How to Stick To Your Wellness Routine During the Holidays

How to Stick To Your Wellness Routine During the Holidays

It can be challenging to maintain a wellness routine during the holiday season. From hosting out-of-town visitors to parties and festivities to all the gooey, sugary, not-so-healthy treats, it’s easy to get off track. This doesn’t mean you can’t participate and still have fun; it just means requiring a little bit of vigilance and prioritizing. Maintaining a wellness routine is especially crucial for people recovering from substance abuse.

For many people in recovery, the invitation to a holiday party gives them pause, knowing full well there might be alcoholic drinks being served and people who don’t know they’re in recovery. That’s why we recommend a few suggestions of practices to end the year on a good note and start the next one on the right foot.

What Makes the Holiday Season More Difficult?

Many people in recovery struggle to stop themselves at one drink. For some, there is no such thing as “moderation” when the temptation is that severe. There’s no easy way to explain to out-of-town friends or relatives that you struggle with sobriety or that you haven’t been around much because you’ve been in treatment for the better part of the year. How much information you reveal is up to you, but it doesn’t make the situation any less uncomfortable. With luck, most people will be sympathetic and understanding rather than express judgment or condemnation.

Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

There’s no reason to hide in a hole for fear of relapse this season. You can participate in all the usual activities, just with a few safeguards in place. Consider the following suggestions.

Formulate and Maintain a Recovery Routine

The holidays have a way of throwing everyday routines into chaos. If you attend regular 12-Step meetings each week or meet regularly with a sponsor, keep doing that. Keep making time for regular exercise, continue making healthy meals, and go to bed at a reasonable hour. These are good life practices in general, but especially necessary for people trying to reset their minds and bodies in recovery. All of these practices help support sobriety and prevent relapse.

Say No to Triggering Events

You may be getting many invitations to parties at this time: friends’ parties, family gatherings, and office events. Depending on where these events take place and who will be there, we advise you to consider which invitations you accept. Will the event be held in a bar or a venue with an open bar? Will there be people there who might pressure you to “loosen up” and have a drink? These are essential factors to consider as you schedule out the last months of the year.

If you do have to say no, you can do so gracefully. You don’t owe anyone a specific reason for being unable to attend unless you’re comfortable giving it. Keep on making progress with your recovery, and you may be able to reevaluate invitations when next year comes around.

Have an Escape Plan

If you do decide to attend a party where alcohol will be served, prepare accordingly. Decide what you will say ahead of time if you’re offered a drink or how you’ll respond if someone asks why you’re not drinking this time. Plan when you will arrive and when you will leave. Ask the host ahead of time if there will be non-alcoholic options available, or bring one of your own (sparkling grape juice looks no different than champagne when poured into a fancy glass). Be sure to have a reliable form of transportation if you’re uncomfortable and need to leave early. You may want to schedule a call with your sponsor or attend a 12-Step meeting after for extra accountability.

Be Extra Helpful

One great way to reduce the temptation to drink can be to offer to help with hosting. When you’re busy carrying out trays and serving others’ plates, you’ll be able to take the focus off of yourself and any cravings. There is also increased motivation to stay sober when you know that people are counting on your help.

You may also want to consider filling your time with volunteering in your community. See if your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter can use an extra pair of hands this season. Doing good things for humanity is another excellent way to enable recovery – and feel good doing it.

Stay Sober and Well With Enlightened Solutions

Enlightened Solutions is a place to start rebuilding your life after struggling with addiction. We advocate for holistic ways of healing and living in order to be fully healthy. Some of the programs and practices we offer include:

  • Yoga: More than just a form of exercise or a way to improve flexibility, yoga is a practice in which participants get in touch with their bodies at a deep level. The poses are structured to allow the body to release tension and promote calmness and relaxation.
  • Meditation and mindfulness: By paying attention to the present and observing our thoughts without judgment or condemnation, we can learn how to redirect negative thought patterns.
  • Wellness and nutrition activities: Many people will be surprised at how much better they can feel, and what conditions may clear up naturally, simply by changing their diet. By learning to cook healthy meals with all-natural ingredients, you can start to feel better both physically and mentally.

The holiday season may be challenging and full of potential triggers, but you don't have to face it alone. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a variety of treatment and wellness programs to help you in your recovery journey from substance abuse. Learn how to replace unhealthy habits with life-giving ones, change negative thought patterns, and rebuild a supportive community. Through our holistic treatments and practices, we have had the privilege of helping many people achieve long-term sobriety and live healthier and happier lifestyles. We believe in a “whole-person” approach that focuses on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. If you're struggling with addiction and need help, contact us today at (833) 801-LIVE to learn more. 

Should I Create Wellness Goals in Recovery?

Should I Create Wellness Goals in Recovery?

As the year winds down, it is a time for reflection and resolutions. It can be a great time to create goals around health and wellness in recovery. Your goals will ideally address your specific needs to improve your overall well-being. Treatment offers the opportunity to learn holistic solutions like nutrition and wellness.

Creating wellness goals is a great way to achieve improved health. Goals surrounding wellness generally fall into two categories: behavioral or outcome-related. Behavioral goals are about a specific behavior, such as a goal of going on a 15-minute walk every day. An outcome-related goal is centered around achieving particular results, such as losing 10 pounds.

Regardless of the type, having a goal provides direction for change. It gives you a structure through which to work on changes you want to make in your life. Without goals, you can easily feel overwhelmed by the changes you want to make. Goals provide a specific item on which to work and give you an outcome or behavior to focus on. This can help to improve motivation and continue to make changes as you recover.

What Is Wellness?

Wellness is a state of being in good health in many dimensions of your life. According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), wellness includes the following eight dimensions:

  • Finances
  • Occupation
  • Social
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Intellectual
  • Physical
  • Environmental

All of these dimensions play a role in our overall well-being and are connected. This means that when you have an issue in one area, it will not only impact how you feel overall, but it will also impact the other aspects of your well-being. For example, financial concerns can create physical stress, or spiritual discourse can lead to emotional stress.

Finding Your Individual Path

The path to wellness will look different for each individual. It will address your specific needs to help you to improve your health and overall well-being. However, wellness goals commonly include some of the following:

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Stress management
  • Building community
  • Life skills such as finances or cooking
  • Work

Finding Balance

Creating balance in your life is an essential aspect of wellness. Each individual has different needs, aspirations, and preferences, and therefore balance will look different for each person. There will also be specific cultural differences that are important to consider. Remember, finding a balance between work, family, and other needs takes time. If finding such a balance is something you are struggling with, that's okay. Reaching out to your support network or mental health care professionals can help you identify how to move forward and achieve the balance you want.

Finding a balance helps you get through challenging times. When we are in more stressful periods, we rely on our habits. Having balanced wellness gives us support and options when we need them. This is because we can reach out to family, rely on our physical or mental health, or utilize spiritual support to get through challenges.

The Value of Wellness in Recovery

Mental and physical health are well known to be associated with improved outcomes in recovery. Making goals to improve your well-being can help you successfully maintain your sobriety. Research has found that depressive symptoms, anxiety, and stress can lead to relapse.

Recovery is a long-term path in which you learn to care for yourself and manage situations without drugs or alcohol. Wellness goals in recovery are a great way to grow habits that support your overall well-being. This helps to decrease the risk of relapse while allowing you to live a more satisfied and happy life in recovery.

How We Approach Health and Wellness at Enlightened Solutions

At Enlightened Solutions, we believe in a holistic approach to recovery. Our programs allow and encourage reflection, community building, and making a connection between your core beliefs and actions. We teach skills that can help you to improve your wellness in treatment and beyond.

We help our clients cultivate and practice the following skills to help them learn to care for their wellness:

  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Spiritual
  • Community
  • Energy levels
  • Mental health
  • Exercise
  • Stress relief

At Enlightened Solutions, these wellness aspects are incorporated into our treatment programs. This is because we strongly believe in supporting each client in every aspect of their healing. When our clients learn the skills needed to find a balance in their well-being, they can carry these skills into their lives after treatment and beyond.

Each client's support and needs look different. This includes the goals they create, how they make changes, and the type and amount of support needed. However, goals help clients to make changes on the path to recovery from substance abuse and addiction. In our experience, making attainable goals that address each individual's needs has successful and fruitful results.

Around the end of the year, people tend to consider some goals and resolutions for the year to come. As a whole, wellness is the combination of every aspect of our lives. These parts intersect and impact each other. Wellness is very important in recovery and plays a role in your ability to maintain sobriety. At Enlightened Solutions, we integrate wellness into every program we offer. We support clients in their needs in order to improve mental and physical health along with spirituality and community. If you are interested in learning more about our programs and how we can help you, call us today at (833) 801-LIVE to speak with a knowledgeable and caring staff member. 

How to Listen to Your Body To Promote Wellness

How to Listen to Your Body to Promote Wellness

What does it mean to listen to your body? When you do so, what are you actually listening for? Listening to your body refers to honoring the connection between your mental and physical self. This connection allows you to maintain awareness of how your body feels. Awareness enlightens you about what your body needs.

Why is this important? Listening to your body is one of the best methods to maintain overall wellness. Your body sends messages and provides little clues that can indicate what it needs. For instance, when you notice a rumble in your stomach, you can assume that you are probably hungry. While this is a simple, more obvious example, it is one most people can relate to.

Your body also indicates when it is tired, tense, thirsty, and anxious. To help maintain balance, it is up to you to understand your body's signals and act upon them. Below are a few examples of how your body communicates different needs.

Signs of Anxiety

Anxiety is something that many of us face. For some, it may be brief and circumstantial. It may linger for weeks, months, or even years for others. Anxiety affects people differently, and some are more impacted than others. It is important to note that anxiety can commonly co-occur with addiction. Sometimes it causes substance abuse, and other times it is a side effect of it.

While anxiety occurs in the mind, the body also displays some symptoms. One common indicator of anxiety is tight muscles in the neck and back. When you are anxious, you tend to hold tension in these areas. Increased heart rate can also accompany anxiety. This is a natural reaction to feeling nervous, worried, or unsettled.

Anxiety can also affect your breathing. Have you ever paid attention to your breathing? When you really make an effort to relax, you might notice that your breathing slows down and becomes very steady. The opposite is true when you are experiencing anxiety. You tend to breathe heavier and at a faster or more irregular pace.

Signs of Hunger

We have all felt that stomach rumble previously referenced. Aside from that, though, our bodies have other ways of letting us know that it isn't getting the nutrients it needs. If this is the case, you might experience a dull headache that seems to worsen with time. This could indicate your body needs nutrition.

Another way your body may communicate being undernourished is dizziness or feeling lightheaded. When your body lacks nutrients, your blood sugar levels can be affected. If your blood sugar drops too much, it can leave you feeling a bit faint.

Lastly, when your body needs nourishment, you will likely experience low energy levels. Have you heard the phrase "food is fuel"? It's true! Your body needs food in order to function. Without proper nutrition and water intake, your body cannot work as it should.

Signs of Exhaustion

Sleep deprivation is something we can all relate to. Regardless of the reason, you have likely been a little low on hours of sleep at one time or another. Sleep is essential for our bodies to function properly. It allows our bodies to heal, recharge, and store energy for the day ahead. Addiction can take a significant toll on sleep, making it very important for those in recovery to listen when the body needs rest.

Learn more about how substance use affects sleep here

When you are overtired, your muscles may feel weak. In extreme situations, they may even ache or feel sore. This is because sleep allows our muscles time to recover and heal. Without it, they have no opportunity to do so.

A lack of sleep can also lead to impaired decision-making as well as a lack of focus. Your brain, just like your muscles, relies on sleep to recharge and recover. You may find yourself struggling to think clearly or devote attention to a specific task if you haven't slept well.

Checking In With Yourself

In addiction recovery, your body has a lot of healing to do. Drugs and alcohol affect your body, mind, and spirit. As a result, each of these areas needs healing. To address the wellness of each of these areas, it is essential to establish a strong connection with them. This allows you to check in with yourself regularly and work to improve in any way necessary.

At Enlightened Solutions, many of our activities encourage the connection of the mind, body, and spirit. We understand the importance of this connection as it relates to healing. By learning to listen to your body through this connection, you can give your body what it needs to experience long-lasting recovery from addiction.

Having the ability to listen to your body is a skill. Like any other skill, you can practice tuning in and paying attention to what your body is telling you in order to get better at it. Through activities like meditation, you can improve your ability to connect the mind and body. It is important to take good care of your health as you recover from addiction. Listening to what your body needs to heal is key. At Enlightened Solutions, we help clients establish a strong connection within themselves through activities that encourage mindfulness. If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse, we would love to help. To get started, call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.

What Does Comprehensive Care Mean?

What Does Comprehensive Care Mean?

Receiving care for any health condition does not end with a single diagnosis. Instead, treating the whole person is necessary. Understanding a person’s nutrition, gut health, physical health, mental health, and spiritual health is critical to helping a person recover. Recovery requires comprehensive care in multiple facets of one’s wellness journey and treating as many of the person’s needs as possible.

There are multiple components of wellness, and balancing those components takes time and effort. Comprehensive care focuses on social, spiritual, physical (nutrition and movement), mental, and emotional well-being. Having balance is critical to your recovery as well. Once you have achieved balance in various areas of wellness, you can effectively achieve balance in other areas of wellness.

Comprehensive Care: Treating the Whole Person

According to Frank Lipman, MD, in his book, How to Be Well, comprehensive care treats an individual with a “unique constitution metabolically, psychologically, and emotionally.” He further explains how when one part of your wellness gets “off track,” your total wellness is compromised, reducing your resilience and ability to recover – both physically and emotionally.

You are an individual, not just a diagnosis. Finding your way to complete wellness is a journey best undertaken with comprehensive care in various aspects of wellness. Your physical health requires movement and a solid, healthy diet focused on organic sources of produce and reliable sources of protein. Your psychological health requires positive and reliable support, as well as a spiritual component. You cannot expect total recovery without a focus on the multiple facets of your psychological life.

Total Wellness Helps You Build a Healthier Life

According to SAMHSA, in their guide, “Creating a Healthier Life,” all aspects of wellness determine the quality of your life. SAMHSA further explains how everyone’s path to wellness differs, which is why comprehensive care and a focus on your individual needs are critical to achieving recovery and a fulfilling life.

Wellness Requires Balance

Balance appears differently for each person. While one person may engage with movement by running, others may engage with movement through yoga or gymnastics. Healthy eating may be a keto, paleo, or completely vegan diet. Your social wellness can mean work, play, community engagements, or even just quality time with family. No matter the perspective one has on balance, remembering the importance of balance in your recovery increases the possibility of living the life you want and deserve.

One key characteristic of a balanced life involves engagement. At Enlightened Solutions, we engage our clients with as many aspects of wellness as possible. We encourage physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual processes to achieve balance. We do not judge you on where you are in these areas but recognize every person has their own journey in developing total wellness.

Balance can never be achieved overnight. Having a solid sense of your needs and wants takes time and requires a comprehensive look at where you are in your life. You might be in the beginning stages of recovery and need to experience detoxification from alcohol or other substances or behaviors. Or you may be several months into recovery but need help in outlining your goals for recovery and the life you want. No matter where you are in recovery, comprehensive care will assist in achieving your life worth living.

Comprehensive Care Helps Build Good Habits

Developing healthy habits takes time, effort, and encouragement. In most support groups, having an accountability partner and/or sponsor helps you achieve wellness more quickly. Receiving support from others helps you gain the confidence you need to achieve whole health.

In a comprehensive care setting, you will receive support from health professionals and your peers. You will learn that you are not alone in your struggles with addiction. You will see the possibility to change and have the necessary encouragement and guidance to develop positive and healthy habits, which will enable you to live a more satisfying life.

Building habits means changing your mindset relative to old behaviors. Through comprehensive care, you discover how you can cope without old behaviors. Suddenly, you will recognize the strength you have within to cope with challenging circumstances without using alcohol or other substances.

Comprehensive Care Helps You Recognize Your Ability to Change

When you enter recovery, you may not see yourself as capable of living the life you want. Instead, you may belittle yourself for entering treatment. You may also have spent time in self-loathing for your history of behaviors and how those behaviors impacted your life and the lives of your loved ones. Entering treatment and receiving comprehensive care gives you the freedom to see yourself as a person again.

You are an individual with unique strengths and struggles. Your struggle does not define you. Comprehensive care will enable you to move forward and see yourself as a person with untapped potential. You can live the life you always wanted, and comprehensive care can help you achieve that life.

You deserve a chance to live your best life. Comprehensive care can help you achieve balance in all aspects of wellness. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer multi-faceted care to ensure complete health in each of our clients. We recognize our clients are individuals with unique needs, struggles, and strengths. We do not use a singular approach for any of our clients. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or other substances or behaviors, we can help. We provide inpatient, residential, outpatient, and sober living for a variety of addictions. We recognize the need for balance in life and want to help you achieve a life worth living. You need not struggle any longer. Reach out to us at Enlightened Solutions and call (833) 801-LIVE to learn how we can help. You can find recovery from addiction.

Getting the Most Out of Your Recovery With Yoga

Yoga is a practice that uses physical poses to connect the mind, body and breath. The benefits of yoga include stress relief, pain management, and a general improvement in overall well-being. It also helps you gain self-awareness and explore your spirituality. 

Yoga is a powerful tool for holistic healing and recovery from addiction. Substance abuse treatment programs use yoga to help prevent relapse, ease withdrawal symptoms, and provide a healthy way to cope with stress and other negative emotions. It can be an integral part of your daily routine at a treatment center and for the rest of your recovery journey.

How Can Yoga Help You Cope With Stress and Anxiety?

Almost half of the people with a substance use disorder also suffer from an underlying mental health condition. Feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression can cause people to turn to drug abuse - drugs and alcohol may produce temporary calming effects or provide an escape from reality.

Part of the addiction recovery process is learning to reduce anxiety and stress and deal with these feelings in healthier ways. Feelings of anxiety stem from the central nervous system - it is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Yoga can help regulate your nervous systems, making you feel calmer and more relaxed, which in turn reduces the urge to seek a substance.

Yoga can affect your nervous system by impacting GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels in the brain. GABA is a chemical that inhibits brain activity and calms your central nervous system. Research has found that yoga increases GABA levels, improving mood and reducing anxiety.

Yoga may also affect the ‘vagus nerve’, a powerful nerve that delivers messages from the brain to the digestive, respiratory, and nervous systems. The vagus nerve causes a calming response in your nervous system, reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. Yoga involves breathing exercises and other practices that can activate this nerve, helping you manage stress and experience feelings of oneness.

How Does Yoga Help to Manage Pain?

Many people start using prescription drugs like opioids to relieve chronic physical pain and later become addicted. People in recovery may search for another way to ease their pain and yoga can help. 

Lower back pain is one of the most common forms of chronic pain and affects millions of people in the United States. Research has shown Iyengar yoga can be used to decrease the intensity of lower back pain of participants and increase their health-related quality of life - that is, improve the aspects of their well-being that their health impacts. In addition, it can help prevent someone from returning to drugs to relieve pain and the feelings of depression that often accompany it.

How Can You Use Yoga Alongside the 12-Step Program?

The 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are a set of guiding principles for overcoming addiction and maintaining sobriety. They focus on self-acceptance, spiritual well-being, and the development of meaningful bonds between one another. Yoga can support addiction recovery and offer a holistic healing experience that is cognitive, spiritual, and somatic - so it works very well alongside the 12-step program.

Practicing yoga is a way to explore these principles from a body-mind approach. It is an opportunity for introspection where you can learn to accept yourself as a whole. Yoga and meditation also further the development of your spirituality. They can help fulfill the sense of longing for connection or deeper experience that many recovering addicts (people in recovery) recognize as an underlying cause of their addiction.

Enlightened Solutions is a licensed co-occurring treatment center that focuses on healing the whole person rather than merely treating the addiction. Our treatment program is rooted in the 12-step philosophy and offers each client an individualized recovery plan.

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a range of treatment modalities to provide a holistic healing experience. Our treatment plans include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, acupuncture and chiropractic work, and equine-assisted therapy. You will find us near the southern shore of New Jersey, where we provide optimal healing and relaxation.

If you seek relief from addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 to learn more about our treatment options.

How to Develop a Growth Mindset for Addiction Recovery

How to Develop a Growth Mindset for Addiction Recovery

When it comes to addiction recovery, your attitude can make a huge difference. Most people enter treatment at a low point in their lives. From there, it’s very hard to see how it’s possible to stay sober long term. It’s also normal to have fears about the process, especially fear of failure and fear of change in general. One way to overcome this resistance is to develop a growth mindset.

Research shows that people with a growth-oriented mindset enjoy many benefits, including greater tenacity, greater resilience, more engagement, and less fear of failure, all of which are excellent traits for addiction recovery. The following are some tips to help you become more growth-oriented.

Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets

First, it’s important to know the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. If you have a fixed mindset, then you believe, perhaps unconsciously, that your talents and abilities are pretty much fixed from birth. People with fixed mindsets believe that there are some things you are good at and some things you’re bad at. While there may be a bit of wiggle room here and there, whatever you are now is pretty much what you’re always going to be. The fixed mindset in this context is perhaps best exemplified by the expression “once an addict, always an addict.”

The growth mindset is the opposite of a fixed mindset. It is the belief that whatever our abilities are right this moment, with persistent effort, we can become capable or even excellent at pretty much anything. The truth is somewhere in the middle. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses and our own particular personality traits, but we also tend to vastly underestimate our own ability to grow and change. In other words, most of us could benefit from having a more growth-oriented mindset.

Remember Past Growth

Perhaps the most important aspect of adopting a growth mindset is knowing that growth is possible. This can feel like pulling yourself up by the bootstraps because if you believed that growth was possible, you would already have a growth mindset. However, if you are skeptical about your own ability to grow and change, try the following exercise: imagine yourself as a baby. You can’t walk, you can’t talk, you can’t read, you can’t ride a bike, you can’t even hold your head up or focus your eyes. At some point between then and now, you learned to do all of those things.

The problem is that you don’t remember most of it. You may vaguely remember learning to ride a bike or learning to read but chances are that you’ve forgotten at least 90 percent of the drudgery and failed attempts that went into learning those skills. Despite all of that, those skills eventually became so easy that you probably take them for granted now.

They didn’t come easy though; you had to practice some of them daily for months or years just to become competent. Imagine if you put the same level of effort into other important things in your life, especially addiction recovery. When you frame it that way, it might seem like more work, but it also makes success seem more possible.

Focus on Process and Improvement

When you work toward a goal with a fixed mindset, there’s always a sort of disconnect because you feel like you’re trying to turn lead into gold. You’re an “addict” now and you’re trying to turn yourself into a “sober person.” As a result, you’re always comparing yourself to the person you want to be, which is always discouraging.

Instead, focus on the process. Create a plan for meaningful change and stick to it, tweaking the plan as needed. Most of the time this will just feel like showing up and checking boxes: Did I go to a meeting today? Yes. Did I exercise today? Yes. Did I write in my journal? Yes. There will be days when this feels pointless and days when it feels like you’re going backward, but if you create a solid plan and follow it consistently, the long-term trend will be positive.

Watch Out for Fixed-Mindset Thinking

Our thoughts have a huge effect on how we see ourselves and our abilities. There are certain kinds of thoughts that signal and reinforce a fixed mindset. Thoughts like “I’m no good at this kind of thing,” or “I’ll never get better at this” demonstrate a fixed mindset. These kinds of thoughts are unhelpful and they’re objectively inaccurate. For example, say you’re trying to start exercising as part of your recovery plan.

If you exercise every day for two weeks and it just doesn’t seem to be going well, you may start thinking, “I’m just not an active person.” Examine this thought a little more closely. Sure, some people have a lot of athletic talent, but most of us aren’t trying to be famous athletes.

Do you think it’s possible to exercise regularly for a month, six months, or a year and see no improvement at all in terms of your mood, your fitness, your health, and so on? Of course not. We all have different capacities but putting in persistent efforts will result in positive changes.

Treat Mistakes as Information

One of the biggest handicaps of having a fixed mindset is that it makes you afraid to fail. You start to see every challenge as an assessment of your value as a person and you feel like if you don’t respond perfectly, then you have failed as a person. However, people with a growth mindset approach every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow stronger.

It’s not a big deal if they don’t perform perfectly the first time or even if they fail miserably, because they learn from the experience, knowing they can do better next time. The key is understanding that mistakes and failures are sources of information, not judgment. In fact, mistakes are the fastest way to learn. Even when things seem to go pretty well, it’s good to ask for feedback.

By asking for feedback, you’re affirming that you can improve your performance and do better next time. There are no shortcuts to developing a growth mindset. We often develop our mindsets at a young age, based on what we’re told by our parents, teachers, coaches, and other adults. Ironically, well-meaning adults can often sabotage kids by saying that they’re smart or talented.

The kids then develop a fixed idea about themselves and avoid challenges, lest they endanger their smart and talented designation. The key to developing a more growth-oriented mindset is reminding yourself that growth is possible and even inevitable. You can then focus on the process and see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.

At Enlightened Solutions, we know that the right attitude can make all the difference in recovery and in life. We see recovery from addiction as an opportunity to discover purpose, passion, and possibilities. In other words, treatment and recovery from addiction offer some of the best growth opportunities around. To learn more about our approach to treatment, call us today at (833) 801-5483.

6 Added Benefits of Giving up Alcohol

6 Added Benefits of Giving up Alcohol

When you decide to quit drinking, there might be one big reason: something important that made you decide something has to change. Maybe you lost your job because of drinking, maybe your spouse threatened to leave, or maybe you got arrested for drunk driving. It often takes a major shock to see how much of a problem alcohol has become.

On the other hand, you may fall into the category of just drinking a bit too much. It’s not a problem yet but it may become a problem. Whatever your situation, quitting drinking can significantly improve the quality of your life. The following are some of the bonuses you get when you quit drinking.

Weight Loss

People often don’t realize how much alcohol makes you gain weight. First, alcohol is loaded with calories. On average, one serving of vodka has about 65 calories, a glass of red wine has about 125 calories, and a can of beer has about 150 calories. That might not seem like much, but how often do you only have one serving? Even just two beers a day can add up to about 2,000 extra calories every week.

And it’s not just the calories. Alcohol impairs sleep, which has been linked to weight gain and it changes your hormonal balance, making it harder to lose fat. Obesity isn’t only about vanity either. Obesity increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, and other health problems.

People are often surprised by how easily they lose weight once they stop drinking. Often, people don’t even have to try. They just naturally consume fewer calories, they sleep better, they’re more active, and they have a healthier hormone balance. The only caveat is that some people replace alcohol with sweets, so you have to be careful about that.

Better Sleep

Although alcohol helps you fall asleep more quickly, it makes your sleep worse overall. You experience less restorative deep sleep—which, as noted above, can contribute to weight gain—and you spend more time in shallow REM sleep. Your sleep is also more often interrupted after the first few hours. As the alcohol is metabolized and leaves your system, your anxiety shoots up and you sleep fitfully for the rest of the night. This has many negative consequences, including increased alcohol use, next day tiredness, more frequent illnesses, poor concentration, and increased anxiety.

Clearer Thinking

One of the most noticeable effects of a chronic sleep deficit from drinking is muddled thinking. Studies show that sleep deprivation and sleep deficit have a number of cognitive effects, including poor concentration, poor working memory and long-term memory, diminished self-control and emotional regulation, and poor decision making. As a depressant, alcohol can worsen the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders, which can impair concentration, diminish motivation, and increase worry and rumination.

None of these things are compatible with clear thinking or good decisions. Depending on how heavily you drink, you should find your head clearing up pretty quickly after you quit. If you’re a heavy drinker, you might go through a rough patch of anxiety, insomnia, and irritability as you detox. Detoxing in a facility can help minimize these symptoms.

No Hangovers

People who have been drinking a lot for a long time often forget what it’s like to wake up without a hangover. For these people, the first time they wake up after a solid night’s sleep with no hangover feels like a revelation. Ethanol and dehydration are two major factors that contribute to hangover symptoms. Tannins also appear to play a role in hangovers as well as alcohol metabolism, which varies significantly among people.

Poor sleep and crashing blood sugar probably enter into it as well. Whatever the underlying causes and the specific misery of your own hangovers, it’s not something anyone misses. Waking up feeling refreshed changes your whole orientation to the day.

Looking Younger

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes you to dry out. This reduces the elasticity of your skin, making it look more wrinkled. However, at a certain point, after losing water, your body starts retaining water, so you become bloated. That means, after a night of heavy drinking, you can wake up looking both wrinkled and puffy. Poor sleep also contributes to your appearance. No one looks too good after a night of little sleep and that takes place every night that you drink.

In the long term, the effects are even worse. Lack of sleep impairs your ability to recover from injuries and leads to more frequent illnesses. Alcohol also impairs the absorption of nutrients in your digestive tract, meaning heavy drinkers are often malnourished, which also affects your appearance. When you quit drinking, you start looking better pretty quickly. You’re not sleep deprived or dehydrated. Your liver is able to function more effectively. As time goes on, you get healthier and look better.

Extra Money

As addictions go, alcohol is relatively cheap but an alcohol use disorder can be very expensive. If you drink a lot, the price of alcohol itself can add up, especially if you often drink at bars and clubs. However, the real costs come from the secondary effects: needing to catch a cab or Uber when you’re too drunk to drive home, losing your job, or failing to advance in your career because of your drinking. Other expenses such as legal fees for alcohol-related incidents can really drain your bank account.

Just as with weight loss, people are often surprised by how much extra money they seem to have once they quit drinking. That 20 dollar bill stays in their pocket a lot longer and they have the opportunity to make more money at work.

Nothing on the above list is likely to be your main reason for giving up alcohol. Addiction has deep and complex roots and the desire to lose a few pounds will never compete with the desire to feel loved or the desire to stop feeling tormented by traumatic memories. However, losing weight, sleeping better, thinking more clearly, not having hangovers, looking younger, and having extra money are nice bonuses that assure you that you made a good decision.

At Enlightened Solutions, we know that addiction is complex and we treat the whole person: mental, physical, and spiritual. We know that to overcome addiction, you have to treat the underlying causes and we also believe that treatment should be an experience that improves your quality of life overall. To learn more, call us today at (833) 801-5483.

Should We Be Told To Love Our Bodies?

Should We Be Told To Love Our Bodies?

We receive thousands of messages a day which instill ideologies about our body image. These messages tell us how we should feel about ourselves, which is usually some form of negative perspective. We could always be better. We can always do more. We should be better and we should be doing more in order to be better. Consequently, we never feel like we are enough because we don’t feel like we are doing enough to feel good enough about ourselves. The result has been generations riddled with eating disorders, poor self-esteem, body image issues, and complex mental health problems.

The body positive movement which has steadily been rising on social media platforms is a long awaited and necessary revolution in body image. Rather than promote negative messages, the body positive movement promotes positive messages of acceptance and self-love. However, the movement does make an assumption: that we should love our bodies and that loving our bodies is better. On the one hand, the assumption is logical. Positivity and self-love must be better than negativity and self-criticism. There is a place for both. Truly holistic living understands that there is a balance between both, embracing both the yin and the yang. Should we be told to love our bodies. Arguably, what we should be hearing is to meet ourselves exactly where we are without any kind of aversion. Perhaps we don’t have to be negative or be positive but recognize the fact that we are being- and that our being happens within our physical form.

Body neutrality is a budding buzz term for the body image movement. As cited by New Zealand’s Stuff, cllinical psychologist Bryan Karazsia explains that “Body neutrality goes a step further [than body acceptance] to as an important question: Why all the fuss about the body?” Instead of focus on being body positive as an antidote to body negativity, body neutrality means practicing equanimity. Equanimity is a largely Buddhist concept which broadly means creating a foundation from which you cannot be shaken by either good or bad. Being present in your body can mean mindfully acknowledging moments which feel either negative or positive, but do not let either define how you feel or see your body. It is easier said than done, however, it isn’t said enough by advocates for transformational body image.

The best move to make for recovery from drug abuse is the quickest move by calling and asking for help immediately. Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.

Clean Eating Is Healthy Unless It Becomes A Problem

Clean Eating Is Healthy Unless It Becomes A Problem

Clean eating is all the rage in the health and wellness world. Organic lovers and those lucky enough to be educated on the necessity of eating whole foods as opposed to genetically modified or processed foods, have been eating clean for decades. For millions of others, however, the boxes, bags, cans, and containers lining grocery store shelves have sufficed. Today, thanks to the internet and some successful documentaries like the groundbreak Food, Inc, there is a wealth of information available on how to eat clean. Clean eating means maintaining a diet that is as free as possible from allergens, harmful chemicals, genetically modified ingredients, preservatives, and other ‘junk’. Mostly focused on whole food ingredients, clean eating reduces sugar and additives by focusing on nutrients, vitamins, and minerals instead. Eating clean can be as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, clean eating can become incredibly complicated, full of rules and strict regimens. “Orthorexia” is a term which has been created to describe when someone becomes unhealthily obsessed with clean eating. Clean eating is healthy and better for you unless it becomes a problem and starts taking a toll on your health.

Addiction swapping is a risk for anyone who enters recovery for a drug and alcohol addiction. The brain deeply craves the pain and pleasure caused by addiction. Needing to fixate and obsess, almost anything can step in as a new addiction. Recovery comes with a focus on health and wellness, particularly in the areas of diet and nutrition. Learning how to nurture the body through food is both a life skill as well as a form of self care. However, the pleasure of eating clean, losing weight, getting into shape, and feeling good can trigger old obsessive patterns in the brain.

Signs to look out for

If you’re concerned you or a loved one might be getting carried away in the clean eating lifestyle, here are a few warning signs to look out for.

  • They verbally emphasize what food is “good” and what food is “bad”
  • They won’t admit to “restricting” their diet because they are “eliminating” or “staying away” from certain foods
  • They display peculiar behaviors toward food or food situations which they believe threatens how clean their body has become
  • They do not feel good about themselves unless they are adhering to their diet
  • They eliminate entire food groups from their diet
  • They use unsubstantiated arguments like allergies or intolerances to avoid certain foods
  • They experience anxiety or discomfort at the idea of dining out or eating in areas where they can’t be in control of their food

The best move to make for recovery from drug abuse is the quickest move by calling and asking for help immediately. Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.

How You Can Celebrate The Earth This Earth Day On April 22

Be Good to the Earth and the Earth will be Good to You

When the disease of addiction is active, it is likely nothing matters except the next drink or drug. While in treatment and getting on a path to recovery, holistic programs encourage a connection with a higher power. This connection lays the groundwork for a new outlook on life completely. Becoming honest and accepting defeat over addictive behavior is a humbling experience. Clients must now look at what drives these thoughts to escape life. While there are a lot of negative aspects about this world, there are also many positives. In other words, if there were no dark, we could not see the light. When people can manage to get out of the mind’s grasp, new beauties and senses arise.

It’s important to learn early in recovery about how to be one with the earth. The connection that is discovered between a human and the earth can have an impact on confidence. Learning about the importance of recycling, composting, and working in a community garden can give more meaning to taking care of the earth. For those who have felt like a burden in the past, recycling and composting is a wonderful way to help see how that couldn’t be further from the truth. Patients can take this experience and realize how they are essential to this earth too. There are billions of people on this planet, and it is vital that we take care of the earth for new generations to come.

Working in the garden is a form of becoming nurturing towards another living organism. The sense of becoming one with the earth is very therapeutic for those with depression and anxiety. Often times, it’s easy to feel a void in the soul and working to sustain the beauty of this earth warms the body to it’s core. Surrendering to the disease of addiction can be difficult and painful, but it can also be freeing. Those who begin to see this can see life in as a whole new beautiful meaning. Clients who find confidence and self-esteem in working to keep our planet green, have a chance at finding a deeper sense of what life is all about. This is all part of the transformation into the light, out of the dark world of addiction.


If you are struggling with addictive behavior and/or mental health, find acceptance and serenity at Enlightened Solutions. Our clinical, holistic and 12-step approach is designed to help you balance the body, mind, and soul Call for more information today: 833-801-5483.