Respectfully Saying

Respectfully Saying "No": Setting Healthy Boundaries

Setting boundaries with others can be difficult; however, setting healthy boundaries can improve our overall wellness and mindset. Learning to respectfully say “no” to the requests or demands of others can help us build resolve and find focus in our own lives. We may have learned to say “yes” and put the needs of others ahead of our interests.

One important aspect of recovery is building the resiliency and the strength to view our own needs as being just as important as the needs of others. During recovery from addictive behaviors, we may need to limit our time with those who may trigger our behaviors or who bring out the worst in us.

We may also develop new goals and appear to change to those around us. Setting healthy boundaries will help us maintain our focus and remain on our path to recovery.

Saying “No” Feels Selfish: Putting Ourselves Ahead

We may struggle with setting boundaries. We may feel like saying “no” to the requests or demands of others is selfish. Many of us in recovery may not feel comfortable putting our needs ahead of others. We may not have the confidence to state what we want or we may have been told that we must care for others first. While we may feel conflicted about saying “no,” learning to set healthy boundaries is not selfish!

Failing to set healthy boundaries can lead to us committing to things we do not want to do. We may find ourselves lost in fulfilling the needs of others as if we are dragged along in life rather than seeking our interests. Learning to take care of ourselves is not selfish and saying “no” to things that go against our best interests is one of the healthiest things we can do for our mental wellness.

When we set healthy boundaries with others, we reinforce the idea that we also matter. Sometimes, we may be tempted by others to engage in behaviors we know may lead us astray in our recovery. Others may be asking us to go out for a few drinks, making us feel like we are being rude when we decline. When we start recovery and we begin to grow, the people in our lives may not be able to cope with our change.

They may not understand our change or they may say that we are a completely different person. Even when we change for the better, others may not understand. They may also feel like they have lost a friend or a drinking companion. However, if we do not learn to care for ourselves and advocate for our interests, we may be swayed from our growth and improvement. After all, if we do not stand up for ourselves, who will?

Standing up for Yourself: Boundaries and Self-Advocacy

Setting boundaries is one of the first steps toward self-advocacy. When we give in to the requests and the demands of others that go against our health and well-being, we are essentially saying to ourselves that we do not matter. We are relenting and telling ourselves that we are unimportant and that our goals are not as significant as the needs of others.

We need to learn to stand up for ourselves! We are important and our goals do matter! Beginning recovery from addictive behaviors is one of the first steps towards self-care. We seek out self-improvement and know that our lives are important. We start to establish healthy routines and set goals for ourselves. We start to lead our lives rather than going with the flow at the whim of the demands of others.

Recovery begins with recognizing that we need help and that we wanted something better. We are moving forward from old habits and taking charge of our lives. Saying “no” to others can be a critical step to moving forward. When we know what we want out of life, we will find saying “no” to others much easier. Once we establish some goals for ourselves, we will begin to recognize what goes against our self-interests.

Remember that caring for our own needs is not selfish! The best way to help others is by caring for ourselves first. Setting healthy boundaries can seem difficult at first. However, once we begin to see how much we can grow by recognizing that our needs also matter, we will begin to soar in recovery! We will be able to free up our time to focus on things that are important to us by respectfully saying no to every demand that goes against our growth and well-being.

What are your goals in recovery? What do you want to accomplish? What is important to you? These are questions that will help to guide you along your recovery journey. When you begin to grow and change, others around you may have a difficult time letting go. They may have preconceived notions of who you are and struggle with the new you. They may try to pressure you to engage in former addictive behaviors that led you toward your recovery journey. Learning to say “no” to others can help us establish healthy boundaries and can remind us that we matter! Your recovery goals are important and if you do not stand up for yourself, who will? You are not alone in your experiences and your recovery. Sometimes, we may need to seek others for guidance and positive feedback. Enlightened Solutions is here to help you with your recovery journey. Call us at (833) 801-5483 today!


Creating Goals: Managing Expectations for Successful Recovery

Creating Goals: Managing Expectations for Successful Recovery

When entering a recovery program, you may be asked, “What are your goals for recovery?” You may have some idea for recovery goals based on avoiding the pain that brought you into a care program or other form of treatment. You might be thinking about loved ones that your addictions have hurt or the pain you may have brought into your own life.

While you can benefit from thinking of the mistakes you would like to avoid repeating, recovery goals are things that you want to do to move toward. Goals are positive accomplishments that you would like to achieve or bring into your life. When you set about on your recovery journey, think about where you want to be. Use the negative experiences in your life to remind yourself of what you would like to avoid while looking ahead to what you want.

Goals Are the Road Map

Creating goals will help you move from where you are to where you would like to be. Otherwise, you may be feeling lost or confused while thinking that recovery is just about avoiding specific behaviors. Recovery is much more than learning how to manage and evade addictive behaviors.

Recovery is about building a fulfilling and rewarding life. Recovery is about building a new life for yourself and finding new destinations. In recovery, you may get stuck feeling like you know what you do not want more than you know what you do want.

You may feel that everything will work out as long as you avoid triggers and maintain sobriety. Life is about so much more! Finding a focus will help keep you from feeling trapped by substances or alcohol. Recovery is a journey, a means to a destination.

Where are you going in your recovery? Once you know where you are going, the journey becomes easier. Goals are the steps along the way toward your destination. They are the specific targets that you reach to move forward on your journey toward something greater.

Creating goals for recovery can be a fun process! You can use your imagination and create the person you want to become. You can begin by taking some time to think about what is important to you. What things get you out of your bed each morning? What are the fun things that you enjoy? What makes you feel fulfilled?

Challenging Negativity and Pushing Forward

If you have never created any goals or thought about this before, you may feel challenged thinking about these things. You may also be feeling down and experiencing negative emotions, like hopelessness and helplessness. When you feel down like this, the bright side is, you can only move upward.

If you cannot feel any worse, then the only option is to feel better! Any small step forward is a step toward success! Each positive step is a victory when you are in a down and out mental place! Build positive momentum and push forward by managing your expectations. When beginning the goal-making process, small steps forward will lead to big rewards along the journey!

Manage Your Expectations: Building Positivity

Bringing a positive mindset to recovery can help you along the entire journey. Start with small, everyday goals. While you may have a bigger accomplishment in mind, like, “I want to be a better parent” or “I want to get a Master’s degree,” keep these things in mind as you start small.

In the beginning stages of recovery, you may be neglecting some of your own self-care needs. You may be struggling with having a routine or finding any rewarding hobbies. You will be a better parent when you know how to care for yourself. You will be more successful in college if you can follow a routine.

Choose a goal like making your bed every morning or exercising for fifteen minutes per day. Be proud of yourself for the everyday victories and, as you remain consistent, you will build a positive mindset to move forward to tackling bigger challenges! Remember to think of the small things that you can do to start your recovery.

Be proud of yourself for any victory or achievement, even the daily accomplishments, like cooking dinner or taking a walk. When you are at rock bottom, the only place for you to go is up! Start small and think of where you want to go and less about what you want to avoid. Recovery is a journey that can be fun and rewarding! Set small goals to guide you along the way as you create the life that you want!

When you are at rock bottom, you may have a difficult time seeing the light. You may be struggling with negative emotions and feelings of hopelessness. You may even feel like you do not deserve to be happy if you have hurt others in the past due to your addictions. Holding onto the past can keep you glued in a state of “rock bottom.” You deserve to seek a fulfilling life beyond simply avoiding addictive behaviors. You deserve to be happy and to move forward. Building momentum takes some time; start with the small victories. Manage your expectations and have fun along the way! Enlightened Solutions offers our clients new ways of approaching recovery and emphasizes the importance of building a fulfilling life beyond our care program. Call us today at (833) 801-5483 to begin your recovery journey!


Boundaries in Recovery 101

Boundaries in Recovery 101

If you’re someone that’s in recovery, it’s necessary to set healthy boundaries for yourself and with those around you. You cannot properly learn to recover if you feel like you frequently let people walk all over you or you have a hard time saying no. Without boundaries; you aren’t showing up for yourself and being the best you that you can be. Drawing the line and sticking to it regarding what you think is acceptable is a necessary step to setting boundaries. Of course, these things are going to change from person to person, which is why you must be upfront with your loved ones about what you expect from them and what is and isn't okay. 

Be aware of your triggers

Something is a trigger if it brings up bad memories or makes you want to turn to the substance you know you shouldn’t be using during your recovery. To set boundaries so that you can avoid your triggers as much as possible, you must first figure out what usually triggers you. Of course, avoiding every trigger all of the time is virtually impossible. You can, however, set boundaries that tell yourself and others what is okay and what is not okay, and what you expect from yourself and others in certain situations. Knowing your triggers helps to draw the line when you’re setting boundaries.

Stand up for yourself

Standing up for yourself can be extremely difficult for some people. Many people in recovery often feel like they are a burden to others, and they shouldn’t bring up their boundaries because they will weigh down others or dampen the mood. You have to make sure that other people know what your boundaries are so that they can respect them. You also need to be able to set them down and respect them yourself. Other people won’t know how to act if you are not firm in your boundaries.

Allow yourself to say no

Another tricky thing for many people is learning to say no. Some people get afraid of hurting or offending others by saying no. Here’s the thing: if you aren’t able to stand up and firmly say no when someone has crossed the line, then your boundaries will soon be in shambles. You are allowed to say no. Learn to use the word no as a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain everything to everyone you meet. Be firm in your decision to say no. 

Remove the guilt

When you begin to say no, you might notice that there is some guilt attached to the word. That’s okay. However, the more times you can stand up for yourself and your boundaries, the easier it will get to set them the next time You’ll begin to be comfortable with your boundaries and your expectations. Over time, your guilt will start to fade away. 

Here is the time where we help give you guidelines so you can begin to set your boundaries. It can be challenging to set boundaries with the people you love; but, the people who love you will still love you after you’ve set boundaries with them. They will learn to respect them and respect you. Boundaries keep you safe, so don’t slack off on them when it’s someone you love! Your non-negotiable boundaries will come from the values that you hold close to our hearts. These are things that you are not willing to compromise. 

Figure out what you value

The first step to setting boundaries is to figure out what you value in your life. You must first decide what means the most to you. There are going to be some things that matter more than others, which helps you create your boundaries. If you value something so profoundly, you probably are going to want to set a non-negotiable boundary around that thing. Don’t compromise on something important to you. Remember: you can say no and not give an explanation!

Figure out what you need

The second step to setting boundaries is to figure out what you need based on what you value. Make what you value the center of your life. If you have figured out that you value creative time, you’re going to want to set aside time where you do not have any meetings or obligations. You’re going to use your spare time to be creative because that is what you value. 

Find a way to honor these things

The third step to setting boundaries is to find a way to honor the things you value and need. Once you realize that you value your creativity and need more time to be creative, you can honor the promise to yourself by rearranging your schedule to find more time for creativity and less time for non-essential things. Honoring your values and your voice is essential for setting healthy boundaries. 

If you or a loved one want to learn to set and communicate boundaries, call us today at 833-801-LIVE.


How to Be Sober at a Wedding

How to Be Sober at a Wedding

Weddings can be intimidating if you are in recovery. This can be especially true if this wedding has an open bar or even champagne for toasts. It is important to prepare yourself for your upcoming wedding if there will be any alcoholic beverages and what to do if there is.

Remain Calm

It is possible that the wedding reception has an open bar and you are seeing so many wedding guests drinking. When you see the smiles on everyone’s faces as they drink, you cannot help but start to miss alcohol. You need to tell yourself that all of these feelings are normal. You may be struggling or find it difficult to have fun when this is your first wedding sober. Remind yourself that your sole purpose at this wedding is to honor the bride and groom and not to do anything that could ruin their big day.

Bring Reminders

When you see everyone have a good time while they are drinking, you may be wondering why you chose sobriety. Before the wedding, make sure you have with you a list of reasons why you chose to be sober. Carry them in your pocket or purse and take that list out when you feel a craving. You can also use the Notes app on your phone so that you always have that list with you and do not have to worry about losing it. You can also remind yourself why sobriety will be good for you. See this wedding as an opportunity to introduce everyone to a brand new person. A person who does not get drunk or is expected to have a hangover the next morning.

What to Tell People Who Ask

If people are used to seeing you drink and you no longer are, you will most likely get a lot of questions. Make a script in advance just in case someone comes across you asking why you are not drinking. You can either use a white lie like you cannot drink for medical reasons or tell the truth. You can also be humorous about it to avoid any tension. Rehearsing this beforehand can make it sound natural once the wedding hits. Maybe you can share something on your list like telling someone you know you will not be in control after that first sip. The person you could be sharing with may have a story to tell as well.

Avoid Heavy Drinkers

You can make it easier on yourself at this wedding instead of forcing yourself to be around others who will do heavy drinking. Do not stand near the bar for a long time or speak too long to heavy drinkers. Speak to those people for no more than 15 minutes so that you are not being rude by ignoring them. Then, catch up to guests who are not drinking and spend more time with them. This will reduce your drinking triggers and help you focus on your own behavior. 

Find Things To Do

A wedding can feel long and exhausting if you are not doing anything. This will just make you want to focus on the thoughts that tell you to drink. You can fight this feeling by finding things to do. You can ask the bride or the groom if you can be a host or hostess to make sure each person can find their seat at the table or at the ceremony. You can also check in on other people to see how they are doing or fix any problems that you see. If there is anyone who is not getting any attention, feel free to speak to them. 

Let Yourself Have Fun

Having fun does not need to mean that you drink to feel good. You can still have fun by having funny conversations with others, dancing, and taking part in any games or activities. This can be a good learning experience to show you how you can have fun without a drink in your hand. You do not need a liquid to encourage you, but just listen to the music and join in.

Plan Ahead

You know when a wedding is coming up as weddings take months or even years to plan. When you know that the wedding is approaching, think of a plan before the big day comes. This can mean calling your sponsor, therapist, or anyone else supporting your sobriety. You can also make sure to write in your journal leading up to the event, do yoga, or any other form of meditation. Try to visualize the night like what you will wear, what non-alcoholic beverage you want to drink, declining alcohol, and going home at a reasonable hour. Make a firm decision to stick to this plan on the big day.

Leave Early If You Need To

If you find that sobriety is too hard for you, it is important for you to leave early if you need to. You might feel like you are selfish to leave your loved one’s big day, but thinking about your own health is important and should be prioritized. Your true friends will want you to feel comfortable whether they know what you are going through or not. Maybe you can attend the ceremony but leave the reception early if there are too many triggers. Creating a plan to handle your triggers will allow you to enjoy your loved one’s wedding sober.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Home Items That Trigger Anxiety

Home Items That Trigger Anxiety

Having anxiety means there will be triggers around you that cause you to feel intense worry that interferes with daily activities. These triggers may exist in your own home. By recognizing the triggers that are in your home, you will know if there is anything that you need to work on to improve your anxiety and be able to live in your house in peace.

Clocks

Clocks in your house can be an anxiety trigger since we are used to looking at clocks to remind us when something we planned is coming up or if we are running late. When someone with anxiety runs late, they do not see it as a simple accident but as a shameful act that they cannot forgive themselves for. Instead of having to stare at the clock until it is time for your appointments or engagements, you can put an alarm on your phone to remind you when to get ready to leave. Instead of putting on a blaring alarm sound that will do nothing but make your anxiety worse, make the alarm silent but put your phone on vibrate. You will not need to keep staring at the clocks in your house to remind you when it is time to leave the house. Just look at those clocks casually if you are wondering about the time.

Shower

Showering is supposed to feel relaxing and soothing. For someone with anxiety, however, it can be stressful as taking a shower leads to getting ready for something important whether it is getting clean for work, an interview, or meeting a group of people. They may be rushing their shower in fear that taking too long will keep them late, making them not be able to enjoy it. It is important to look forward to taking a shower. Not only are you cleansing yourself, but you are being showered with a stream of hot water flowing down your body. When your shower is over, you will be relieved of the stress and feel good about yourself. Wash your body and your hair with your favorite scent to feel good about yourself or try out a new scent.

Bills and Forms

You may have a whole table filled with forms and bills that need to be paid. It can make you feel financially overwhelming by all of the bills that are due. Instead of letting this pile get bigger and bigger, organize them. Prioritize these forms by what needs to be due by the end of the week and another pile that can wait until next week. This will help you feel less overwhelming and a better chance that the pile will get smaller in a short amount of time. By letting the bills pile up, you are only letting your anxiety get worse.

Doorbell

While doorbells are not built into your house to cause panic in you, people with anxiety will experience it anyway. You may be scared when you hear the doorbell because you were not expecting visitors to come today and you do not know what to expect. You already assume that it can mean you are in trouble or someone bad is on the other side of the door instead of thinking it could be a friend or a relative popping by for a friendly visit. The panic can also be increased if you have a dog as dogs will automatically bark at the door as soon as the hear the doorbell. Ask yourself if the doorbell you have is too loud or you do not like the sound of the chime. Use the app Ring Doorbell which will give you an alert through your phone when someone is at the door compared to hearing a door chime.

Messy Room

Whenever someone with anxiety has a messy room, it can make you feel like your mind has become disorganized if you can no longer find where anything is. It can make you feel uneasy and even more so if you let the mess get bigger. In order to feel more calm and not lost in your own room, clean a little bit at a time such as a shelf, a drawer, the closet, under the bed, etc. Do not feel like you need to do too much at once. You can even ask a friend to help you go through your stuff to help you decide what holds enough sentimental value to keep. You will feel much lighter and more relaxed the more stuff you are able to throw away and organize.

Phone Notifications

Notifications, especially frequent, have a tendency to bring you panic. You could think that there is something important that you need to do urgently when it could be a notification about a junk mail message or an update on an app. If you feel like you are on edge whenever you hear a notification, you can try to change its sound so that it is more pleasant and optimistic. You can also organize on your phone’s settings what apps are important enough to have notifications for. For example, emails are important to have notifications for in case work is trying to contact you. You do not need to have notifications, however, if a game app keeps notifying you of sales for new upgrades. By recognizing your household triggers, you will know what improvements to make to better treat your anxiety.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Investigating our Triggers

Investigating our Triggers

For those of us living with addiction, something we often have in common is that we are easily triggered by certain things. Our triggers are the things, events or people that cause us anxiety and distress. We normally feel inclined to want to avoid our triggers at all costs. Our instinct is to not want to have to feel the weight of the bothersome trigger. We try to escape the sadness and fear that accompany them. Part of our recovery is learning how to manage the things that bother us so that we can be at peace no matter what comes our way. Our avoidance has a way of making issues grow stronger until they are totally overpowering us. To work through our triggers, it’s so important that we take the time to investigate them so that we can move through them instead of avoiding them, so that we can reclaim our power and maintain our inner peace.

To investigate our triggers, let’s take a closer look at them. What is it exactly that caused the spike in anxiety and sadness for you? Was it something someone said or did? Are you triggered by specific people, events or statements? Rather than running from your trigger, turn towards it. Face it, and lean into it. As you expose yourself to your trigger, you become more desensitized to it. The more you face your triggering issue head on, the less power it threatens to wield over you.

Let’s start to examine what our triggers represent. We might not be consciously aware of the reasons we’re so triggered, and the more we avoid our issue in question, the less awareness we’re able to develop around it. Let’s dig deep and look at what underlying issues are triggering us and causing us to feel so distressed. For example, someone mentioning death might be particularly triggering for you if you’ve experienced a tragic loss.

Once we know what is fueling our triggers, we can take the necessary steps to do the important healing work we need to do. We can start therapy, attend support group meetings and work with a sponsor. The first step is mustering the courage to face our triggers head on and reminding ourselves that even though they hurt, they don’t have to overpower us if we don’t allow them to.

Addiction has layers of complexities that we aren’t always familiar with. At Enlightened Solutions, we have years of experience helping people heal in profound, life-changing ways. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.