Category: Recovery

valentines-date-ideas

Romantic Date Ideas for A Sober Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Date Ideas

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and it’s the perfect time for some quiet reflection and connection with people you care about.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give the best you have to give on Valentine’s Day, or any holiday.  Yes, it can be difficult to maintain solid relationships when facing drug or alcohol addiction; it is something you must live with day by day.  But you can express love for the ones who always have your back — free and easily — as you plan some special memories for both of you. In the cool of a Utah evening, you can make a fun, romantic date for your valentine … it all starts with a smile!

Let the Games Begin!

Jenga Love Game BlocksPlan a game night! Whether you prefer word challenges or something a bit more physical, engage your valentine in the game of love.  Try:

  • Jenga:    The Jenga Love Game from Dating Divas requires a little advanced planning.  Print off a set of labels that can be attached to the blocks.  Labels such as “Foot Massage” and “Love Notes” are attached to the blocks; remove the blocks and win the prize.  Get creative and sexy with those romantic notes!
  • Twister:  Tangle up with your loved one on those brightly-colored spots.  The laughter is endless!
  • Scrabble:  New Rules: all words must be of a romantic nature.
  • Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Taboo, Balderdash or a host of other board and card games — choose a favorite!  No matter what games you play, the fun of interacting with each other will light a sweet, romantic fire.

Cook S’mores Over a Fire

What a wonderful thing to do on a cold Utah night!  If you have a fireplace, some tasty s’mores will be just the thing for a romantic interlude with your valentine.  Start the evening with a home-cooked meal (complete with candlelight) and enjoy soft music and some hot chocolate in front of the fireplace.  Just talk and enjoy each other’s company!  If you don’t have a fireplace inside, perhaps you can build a fire pit blaze in the backyard. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

Perform Random Acts of Kindness

Valentine dates don’t have to be about food, flowers, candy or expensive gifts.  Just being together is enough and what better way to share quality time with your loved one than to accomplish a common goal? Volunteering time (together) at your local animal shelter, with an elderly neighbor, and community organizations allows you to reconnect with each other while helping other people in need.  In Utah, check out the Humane Society and take some shelter dogs for a walk, or visit Kitty City and pet some kittens. You can learn more about volunteering your time at the Non-Profit Association of Utah.

Take a Class Together

Taking a class together will help you and your significant other learn something new to do, so jump right in!  Check out classes on dancing, cooking, pottery, painting or acting. No matter what your interest, the idea is to find something NEW!  Activities can allow the creative juices to flow; give way to the “old and boring” to something “new and exciting.” How about rock climbing?  In Utah, there is a new rock climbing gym called The Front in Salt Lake City, where you can take 4 climbing lessons for only $30.  Or you can go bowling, play miniature golf, art gallery hopping, mall-walking or hit the game room.  Getting active on Valentine’s Day — and every other day — helps us keep fit and upbeat.

Enjoy the Greatest Snow on Earth

Take your valentine and enjoy the beauty of Utah’s natural commodity; snow. Enjoy skiing or snowboarding at our world-class resorts, go sledding at Soldier Hollow where you won’t have to walk up the hill, or visit the famous Ice Castles in Midway.

Struggling on Valentine’s Day?  Pathways Real Life Recovery is On Your Side

Valentine’s Day is about showing love but it can be very stressful if you feel you cannot meet someone else’s “expectations.”  Love is the key, here, not how much money you have or don’t have, or whether you can come up with some creative gimmick.  Don’t let yourself be pulled in by the hype of the commercial storm — what matters most is the thought behind the action.  If your valentine is more impressed by how much you spend, instead of what you do, then you’ve chosen the wrong person with whom to share your love.  Stay within your budget and create something special … he or she will love whatever you do, especially when it comes from the heart.

Valentine’s Day — any kind of day — can be hard on all of us and sometimes, it’s a funk we cannot pull ourselves out of.  When these days happen, Pathways Real Life Recovery in Tooele, Utah is on your side.  We privately and discreetly provide couples counseling to help you get your life back on track.  On Valentine’s Day, and any day, if you’re struggling with addiction, please call us!  We are ready, 24/7 and have advisors here to help you through the rough seas of life.

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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.

valentines-date-ideas

Romantic Date Ideas for A Sober Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Date Ideas Valentine’s Day is upon us, and it’s the perfect time for some quiet reflection and connection …

preventing-holiday-relapse-addiction-recovery

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 …

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 …