Category: <span>Addiction Counseling</span>


Living in Recovery and Preventing Relapse during the Holidays

While the holidays are meant to be joyous, those in recovery often feel as if they are walking through a minefield. A combination of high expectations, commitment to too many activities, and exhaustion can lead to heightened emotions and mood swings. Unfortunately, busy schedules and extensive traveling only increase stress. Not only are you probably spending more time away from your support network and the comfort of routine, but you likely feel more isolated. These are the times holiday customs and events are more likely to cause alcohol and drugs to tug at you. Fortunately, you can prepare for the high-risk relapse season by taking proper precautions and putting safeguards in place. The following tips will help maintain your sobriety this holiday season.

Stay Positive

Keep in mind that the holidays are meant for celebration first and foremost. You have made the decision to create a positive change in your life, and you need to be committed to making it happen. Positive thoughts can keep you moving forward during even the toughest of times. Don’t allow negativity to bring down your recovery. Read our blog on How to Change a Negative Attitude here.

Spend Time with those Who Support Your Recovery

Holidays often revolve around social events, and enjoying the company of friends and family can make for a fantastic time. Just make sure to avoid those people who are not beneficial to your recovery journey. In putting yourself in a supportive environment, you strengthen existing bonds and take care of your own needs at the same time. This is why it is a great idea to have a sober buddy: somebody you can ask to be “on call” to check on you and provide support.

Rehearse Questions You’ll Be Asked

addiction-recovery-center-utahIf this is your first holiday gathering sober, you should probably expect some uncomfortable questions coming your way. Even the most innocent inquiries from people who love you can feel more like an inquisition. Ask a family member, friend, therapist, or religious leader to sit down and help you answer some of these questions.

If you don’t want to answer questions, you can always decline. Everybody will know that you are sober if you say something simple like, “I don’t drink anymore.” It’s effective and straight to the point.

In the event that you do not want to share your sobriety with those present, statements like these can be quite useful:

  • “I’m not drinking tonight.”
  • “I’m on medication and can’t drink alcohol.”
  • “I’m the designated driver tonight.”

Take Care of Yourself

These tips will help you practice self-care during the holidays, preventing relapse:

  • Know what triggers you. Understand how to manage or avoid these triggers that often lead to temptation.
  • Don’t binge on holiday treats, as tempting as it may be. Proper nutrition is important.
  • Feeling stressed? Hit the gym. Exercise relieves stress.
  • Maintain your spirituality. Attend services throughout the holidays if you feel the desire to do so.
  • Did you know that the risk of relapse is higher for those who don’t get enough sleep? Keep a consistent sleep schedule, taking naps if you need to. It’s not always about not getting enough sleep; it’s often about getting quality sleep. Avoid electronics and other lights right before bed to improve your sleep quality.

This is why you need to set up a sleep schedule, exercise in the morning, and avoid things that may bring down the quality of your sleep.

If You Do Fall Down . . .

. . . get up and start again! You are only human, and it’s only natural that we fail from time to time. It is the way you bounce back and begin again that really matters.

Learn about Relapse Prevention at Pathways Real Life Recovery in Tooele, Utah

Call Pathways Real Life Recovery at 801-895-3006 to receive a FREE Individual Therapy SessionThe mistaken belief that the holidays are an inappropriate time for treatment plagues many families. In reality, this is the best time to seek help. Your family members may ascribe to the belief that holidays are a time for everybody to spend time together; however, addiction can become more difficult to cope with instead.

The holidays are often emotionally stressful, making alcohol addiction and substance abuse much more prevalent. Additionally, it becomes more difficult for those coping with addiction to avoid use. Initiating treatment during the holidays could be the best way to avoid substances.

Welcome the upcoming holiday season with a solid plan to nurture your sobriety. Your recovery is a gift that will keep on giving, and it’s one that you deserve. Pathways Real Life Recovery can help you give yourself this important gift.

Happy (sober) Holidays!

5 Reasons To Be Thankful While In Recovery

The Importance of Gratitude in Recovery

If you are in recovery, negative thoughts may try to plague your life. These types of thoughts can make you feel as if your life isn’t going anywhere, and can ultimately hurt your recovery process. This is why being thankful is important. Being thankful is about focusing on the good things in your life; the things that make you happy and make your life feel full. A positive attitude has been shown to help those in recovery not only recover faster, but also reduce the chances of relapse. Why? Those who are thankful and positive often:

  • Have friends that pull equal weight in the relationship
  • Have better outlook on the future,
  • Tend to be in less interpersonal conflict
  • Have Less Stress
  • Are less self-absorbed

The problem may not be being thankful, but it might be finding out what to be thankful and grateful for. If you’re struggling to find something to be grateful for while in the process of recovery here are just a few things that you can find to be thankful for.

Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones

Your loved ones are some of the most important people in your life. They love you, they support you, and they want you to get through recovery and be successful.  If you are an addict, having family members with you on your journey can help give you solid ground to fall on, a glimmer of hope to hold on to, and the reminder to never give up and fall back. And, with family, even if you take a few steps backwards, they will always be there to help push you forward.

Ability to Work

Working and making money makes anyone feel like a superstar. Holding down a job makes you a productive and contributing member of society. By keeping your mind and your hands busy, not only do you take your thoughts away from substance use, but it also gives you a reason to get up in the morning and something to remind you why you are fighting to get clean. A job can represent life after recovery and to many addicts that can be the light at the end of the tunnel that helps keep them on the road to recovery.

Your Health and Well Being

Alcohol and illegal substances when abused can absolutely wreck your body and cause a multitude of health issues. Substance abuse can turn anyone into a shell of who they once were, not only showing physical signs but emotional and mental signs as well. By going into recovery, you are reclaiming your physical, mental, and emotional health and saying you want to be in control. Poor health equals poor life quality, and if you are thankful for the chance to regain all aspects of good health you are that much more likely to be successful in your recovery program.

Helping Others

When on substances of any kind it changes you as a person. You may can become impatient, mean, or even completely self-absorbed. This means that you will miss out on some of the simple things in life, such as helping prepare a family dinner, doing homework with your kids, or participating in volunteer activities. These activities can help fill up those empty spots in your life that would otherwise have been filled with getting high or drunk; instead you can relish in the fact that you are helping someone else complete a task they may not have been able to do without you. And, once you are completely recovered, reminding yourself about your ability to help and contribute to society can help keep you on the straight and narrow.

Having Fun

Addiction takes up all your free time, it sucks away at your life, and becomes an all-consuming activity. It turns star athletes into couch potatoes, fun loving young adults into zombies, and can take almost anyone away from the things they love. When you aren’t sober, you don’t have a chance to enjoy the activities in life that you once found fun. During recovery try and find time to do these things again. Pick up your favorite book, get back to scrapbooking, or take up a sport you haven’t played in a long time. These activities will help fill that void that substances took up for the longest time, it can get you out of your own head, and can help give you a more positive outlook. Be thankful for fun and the fact that in recovery you can enjoy things once again, instead of locking yourself away in the dark looking for your next high.

Attitude of Gratitude: The Pathways Difference

One of the most important things you can do during your time in recovery is to never give up and to continuously look on the bright side. By taking in all the wonderful things in your life you can reject the negative and put yourself on a bright, and beautiful path for the rest of your life.

At Pathways we know how hard it can be to be thankful for the things in your life, and to stay positive during the dark times that recovery may sometimes bring. This is why at Pathways we find a REAL solution to help you recover quickly and easily. We work with your family too! Recovery doesn’t just hurt you and your body, it can also be taxing for your immediate family, and we understand that. We work with the entire family unit to make it healthy and help it function properly again. We use techniques that will help you in the real world to not only overcome your addiction, but keep it from invading your life again.

Pathways knows that the road to recovery is seldom an easy one, but we also know that the benefits of getting clean and sober greatly outweigh staying dependent on substances. Getting clean can make you a better person with a great life. Recovery is waiting for you so never give up.


7 Ways to Change a Negative Attitude

Changing Negative Thinking

Simple acts of changing your attitude can dramatically change your life for the better. In fact, this has been considered to be the most powerful tool anyone can use.  Unfortunately, a lot of us have been conditioned to thinking that we’re controlled by emotions that it is sometimes difficult to discern how to make this change.

That’s why we have decided to write this article and help those who are thinking of changing their negative attitudes into positive ones. Read on to find out!

Read more


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Living in Recovery and Preventing Relapse during the Holidays

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