Tag Archives: cope

3 Stress Relievers for Parents in Addiction Recovery

Being a parent is far from easy, especially if you are a single parent who also is in addiction recovery. From balancing meetings and therapy sessions with kids’ schedules and routines to making all the decisions and being the breadwinner, you face loads of stress each and every day. Stress takes its toll on parents in addiction recovery, and you need to find ways to relieve your stress in healthy ways to avoid a relapse. Our X stress relievers will help.

  1. Stick to a Daily Routine

While it may sound impossible to establish and stick to a daily routine, you need to make every effort to do so. A routine will help you keep track of where you need to be and when, and it will set a structured schedule for your children. Schedules and routines make children feel safe and secure, and they help you relieve stress by knowing your responsibilities ahead of time. Daily routines also signify to your kids know that you are reliable and accountable, which helps repair relationships with older children who may have been hurt emotionally by your addiction.

That’s not to say that your daily routine has to be rigid. You must allow for some flexibility because rigid schedules can be too demanding and often cause more stress. Kids also enjoy surprises every once in awhile, so allow for special events on the weekend or a special treat after dinner to reward academic or behavior improvements. You also may need to change your daily routine at certain times throughout the year, such as when school begins or ends, when kids start athletic or music lessons or programs, or when you join a support group.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Parents in addiction recovery often don’t prioritize their own health and well-being because they feel guilty for being an addict and impacting their children with their previous self-destructive decisions and actions. However, stress takes a tremendous toll, especially on single parents’ health and must be managed if parents will be able to take care of their children properly.

Taking care of yourself should include eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising regularly. You can include your children in healthy eating by looking for and experimenting with recipes you find online. Cooking together teaches your children a new skill and provides you with quality time that will reduce your stress level. You also can exercise with your children by playing football or baseball or basketball, going for a family walk or bike ride, taking a hike, or kayaking and fishing.

  1. Enjoy Yourself Safely

Being a parent in addiction recovery does not mean that you cannot enjoy a night with friends or a social gathering to relieve some stress and have some fun. It does, however, mean that you need to be smart about your choices and have a plan in place for maintaining your sobriety in tempting situations. If you are invited to a party that will put your sobriety at risk, take your own water or sparkling cider with you. Invite a friend who will keep you in check and who will not mind staying sober for the night with you. If you are concerned about being pressured to drink, tell people that you are a designated driver or that you don’t drink because you need to be available for your children.

It’s also a good idea to plan for a party or other tempting social situation by getting support ahead of time. If you are comfortable enough to do so, tell the party host that you are in recovery and ask whether nonalcoholic beverages will be served. You also can attend an extra meeting prior to the event or alert your sponsor to the event and make sure she will be available if you need her at the spur of the moment.

Parents in addiction recovery must manage their stress levels in healthy ways to maintain sobriety. Sticking to a daily routine, prioritizing self-care, and enjoying yourself safely are three great ways to relieve stress without putting your sobriety in jeopardy.

Blog  by guest contributor, Jackie Cortez of ThePreventionCoalition.org posted for Healthvista  8-5-17

Anxiety: The Other Stage of Grief

Sadness and anxiety often happen togetherIt’s common to feel anxiety after the death of a loved one, but not much attention is given to this side of grief. When you’ve experienced a major loss, it’s easy to feel like you’ve lost control and like the world is no longer the safe and normal place you once knew. When you pair these strong emotions of grief with feelings of helplessness, it’s easy for anxiety to grow.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety starts as extra worrying that interferes with your everyday life. You may feel a sense of dread or distress for no apparent reason, struggle with concentration, be irritable and on edge, and have trouble eating and sleeping. When anxiety is related to grief, it’s especially common to find yourself having obsessive thoughts about bad things happening to you or your loved ones. You may even face panic attacks where you have feelings of extreme fear paired with an increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, and dizziness.

Why Does Grief Cause Anxiety?

When you lose someone close to you, especially if that loss is unexpected, your sense of safety in the world can be shaken to its core. Suddenly you feel powerless and aware of how fragile life is in a way you’ve never thought of before. You may develop an intense fear of your own death, or begin to worry about how you will manage without your loved one. These feelings can be incredibly stressful, especially when paired with the usual symptoms of grief. You may even have anxiety triggered by a fear of your own grief emotions or a feeling that you’re not able to cope with your grief.

How to Cope?

Dealing with anxiety isn’t easy. Anxiety often comes on unexpectedly and it can be hard to figure out the cause, making it difficult to prepare for or avoid. However, there are some things you can do to cope with anxiety when it hits.

When you feel anxiety coming on, try practicing deep belly breathing. Breathe in slowly, letting your chest and stomach rise as your lungs fill with air, and then breathe out slowly. Breathing deeply and focusing on your breath can help tone down your body’s stress response, heading off an anxiety attack before it starts.

If you find yourself unable to sleep because you can’t turn off your racing thoughts, try playing guided imagery recordings at night. By guiding your thoughts toward positive imagery and away from unwanted thoughts, guided imagery can help you relax and clear your mind.

Try creating an anchor thought. An anchor thought can help you manage your anxiety when it creeps in. It’s called an “anchor thought” because it helps anchor you to reality and keeps your mind from spiraling into anxious thinking. An anchor thought might involve recalling a happy memory and the positive feelings associated with it, or it might be a breathing exercise or mantra you repeat until you’re feeling better.

If your anxiety doesn’t get better as your grief fades, or if it’s interfering with your everyday life, it’s important to seek treatment from a mental health professional. You may choose to talk to a grief counselor, join a support group, seek medication from a psychiatrist, or all three. No matter what you choose, getting help for your anxiety is an important step you can take toward managing your grief.

Anxiety is a normal part of grief. Grief pushes you into a world of intense emotions where nothing feels certain except, perhaps, uncertainty itself. While grieving a loved one can be an incredibly isolating experience, it’s important to remember that intense reactions like anxiety and even depression are normal, and there are experienced professionals who know how to help.

Image via Pixabay by Unsplash

Blog by Jennifer Scott, guest contributor to Health Vista posted  3-13-17

Videos to Help Teens Cope

shoe garden clip

Sometimes what you need is to do something that distracts you from what is bothering you, especially if the activity has a positive message.  Some of the following YouTube.com videos can help you cope with stress, help you to relax or be mindful. Try to watch them all and see which of them helps you feel better.

Succeed with a Positive Attitude                       1:00 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvtUByxnrGU

The Pandas: Belly of the Whale                          5:11 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWTFKihlhLQ

20 Words to Change Your Life                           4.29 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLZxJZ70MQ4

K’NAAN Wavin’ Flag Celebration Mix               3:75 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTJSt4wP2ME

The Interlude Dance (Original)                           3:52 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cuS_31zJ6U

The Gratitude Dance (Original)                          3:25 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9z2ELaBVJY

What is Mindfulness?                                           1:59 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCnB5i0ToUc

Stress – Let Go & Be in Flow of Life                   3:08 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMGOuHwfnFQ

Forgiveness & Freedom of Letting Go              4:02 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D4VMZb8wLY

I Am Grateful                                                           4:11 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtoGY6zMXGM

Inspirational Video: Don’t Quit Poem              2:02 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkCFeNeqyHk

Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir –Lux Arumque     6:20 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs

Relax – Zen Garden Kokin Gumi                                    7:09 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR3dM-GlZK8

Yiruma – River Flows in You                                          3:08      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsTjI75uEUQ

Enjoy the videos!

 

Blog #3  10-28-15 by Mary Knutson RN, MSN of Health Vista, Inc.

 

Videos to Help You Cope

cat windowsill clip

Sometimes a little distraction can help you cope. Especially if the activity has a positive message. The following YouTube.com videos can help you cope with stress. Some can help you relax, and some can build you up or help you be more mindful. Try to watch them all and see which of them helps you feel better.

Ten Tips for Stress Management                       2:14 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOpZU320v5E

Succeed with a Positive Attitude                       1:00 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvtUByxnrGU

42 Ways to Celebrate and Enjoy Life                5:10 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBqsWDaUdHM

Believe in Yourself                                                  3:42 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdpHaKkbmGk

K’NAAN Wavin’ Flag Celebration Mix               3:75 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTJSt4wP2ME

There is Hope (Meditation)                                 3:31 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7EuSeRBMnk

What is Mindfulness?                                           1:59 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCnB5i0ToUc

Stress – Let Go & Be in Flow of Life                   3:08 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMGOuHwfnFQ

Forgiveness & Freedom of Letting Go              4:02 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D4VMZb8wLY

I Am Grateful                                                           4:11 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtoGY6zMXGM

Inspirational Video: Don’t Quit Poem              2:02 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkCFeNeqyHk

Relax – Zen Garden Kokin Gumi                                    7:09 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR3dM-GlZK8

Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir – Lux Arumque     6:20 min       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs

Yiruma – River Flows in You                                  3:08     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsTjI75uEUQ

Enjoy these videos!

 

Blog #2 10-28-15 by Mary Knutson RN, MSN  of Health Vista, Inc.

(Next  – Blog #3 will be inspirational videos for teens)