefits of eating good, nutritious food again.

Food should serve as a source of energy, nutrition, and fuel for everyday functioning. You will see and feel your body change as you start to incorporate healthy foods in healthy amounts into your diet. You will sleep better, have better focus, and feel better overall.

Food and You

So, how do you establish a good relationship with food? This can certainly be easier said than done, especially after developing poor habits as a result of your addiction. It’s important to change your perspective on food. Whether you viewed food as an obligation to survive or eagerly awaited each meal, allowing food to serve as a motivator or comfort, it’s time to change how you view it.

As previously stated, food should serve as fuel for your body. In order to utilize food for its intended purpose, you must select the correct foods to ensure you are getting proper nutrition. When you adjust your perspective to consider food as something that should be working for you and not against you, you can begin to alter what you choose to put in your body and the portions you choose to consume.

It’s important to acknowledge when you’re full. It is equally important to acknowledge when you’re hungry. Learning to listen to your body and its cues can help in creating a healthy relationship with food. Our body has a way of communicating with us and letting us know what it needs. By cleansing your body of substances, you are better able to identify these cues, and your body can clearly communicate them.

Organic Eating

You have probably heard the hype about choosing organic foods. There’s hype around this topic for a good reason. Organic foods are free of pesticides and harmful chemicals that often exist in non-organic foods and are often more nutrient-dense and ethically grown.

Organic eating can be more simple than you might think. Growing your own organic produce and herbs could be a great way to ensure you always have a selection easily accessible and available to you. Here at Enlightened Solutions, we grow our own local produce at our farm to create a menu full of nutritious and healthy meals for our clients. We understand the value of eating well and want to share that with those in our care.

In what ways could you change your relationship with food during recovery? Here are a few key takeaways:

  • View food as fuel
  • Listen to your body
  • Choose organic

By keeping these tips in mind, you can successfully change your viewpoint and perspective on food and will be able to make better decisions when it comes to what you put into your body. Healthy eating is essential to your wellness and can support your efforts to maintain good health throughout treatment and addiction recovery.

Food should serve as fuel for your body, providing essential vitamins and nutrients for good health and optimal functioning. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can cause you to develop unhealthy eating habits. At Enlightened Solutions, we prioritize healthy and organic eating and incorporate this value into our treatment program. At our farm, we grow organic produce and herbs that you as a resident can take part in. You will learn about the growing process, participate in giving back to the community, and come to understand how good nutrition can support you in healing your body and mind after battling substance abuse. If you or someone you care about could benefit from our holistic approach to treatment, please reach out. We would love to help you heal mentally, physically, and spiritually and live the life you deserve free of drugs and alcohol. Call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

Understanding the Correlation Between Trauma and Addiction

Understanding the Correlation Between Trauma and Addiction

Trauma is an emotional response to an occurrence that had abundant negative impacts on someone’s life. Examples of trauma could include an accident, assault, natural disaster, and more. There are various types of trauma, and trauma may be perceived and experienced differently by different people.

Trauma is often something people would prefer not to talk about. In the past, it may have been a little stigmatized, implying that discussing your trauma was a sign of weakness. Today, society seems to be embracing the importance of acknowledging and processing trauma as it relates to healing and overall health.

Opening up about trauma can be very difficult. Usually, traumatic events are something people may prefer to avoid thinking or talking about as they can bring up terrible memories. However, trauma that is left unresolved or unprocessed can present issues in all areas of life. Just because you aren’t talking about it doesn’t mean you don’t still think about it, whether it is through conscious thoughts or not. Sometimes, trauma creeps up and affects areas of functioning without you even realizing it. Trauma can impact relationships, affect productivity, and lead to substance use.

Trauma and Addiction

It has been found that trauma and substance abuse can be closely related. For example, many who have experienced trauma in their life turn to using drugs or alcohol to cope with thoughts and feelings relating to their trauma. They may use it as an escape or distraction to avoid thinking about or focusing on unpleasant events of the past.

As mentioned by Lamya Khoury, Yilang L Tang, Bekh Bradley, Joe F Cubells, and Kerry J Ressler in their 2010 article that appears in the Depression and Anxiety journal, "Early traumatic experience may increase risk of substance use disorders (SUDs) because of attempts to self-medicate or to dampen mood symptoms associated with a dysregulated biological stress response.” This can often be what jump-starts addiction. When you realize that something helps take your mind off thoughts or feelings that can be really negative and consuming, you’re inclined to continue seeking that remedy.

On the other hand, those who use substances are more likely to be put in situations where they could experience trauma as a result of their lifestyle. Substance use increases the likelihood of victimization in many different ways. You are more likely to be present in unsafe environments, engage and interact with others who are engaging in unsafe behaviors, and you’re more likely to have your judgment skewed as your main focus is to seek and obtain your substance of choice.

Addressing Trauma During Treatment

A thorough assessment at intake can be critical to identifying any trauma that may be present and needs addressing. As someone goes through the treatment process, it’s important to address any underlying conditions that could be encouraging substance-using behaviors. Understanding what led to the substance abuse and what continues to drive it for each client is critical to their recovery.

Attempting to treat just someone’s addiction if they have experienced trauma in their life would be only a short-term fix at best. Following treatment, that individual would most likely still be impacted by the trauma that led them to use drugs or alcohol in the first place. Essentially, you would only be treating the surface-level issue. Digging deep and understanding what really led someone to make the decision to use substances they likely knew could be risky is important to their recovery success.

Some may not even be aware that their trauma could have led to their addiction. It can be common to suppress memories and negative thoughts and emotions so deeply that they may not even be acknowledged when discussing how addiction began. Therapists and intake specialists are trained to help you identify any trauma that may exist, no matter how historical or deeply suppressed it may be.

Choosing a Facility With a Trauma-Informed Approach

Choosing a treatment facility that prioritizes holistic healing can make all the difference. Staff is trained to address trauma first and help you work through any underlying issues that could serve as a barrier to your growth, success, and healing. They are aware of trauma symptoms and signs as they may present in those with SUD. It’s important to process your own feelings and emotions throughout treatment and understand how to cope with these to avoid relapse in the future. At Enlightened Solutions, we can help you do this.

Confronting trauma can be hard, particularly if it is not something that you have ever really sat with and thought about before. Discovering existing trauma and learning that this could have been the driving force behind your addiction can be incredibly enlightening. You will leave feeling empowered knowing that you are more aware of yourself and are now equipped with the tools to take back control of your life.

Trauma and addiction can be directly related. For many, one may be the cause of the other. Whether you began using drugs or drinking alcohol to cope with trauma or you experienced trauma as a result of substance abuse, there is usually a correlation. Addressing any trauma clients may have experienced as part of the treatment process is critical. This increases the likelihood of long-term success and reduces the risk of relapse. Enlightened Solutions conducts a thorough assessment to identify any trauma that may be contributing to your substance abuse at intake, and develops a plan catered to your specific needs. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and could benefit from our trauma-informed approach to treatment, don't hesitate to reach out. To begin your journey to recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.