The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you… If you don’t, life controls you.  – Anthony Robbins

How to Make it Through the First Year of Sobriety (Special Article)

Help for Those Re-Covering from Addiction

Below is an article that’s being shared with Self Help Daily’s readers who, quite possibly, find themselves fighting for a better life.  Sometimes you need a little help when fighting worthy opponents – fortunately, help isn’t just out there, it’s readily available!

How to Make it Through Sobriety      Sobriety Help
The risk of addiction relapse is highest during the first year of a recovering addict’s sobriety. Acute withdrawal from alcohol or drugs may last only about a week to 10 days, but even after acute withdrawal ends, a recovering addict may continue to struggle with feelings of depression, mental fogginess, memory problems and other symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS. These symptoms may last throughout the first year of sobriety.

Recovering addicts may also struggle in their first year of sobriety because they lack the coping skills they need to deal with normal life challenges and stress — and the first year of recovery is a time of high stress. Most newly sober addicts are still reeling from the loss of what had become their only source of pleasure and comfort — substances. In addition, they’re also dealing with the emotional fallout of their addiction and may be facing, for the first time, the emotional pain that first led them to abuse drugs and alcohol.

In order to make it through the difficult and emotionally fraught first year of recovery, addicts need to attend an inpatient rehab program. However, the work doesn’t end when rehab does — in many ways, it’s just beginning. Addicts leaving rehab need to have a continuing care plan in place that includes the 12-Step program, outpatient counseling and a basic understanding of self-care.

Inpatient Treatment Can Make or Break Your Recovery

For the addict who truly wants to get and stay sober, inpatient treatment should be the first step. In order to be effective, a residential addiction treatment program should last at least four weeks. Many programs last as long as 90 days, and some will allow patients to remain in the facility for as long as they and their counselors see fit. A 90-day stay in an inpatient rehab facility can lay a solid foundation on which you can build a lifetime of sobriety. Not spending enough time in inpatient treatment, or skipping it altogether, however, can derail your recovery before it even has a chance to get under way.

Spend Time in Sober Living

You should think twice about heading straight home and jumping right back into your regular routine the minute you leave your inpatient treatment facility. If you’re like many recovering addicts, you’ll be facing the demands of the world while completely sober for the first time in years. You need some time to adjust to functioning in society again in a sober environment where you can continue to enjoy some protection from temptation.

Entering a sober living facility for a month or two will make it easier for you to focus on re-adjusting to normal life, since you won’t have to worry so much about resisting temptation. It will take the pressure off your loved ones, too, since they won’t have to worry about watching you for signs of substance abuse. Many sober living homes also offer some level of addiction counseling.

Participate in the 12-Step Program

One of the biggest advantages of the 12-Step program is its size — no matter where you are, you will have access to a meeting. Many addiction experts and recovering addicts recommend that people new to recovery attend 90 meetings in 90 days. While this might seem like a lot of meetings, it’s an important way to establish a sober support network for yourself, in the form of sober friends and a sober sponsor and begin learning how you can navigate the ups and downs of life without substances. Once the 90 days are over, you can attend less often as long as it doesn’t compromise your recovery.

Stay in Counseling

While you’ve no doubt made significant progress in uncovering the roots of your substance abuse disorder in counseling during your inpatient treatment program, you will need continued counseling to completely resolve these issues. You may choose an outpatient treatment program, where you continue to go to group and individual counseling at night for three to five days a week. Alternatively, you may begin seeing a counselor who specializes in addiction issues one-on-one. The important thing is that you continue with therapy. Many recovering addicts stay in therapy even after the first year of sobriety is up.

Take Care of Yourself

The most important thing you can do to help yourself through the first year of your sobriety is to learn about the symptoms of PAWS and what to do about them if you recognize them in yourself. Even if you do not develop PAWS symptoms, you need to focus on caring for yourself physically and emotionally from now on. Make getting enough sleep, exercising, eating right and making time for the things you enjoy a priority in your life. As a recovering addict, it’s especially important that you rediscover how to take pleasure in normal, wholesome fun again, so make time every day to do things you enjoy. Keep trying out new things, too — you might just discover your next favorite hobby.

The first year of recovery is the hardest. In order to make it through your first 12 months of sobriety, you’re going to need to commit to working hard at your recovery every day. It won’t be easy, but in the end, it will be worth it.

Get a Life Without Sacrificing Your Career

How to Make More Time for What’s Really Important (Book Excerpt)

Bonuses come upon the completion of projects.  Signed contracts come at the end of negotiations.  Points go on the scoreboard only when the runner crosses the goal line.  One thing completed is worth ten things on hold.  Incomplete tasks can make you feel depressed and wasted; you will feel energized after completing them.  –  Get A Life Without Sacrificing Your Career: How to Make More Time for What’s Really Important by Dianna Booher.

This excerpt is a perfectly eloquent reminder that tasks we have yet to complete zap our energy and leave us feeling overwhelmed and under-motivated.  Un-done tasks stare at us, mockingly, while they kick dirt on our self confidence and self worth.

Fortunately the story doesn’t have to end there.  Self confidence and self worth will get a much-needed boost the instant we take one of these un-done tasks and turn them into a done task.  Remarkably, the minute you begin to chip away at something, you find energy you didn’t even know you had.

From the Back Cover:

Hop off the treadmill without losing career momentum! Do you remember leisure-fondly? Do you remember when there was time to stop and smell the flowers and to evaluate what was really worth doing? NOT just another guide to cramming even more activities into an already packed schedule, this book shows busy professionals how to: Discover your real priorities and follow your star to fulfillment; Loosen the constricting bonds of obligation; Remove negatives from your life to make room for happiness. With inspiration, wisdom, and nerve, this book treats time as the profound gift it is. An internationally recognized communications expert and writer of 28 books, Dianna Booher gives you practical suggestions for handling the complexities of life and finding real joy.

 

How to Get Work Done When You Don’t Fell Like Working (at all!)

When Your Give a Dang Can't Be Found

Funny Quote About Work
Ever have one of those days when you just flat don’t want to do anything. As in anything at all – unless, of course, lying on the couch watching TVLand counts.

I don’t know about you, but I find that I’ve always got time for and interest in Andy and Barney.

Funny, though, the same can’t always be said for housework, writing, laundry, etc.  Those of us who work from home (in my opinion) have a tougher time than most. Let’s face it, if we don’t feel like working, we simply don’t.

Cue the whistling and tell Andy and Opie to grab their fishing rods.

Of course, people get sick of work whether they work outside of the home or inside of it. Why? Well, most of the time work just isn’t fun… but unfortunately, it has to be done.

A problem most people run into when they don’t feel like working is they wait for the feeling to hit them.  They mutter around, wondering, “Why don’t I feel like doing anything today?” or “What’s wrong with me?”  Those of us who fancy ourselves writers may even resort to the famous self-diagnosis, “I have writers” block!”

Basically, we’re all saying pretty much the same thing, “This is not fun and I don’t want to do it!

When we turn our attention away from “that which must be done” and point it toward ourselves, we’re actually causing more problems.  In a way, we’re giving ourselves an out….

  • “I’m overwhelmed… I guess I need a break.”
  • “Actually I need another vacation.”
  • “Heck, maybe I need another job.”
  • “I’m so overwhelmed, I’m just going to call it a day.”
  • “All this work CANNOT be good for my health.
  • “Why’d I ever sign on for this?!”

If any of these sound familiar to you, congratulations, you’re human.

The key to getting work D-O-N-E when you don’t feel like D-O-I-N-G it is to.... are you ready for this??… simply DO something – with something being relevant to the task at hand, not watching Andy Griffith, playing Solitaire, or surfing the web. Unless of course someone’s paying you to do these things, in which case, you are my idol.

Truth be told, DOING SOMETHING is actually the answer to just about every problem known to mankind. Rarely does just sitting around, self-analyzing yourself accomplish anything of real value.

The next time you find yourself asking the questions above (you know, the ones with “out” written all over them), silence them with action. Just do something productive – getting something accomplished beats self paralysis by self analysis any day of the week.

My favorite trick for doing this is to simply devote 10 minutes at a whack.

Example: A few days ago, I was in one of those ruts we looked at above. Didn’t want to do any of the 20+ things on my to do list.  I decided to take the first one on the list and promise 10 minutes to it. Anyone can promise 10 minutes to something, right?  The great thing is, once you’ve started, you will finish even if you exceed the 10 minutes.  After I began the task, within 20 minutes it was done and scratching it off of my list was almost as satisfying as a Chai Tea Latte.

Almost.

Take emotion out of the equation when your mind tells you that you “just don’t feel like” doing something that has to be done. When it says, “I don’t feel like doing this,” respond with, “Oh, that’ okay, you don’t have to feel like it to do it…”‘

Then set your timer for 10 minutes and get ‘er done.

The Blender Girl (Review on “Get Cooking”)

Get Cooking's Review of The Blender Girl
July 31, 2014

Vegetable Smoothie

Here’s a link to a review I wrote on my food blog – it’s for a visually beautiful and nutritionally bountiful cookbook, The Blender Girl by Tess Masters. This cookbook is currently the #1 Bestseller on Amazon for Blender Recipes and it’s little wonder. The recipes are excellent and the advice is priceless.

See: The Blender Girl Review on Get Cooking!

Release the Negative and Keep the Positive – There’s an App for That!

Why I Love Let it Go

Let it Go App
I’m really excited to tell you about an app today that I think know you’ll enjoy a lot. What’s more, this app has the potential to bring more focus, peace, and balance to your life. There’s only one requirement… you have to use it!

Let It Go is an iPhone and Android application (“app”) that basically lets you “get out the bad” so that “only the good remains.”  You can write down anything that is bothering you, releasing the negative in the process.

This may be anything…

  • the speech you’re worried about making
  • bills, bills, bills
  • school
  • work-related stress
  • cranky kids
  • cranky spouse
  • the human dragon who snapped at you
  • weigh loss plateau
  • did I mention bills?

You get the idea – any of life’s unexpected or expected unpleasantries can get the heave ho before they stick around long enough to do your mood or psyche any damage. When negative thoughts and worries are allowed to linger, before you know it, they’ve made YOU the cranky spouse and/or the snapping dragon.

The releasing process in Let It Go is “completely random” for each negative thought and takes between 1 and 72 hours to fully make its exit.

Are you beginning to see why I’m so excited to tell you about this particular self growth and improvement app?  Writing down and releasing your negative thoughts, worries, and experiences is liberating!  Getting rid of negativity improves your mood, your day, and your life.

Here’s something else I love about this app: If more people use it to release their negative thoughts and emotions – maybe they’ll stop airing them out across social media!  I think people have the mistaken belief that sharing their negative thoughts and worries with everyone is beneficial, but it isn’t.  Personally, I think it becomes kind of a crutch and a habit.  I think a lot of people log onto a social media website and automatically think, “OK, what am I going to gripe about today? How can I elicit all the pitying and back pats I can stand today? ”

Oddly enough, I believe some people even air out their dirty laundry on these websites as a means of “getting at” another individual.

And people wonder why there’s so much stress flying around.

Releasing your worries and negative thoughts PRIVATELY and ANONYMOUSLY is healthier for you as well as everyone else.  It allows you to THEN go to the social media websites of your choosing a happier, more positive, productive, and funner to be around person.

The person you were meant to be before negativity tripped you up.  Someone who others will think, “I can’t wait to see what she/he has to say today!” instead of “Oh, no. What kind of drama do they have going on now?”

The community feed in the Let It Go allows users the opportunity to “opt in” and share ANONYMOUSLY what’s on their mind.  You can vent without anyone knowing who you’re ranting about or even who’s behind the rant.

The community feed is an optional way to further “let it all out” and gives those who like to vent a chance to do so. But, as I pointed out above, the beautiful thing is it allows you to do so without spraying negativity all over your friends and acquaintances.

You can, then, leave your app FREE of negativity and drama and go face everyone in your life (online and off) with the stress-free, more peaceful and happy face you REALLY want them to see.

That’s what they deserve and, more importantly, what you deserve.

I hope you’ll check out the free Let It Go app right away.

Let it Go App

To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals. – Buddha

How to Use Your Subconscious Mind to Help You Achieve Goals

3 Simple Steps to Making Your Subconsciousness Work for You

Quote About Achieving Goals with Our Subconscious Mind
The quote above, by Earl Nightingale, is a beautiful reminder of the power of our subconscious mind. Whether we fully realize it or not, our subconsciousness is one of our most powerful weapons – sometimes all we really need to do is get out of its way.

If we were to take the quote above and drain every drop of self improvement goodness from it (something we should do with all inspirational quotes), we’d realize a few things:

  1. First of all, we should make certain that we feel as strongly about our goals as we think we do.  Have you ever found yourself struggling with a particular goal or dream only to realize it isn’t even your dream? That, in fact, you’re actually trying to live up to someone else’s goal for your life? There’s a reason that doesn’t work – YOU have to feel strongly and passionately about the goal or dream. It has to be YOUR dream. YOUR vision. YOUR passion. If it’s someone else’s dream, let them work on it while you work on your own.
  2. How do you make sure the idea is “buried deep” in your subconscious mind? At the risk of grossly oversimplifying… you put it there!  Think about the goal you want to achieve and think about it often. You aren’t working some sort of mumbo jumbo – trying to bring the fulfillment to you, you are taking yourself to the fulfillment. Proactive beats inactive or reactive every single time when you’re going after goals. Goals and dreams aren’t on wheels, you can’t coax them to come to you, you have to lace up your own skates and roll to them. Frequently thinking about these objects of desire puts the wheels in motion. This particular step is why things like “vision boards” (picture collages of images that represent goals and dreams) are so popular. It’s also why so many experts recommend “picturing” yourself where you WANT to be. Both of these exercises are ways of burying the idea deep in your subconscious.
  3. When you’ve put your subconscious mind on the path to your goals, let it works its magic. You’ll find yourself with fresh ideas for making your way down this particular path.

Your subconsciousness is your own personal superhero and he/she is just waiting for you to call them to action.

The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment. – Earl Nightingale