The Empowerment of Bringing in the New Year Sober

We often celebrate the New Year as a chance to start fresh, a chance for resolutions, and a way to remember the positive things throughout the year. When you are in recovery, there is so much to celebrate. You are given a new chance at life and a new outlook through sober, healthy eyes. At Fresh Start of California, the patients in our Orange County detox and rehabilitation center are provided the tools and life skills to succeed in sober living. We understand that it may take some time to find happiness being sober, but we are hopeful and encouraging to all that there is so much to be joyful about.

Celebrate sobriety while enjoying the start of a new year by remembering the empowerment that sobriety offers. If you need help with your recovery journey, contact the Orange County detox and rehabilitation professionals at Fresh Start of California. We are here 24/7.

Call Fresh Start of California now.

7 Reasons to Feel Empowered for New Years

If you are feeling down or your confidence in sobriety is lacking, take a moment to take stock of all of the reasons to be proud. Let our list below be your starting point and remember that you have plenty of reasons to celebrate and share your journey this New Years’.

  1. You are in control. Sobriety gives you the gift of control over your life. You are no longer under the control of a substance so you can now be the one who determines your responsibilities, goals, and consequences.
  2. You have choices. You can choose where, how, when, and with whom you celebrate New Year’s Eve and the rest of your life. You are in charge of your life now, no one and nothing else.
  3. Your body has changed. Sobriety will help improve your health, your looks, and your emotional and mental state. Sobriety brings you back to life, emotionally, mentally, and physically, all the way to a cellular level inside of your body. It eliminates substance-related bloating, improves the shine of your hair, decreases body fat from empty calories in alcoholic drinks, and improves your body weight ratio of fat to muscle.
  4. You have opportunities. Sobriety opens up doors that would otherwise be closed while in addiction. Whether you want to go back to school, start a passion project, start new relationships, or get a new job, sobriety is key to the success of your endeavors.
  5. You can experience emotions. Much of what we learn in recovery is the spirit of humility and gratitude. Humility and gratitude are empowering because they give you a completely different perspective than one of being guarded and defensive. Find power in vulnerability.
  6. You are the main character. You are rewriting your life story starting with recovery and you are the new main character. In your old life, your substance was the main character, but this is no longer the case.
  7. You have new energy. You can walk into a room with confidence, exuding the energy that you know is positive, sober, and valuable. Be secure and confident that you can experience life with curiosity and excitement, giving your energy to what you choose.

The Empowerment of Freedom

The biggest thing to celebrate this New Years’ is the empowerment of freedom from the prison of addiction. Addiction robs you of opportunity, freedom of choice, and the health that comes with sobriety. You have so much to live for, so why not take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate your sober life on New Year’s Eve? Give yourself the credit you deserve. Whether you just started your sober journey or have years under your belt, find a reason to feel powerful today knowing you took back control from drugs and alcohol.

Call on the recovery professionals at Fresh Start of California for detox and rehabilitation options in Orange County if you need support in sobriety. You are not alone. Contact our team today and get started.

8 Tips for Mental Preparation to Stay Sober for the Holidays

Be Ready for Sober Holidays with Tips from Fresh Start of California

Whether you are fresh out of detox and rehabilitation or have several years under your belt, the holidays can be a difficult time for a recovering addict. It’s crucial to be prepared, both mentally and emotionally so that the feelings and activities that come with the holidays do not catch you off guard. Your sobriety should be your biggest priority as you attend family gatherings and holiday events, and it helps to be reminded of how to mentally prepare.

If you are ready to leap sobriety this holiday season, the team at Fresh Start of California can help. Our Orange County detox and rehabilitation professionals will work with you to provide tools and teach the skills that will help you reenter society in sobriety.

Contact Fresh Start of California to ask for help. We are here 24/7 to take your call.

8 Tips to Tackle the Holidays

Feel confident in your sobriety and be prepared for anything that crosses your path during the holidays using the tips below.

  1. Know your triggers. Consider making a list of your known triggers and ways to handle them. Think of the triggers that may be involved with the holidays, family interactions, and gatherings and how you can avoid or walk away from them. Triggers are people, events, objects, or thoughts that can cause a memory of using or coping through use. These are quite often part of the holidays as trauma in our youth may revisit us during family time.
  2. Be informed. Knowing what is coming concerning activities, get-togethers, and holiday obligations can help you mentally prepare. Ask questions about who is going to attend, what will be served, and what expectations will be placed upon you can inform your decisions about your involvement. Do not say yes if you believe that something is going to threaten your sobriety.
  3. Plan your good-byes. Plan for your escape if things get out-of-hand or too rowdy. Let the host know that if you leave early, it is to protect your sobriety, and have a “sober buddy” to back you up if needed. Supportive family and friends can help field questions as to why you had to leave.
  4. Know the science. If you face temptation or triggers and do not want to leave (avoid) due to their existence, know that you can make it through using this research-based concept: Cravings will typically subside or lose their power after 10 minutes. Use these challenges to evaluate your triggers and the emotions attached to them. The more you investigate the emotions, the less power you give the trigger.
  5. Stress less. Use stress relief techniques so that you can enjoy your holiday with a clear, calm mind. Try meditation, journaling, walks, yoga, mind games (memory games, crosswords, math games), or use your smartphone to listen to calming meditations or podcasts.
  6. Set sober dates. Plan to attend meetings either alone or with a sober partner. Know where the local meetings are if you are away from home and hold yourself accountable by planning to go with someone. You can even make phone dates or Zoom dates if in-person meetings are unavailable.
  7. Seek professional help. It is never wrong to seek help from those who know more than you or from those who are educated and experienced in helping people. Seek professional help if the holidays are an especially difficult time for you. Contact the local addiction and recovery facilities, place a phone call to your doctor to find a therapist, or try online or phone therapy services.
  8. Be honest. Tell your supportive family members and friends about how you are feeling. Be vocal about your concerns and triggers so that they can be there to help you. Expressing yourself to those who care is highly beneficial in creating a safe and healthy environment, for the holidays and your future.

Mental Preparation is Your Power Move this Holiday Season

Your power lies in the tools that are in your metaphorical tool belt. The things that you learn and the changes you make during recovery give you strength and power that can move mountains. Sobriety is something that you can be proud of, and even when the holidays pose a threat, mentally preparing will keep the ball in your court. Use the tips above, and don’t be ashamed to ask for back up or help, and you’ll have an enjoyable and memorable holiday season.

Let the Orange County team of recovery experts at Fresh Start of California give you the support you need to be successful in sobriety. We are here to walk with you through detox and rehabilitation. Contact us today.

How to Have a Sober, Happy Thanksgiving

Gratitude for Sobriety this Thanksgiving

The biggest trick to having a happy, sober Thanksgiving is to remember the gratitude that is cultivated in your sobriety. As children, we often learn that Thanksgiving is all about remembering and expressing what we are grateful for. What more to be grateful for than a second chance at life? The process of detox and recovery shows you the strength, perseverance, and growth that you are capable of. Sobriety offers you a new view of life, a new chance to live the way that you want to, and a gift of a fresh start. Let Thanksgiving be a celebration of how far you have come and know that you can enjoy the holidays with confidence using the tools you gained in recovery.

At Fresh Start of California, we work with our patients through individualized detox, rehabilitation, and life skill classes so that you are equipped to start a new life with confidence. Our team of Orange County recovery specialists at Fresh Start of California is here to be the professional support you need to create a solid foundation for life in sobriety. We know the difficulties and the challenges that can come with rebuilding your life, but they are far less than living in addiction.

Contact Fresh Start of California for detox and rehabilitation options in Orange County. We are here to answer your call 24/7.

10 Tips for a Happy and Sober Thanksgiving

If you lack the inspiration to enjoy yourself during Thanksgiving festivities, there are tricks to making it through. A sober Thanksgiving maybe a whole new experience, but you can make it a great one if you are prepared and have an open mind. Use the tips below to set the stage for good times and wonderful memories.

  1. Surround yourself with sober, like-minded people. If you have the choice, bring a sober buddy to family gatherings or go to a sober Thanksgiving event. If you can, make plans with a sober family member to be each other’s wingman for events.
  2. Avoid high-risk situations like reconnecting with old friends just because they are in town. Avoid family members who are active users or who are toxic to your sobriety. You deserve to have a calm, happy holiday, and have the right to stay away from those who are not supportive.
  3. Take breaks as needed. Go out for a walk after your meal, step into another room for a quiet moment, or get outside for a breath of fresh air. This is especially important to the stability of your peace of mind when you’re spending long hours inside in a busy environment.
  4. Seat yourself at the kid’s table! Spending time with your younger relatives is a great way to avoid alcohol at the “adult” table, as well as have much more fun during dinner.
  5. Bring stress relievers such as essential oils, gum, fidget toys, gadgets, or whatever you use to relax. Quench old habits with safer, healthier options.
  6. Stick to your boundaries. Remember there is no such thing as “just one” and don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Protect your sobriety with strength and confidence.
  7. Bring the fun with you. Whether it is a board game, an interactive video game, crafts, or outdoor games, bring something with you that you know you will enjoy.
  8. Prepare an exit strategy. If a conflict arises or if a gathering gets too unruly, be prepared to make your exit. One bonus to being sober is that you can safely leave whenever you choose!
  9. Help the host and keep yourself busy. Offer to help prepare a dish, clear the kitchen, set the table, or clean up when everyone is done eating. Occupy your mind and hands, with tasks so that you are not bored.
  10. Keep a drink in your hand. People are less likely to offer you a drink or ask why you aren’t drinking if you have something to drink already. Dodge invasive questions and stay hydrated by bringing your own healthy, nonalcoholic beverages.

Take the Power Back this Thanksgiving

Rather than view sobriety as a hindrance to a good time or an obstacle to deal with during family gatherings, change your view and take the power back from the substance. Consider yourself lucky that you will remember the memories you make and that you will feel alert and healthy the next morning, and lucky to have the power in your hands. Sobriety is powerful. You can share your gratitude with others and show them that there is a better life after addiction.

If you are ready to battle your addiction and win, contact the team of Orange County rehabilitation professionals at Fresh Start of California. We provide the knowledge, support, and individualized treatment options to give you a fighting chance.

Take the power back from your addiction and call us today.

Gratitude and Sobriety Go Hand in Hand

Highs and Lows: Learning Gratitude

It is said that those who have survived addiction know about the lowest of the lows so much more than those who have not battled addiction. With that propensity of feeling such strong emotion, which often is one of the reasons for addiction, comes the ability to feel strong gratitude. The strength that it takes to survive addiction, to find the conviction to stick to recovery, and to live in sobriety, gives us the strength to see life for what it is. This process, and the process of taking inventory, help us to remember the gratitude in sobriety.

At Fresh Start of California, we give you the tools to start fresh in a life of sobriety. One of these tools is learning how to practice gratitude. Our Orange County detox and recovery specialists are here to offer you support, tools, and a holistic approach to recovery.

Contact our team today if you need drug or alcohol rehabilitation in Orange County. We are here to answer your call 24/7.

Humility and Gratitude in Recovery

A huge part of recovery and sobriety is humility- the act of humility and the understanding of humility. Humility, or being humble, goes along with the knowledge that we are not the center of the universe. Truly understanding that we are not entitled and that we are capable of having a negative (or positive) effect on others, is understanding that we are human.

Through this understanding we find gratefulness. All things positive in our lives are worth being grateful for. This is true especially in sobriety because we often are coming from a place of complete destitution, or complete surrender, and as sobriety fills the holes in life, it brings with it reasons for thankfulness. Sobriety gives us everything we have, from stability and “normalcy” to the things we own, new relationships, and employment.

Gratitude can help us get through hard times in sobriety. It can change our attitude and behavior, improving our outlook on the present and the future. We can even practice gratitude for surviving our time in addiction and for the chance to live in sobriety. Practicing gratitude for what we have allows more positivity to come our way. Gratitude for what you have releases the unhappiness the comes from focusing on what we don’t have and releases resentment for what you have but don’t want.

Creating an Attitude of Gratitude

Living in sobriety and gratitude can take practice. There are several ways to cultivate gratitude in your heart and life. Use our tips below to get started.

  • Start your day by thinking of 3 things to be grateful for before you get out of bed.
  • Keep a gratitude journal and try to fill one page at the end of each day with positive thoughts and things you are grateful for.
  • Send thank-you letters via snail-mail or email to friends, family, or associates.
  • Look around when you are in nature and say a mental “thank you” for the beautiful things you see.
  • Practice speaking about things, experiences, or events that you are excited and grateful for rather than sharing negativity.
  • Give compliments freely and happily, tell someone you love their shirt, tell someone they did a good job.
  • If you enjoy spending time practicing self-care, remember to do so with mindfulness and gratitude, even if it is just giving thanks for the hot water in your shower, or the taste of toothpaste.

Find a New Life with Fresh Start of California

Fresh Start of California offers residential and outpatient detox and rehabilitation for our patients. We understand that everyone has unique needs and individual treatments that will best provide the framework for recovery. Let us walk with you into your new life, into a mindset of gratitude in sobriety. We are here for you.

Contact Fresh Start of California for detox and rehabilitation treatment in Orange County.

How to Throw an Awesome Sober Halloween Party

The Holiday Season and Living in Sobriety

Halloween often signifies the start of the holiday season. In Orange County and all of Southern California, it is also the start of cooler weather, the beginning of many gatherings with family and friends. As the kick-off for the “party season” Halloween might be your first sober event. Sobriety does not mean that you can no longer have fun. With tips from our team at Fresh Start of California, you can plan a fun, memorable, and sober Halloween party.

If you are battling addiction and are ready to start a new chapter, Fresh Start of California offers detox, inpatient, and outpatient recovery solutions in Orange County. We can work with you to move through the phases of detox and rehabilitation so that you can have confidence in sobriety. Let our team be your support system and jump into this holiday season with a renewed excitement for life.

Contact Fresh Start of California today.

8 Ideas for Sober Halloween Fun

If you are ready to throw an awesome party but are wondering how to make it great without alcohol, have no fear. We compiled tips and ideas to help your party be a hit, without the need for intoxication. Remember the joy of Halloween as a child, the excitement, and the playfulness.

With that spirit in mind, read the tips and ideas below to make your party a blast.

  1. Dress up. Be sure to let your guests know that costumes are key! You can choose a theme for the party or encourage your guests to get creative. Spend the money you would have spent on stocking the bar to create an epic costume. Need some ideas for themes? Try apocalyptic or end of the world, space life, animals, or Vegas themes so that the costumes can be cohesive.
  2. Create designated and different areas of interest. Have food and beverages in one space, with room to sit or stop and chat, designate an area for dancing with access to music choices, maybe supply games or activities in one room, or even a movie room with comfortable cushions and low lighting.
  3. Play a scary movie or humorous Halloween classic. Consider projecting a movie onto the side of your house, a wall inside, or buy a screen to play the movie outside. Horror loving friends will have something to discuss. It can serve as a conversation starter about favorite movies or a way to take a break from dancing.
  4. Have plenty to eat and drink. Build a menu of “mocktails” that are Halloween themed, buy pre-made non-alcoholic drinks, or supply the regular variety of water, juice, and sodas.
  5. Play games and even plan some “tricks.” Halloween allows us to bring out our playful side, so why not plant some tricks for your guests, jump scares with “ghosts” behind doors, or games that get people to mingle and start loosening up.
  6. Make memories and capture them. Place Polaroid cameras around the room and let guests take photos to pin to a photo board or bring home. Set up a photo booth. Start traditions with your sober friends that you can carry on for future events and parties. If you don’t have access to Polaroids, consider having your home photo printer available for you to take a few minutes at the end of the night to print group photos for everyone to take home.
  7. Turn down the lights and turn up the music. Lower lights help people release the fear of everyone watching them, so they can get loose and get down on the dancefloor. Lower lighting, colored lights, or blacklights, will help people feel comfortable dancing, and can help counteract the thought that often accompanies nights of the past that, “I dance better when I’ve had a few drinks.”
  8. Carve pumpkins. Pick up pumpkins for your guests or ask them to bring their own for carving. Provide stencils, tools, and space to carve pumpkins. Focusing on a task and expressing individual ideas while carving will allow guests to talk with people they may not have before. Taking the focus off of the conversation and shifting it onto a task allows guards to lower and nerves to physically release through the physical task.

Halloween Fun That You Remember

One of the biggest advantages of sobriety is that you will remember the memories that you make. No more waking up with foggy ideas of the night before, no more missed connections because you were too intoxicated to pay attention. Whether you are newly sober or have years of sobriety under your belt, fostering friendships and relationships with other sober people is advantageous. You have a common goal, a common thread, that makes it okay to enjoy yourselves without the pressure to include substances. A sober Halloween party is just the start of the holiday season’s activities that you can cherish rather than vaguely remember.

Are you ready to have a fresh view on life? Contact the Orange County detox and rehab team at Fresh Start of California to learn how we can help you fight addiction and get your life back.

 

Red Ribbon Week: October 23-31

The Origins of Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is the week of recognition and advocacy for the fight against drugs and addiction. It began in 1985, started after the death of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Special Agent Camarena was brutally tortured and murdered by drug traffickers during an investigation in Mexico. This event and the start of Red Ribbon Week escalated as it got national recognition, and in 1988 the National Family Partnership (NFP) coordinate the official first National Red Ribbon Week. President Reagan and Nancy Reagan became national chairpersons for the campaign and the NFP continues to coordinate the program each year.

As Orange County’s resource and facility for rehabilitation and detox from drugs and alcohol, Fresh Start of California is a supportive and active participant in Red Ribbon Week. We are here to help addicts and their families fight against the drugs and alcohol that control their lives.

Contact the rehabilitation specialists at Fresh Start of California to start your path to recovery today.

The Nation’s Oldest Drug Awareness Program

As the longest-lasting and most wide-spread drug awareness program, Red Ribbon Week unites children and adults in a visible stand against drug use. The mission is to keep children drug-free, first and foremost, as well as profess a commitment to abstain from drug use.

Each year a contest is held to determine the upcoming year’s Red Ribbon Week theme. The 2020 theme for Red Ribbon Week, October 23rd-31st, is “Be happy. Be brave. Be drug-free.” This year’s theme was created by Tricia Nelson, of Locust Corner Elementary School in Cincinnati. Her theme embodies the idea of living a drug-free life that is happy, exciting, and fulfilling. Although this year’s event will be primarily virtual, wearing a red ribbon is still impactful.

Wearing a red ribbon represents the pledge to live drug-free and honors the sacrifice of those who lost their lives fighting against drugs and drug use. The National Family Partnership, as the backbone of Red Ribbon Week, promotes awareness, acts as advocates, and provides resources to those in need.

Join the Fight Against Drug Use

At Fresh Start of California, we instill hope in our patients and strive to help addicts get excited about life in sobriety. Our team of detox and rehabilitation professionals and support staff understand the struggles that coincide with addiction as well as the issues that create the need for drug use. We are here to help you get to the root of where the addiction started and can work with you to build a new foundation of sobriety.

For inbox or outpatient detox and rehabilitation options in Orange County, contact Fresh Start of California today. We are here for you.

The Link Between PTSD and Drug Use

What is PTSD?

PTSD is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a mental health disorder caused by a traumatic experience in a person’s life. Experiences that can cause PTSD include childhood abuse, sexual abuse, car accidents, military combat, violent assault, natural disasters, or acts of terrorism. Signs and symptoms of PTSD may be one or more of the following:

  • Nightmares and trouble sleeping
  • Flashbacks (physical and mental) or intense memories
  • Reliving the trauma
  • Behavioral changes, easily irritated, angered or triggered into a violent reaction
  • Distancing from friends and family, avoidance of social interaction
  • Social anxiety or avoidance of going out in public

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is often diagnosed with co-occurring disorders or mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. It is important to understand the cause of these disorders to treat them effectively. At Fresh Start of California, we treat our patients on a case-by-case basis, and we understand that we must not only treat for the substance abuse but also the cause of the abuse.

Contact the team of Orange County detox and rehab professionals at Fresh Start of California if you are struggling with drug or alcohol use. Call us today!

Co-Occurring Disorders: PTSD and Substance Abuse

Many believe that PTSD sufferers use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, in hopes of numbing the pain and stress involved with PTSD. Military veterans and women who suffered sexual abuse or rape are at high risk for this type of self-medicating. With this in mind, it is no surprise that drug or alcohol use and abuse are considered avoidance symptoms of PTSD.

This symptom may be linked to endorphin withdrawal after a traumatic event. The body reacts to an experience of trauma with a release of endorphins to endure the event itself. Unfortunately, after the event(s) our body often produces fewer “feel-good” chemicals, thus making it harder to feel normal as well as harder to numb the pain of the experience. Drug and alcohol come into play when a person desires to escape the pain and stress, or the behavioral changes, using drugs and/or alcohol as their numbing mechanism. The repeated attempt to numb the pain results in the development of dependence builds a tolerance to the substance and creates abuse.

Addiction and PTSD

An addict’s brain becomes dependent on the substance of their choice to feel “normal” and avoid the sickness that comes with withdrawals. The symptoms of addiction, withdrawal, and PTSD tend to overlap, making it hard for sufferers to understand their symptoms and combat them effectively alone. Professional treatment involves finding the root of the addiction, understanding the symptoms of PTSD, and incorporating treatment for all mental health issues while rewiring the brain to rely on itself rather than drug or alcohol.

Inpatient and outpatient facilities like Fresh Start of California can work with you to treat both addiction and PTSD at the same time so that every patient has a chance at returning to a life they want to live. We want you to feel confident in your care plan. Our Orange County doctor, nurses, rehabilitation experts, and onsite teams create individual treatment plans for each patient’s needs. It is our goal to work together with our patients to build the solid foundation of a new life after addiction, one that includes symptom management of PTSD or other mental health disorders.

Trust Fresh Start of California with your detox and rehabilitation needs in Orange County. Our team is here for you. Contact us to start your treatment today.

How to Help a Loved One with Addiction

Orange County Rehabilitation Specialists Provide Tips for Help

If your family member or loved one is suffering in the depth of addiction, it is critical to know the difference between control and pressure versus influence and support. Pressure, control, and change by force is not possible in addiction. Neither the addict nor the loved one is in control in this situation, the substance is truly the one in charge. We cannot force change or trick a loved one into quitting. A better, more effective approach is to offer support and influence via positive reinforcement, information on programs and support groups, and consistent boundaries.

The team of Orange County rehabilitation professionals at Fresh Start of California understands the mental and emotional toll that addiction takes on loved ones. We know that you need support and help as much as the addict. Our team is here as a resource to you and your loved one, and we can help you find a treatment program that will best fit your family member, spouse, or friend who needs professional help. Let our recovery team be the professional support that your loved one needs, so you can get some peace of mind.

Contact Fresh Start of California today to discuss treatment options in Orange County.

5 Ways to Help a Loved One with Addiction

You may think that helping a loved one with addiction involves offering money, housing, and entering into an “enabling” relationship, but that is not the case. There are very important ways to help your loved one without becoming codependent or enabling.

The top 5 ways to help your loved one suffering from addiction are:

  1. Be consistent. Consistent rules, expectations, promises, consequences, and boundaries will help your loved one feel safe and cared for. Also, consistency and rigid rules will help you not to enable.
  2. Be optimistic. Optimism, while being realistic, is important in maintaining sanity while dealing with the aftermath of binges, psychosis, withdrawals, and other negative aspects of using. Whether faith-based or fact-based, find something to keep thinking positive outside of the addiction relationship.
  3. Be encouraging. Use different types of encouragement from physical (hugs, physical presence) to emotional and mental encouragement. Verbally encouraging an addict when he or she is feeling down can make a difference, even if you don’t seem to get a reaction.
  4. Be educated. Inform yourself so that you know the truth about addiction, what it looks like, and how it affects users and their loved ones. Educate yourself on codependency and the signs of enabling so that you can be prepared and avoid making a situation worse.
  5. Be assertive. When addressing the issue, do not sugarcoat or tiptoe, be assertive and straightforward. Do not mask the effects of addiction from the addict. Ignoring the issue of addiction will not make it go away.

A bonus tip, that is equally important as all of the others, is to take care of yourself. Be sure to eat, drink water, and get adequate sleep while caring for and supporting an addicted loved one. It sounds cliché but practicing self-care is important when you are dealing with the stress, fear, and unknowns of dealing with addiction.

Addicts and Loved Ones Both Need Help

It is not uncommon for loved ones of addicts to need some sort of help themselves. Whether you require counseling, codependency therapy, or any other support, there is help out there. Our addiction and rehabilitation team at Orange County’s Fresh Start of California has access to excellent resources and recovery programs for you and your loved one. Let us help you make a difference in your loved one’s life.

Contact Fresh Start of California today to learn about detox and addiction recovery solutions.

How Journaling Can Help You Maintain Sobriety

Journaling: A Powerful Tool for Healing and Recovery

The writing process is a natural form of self-reflection with therapeutic benefits, and journaling can help process the emotional challenges that come along with the recovery process. Because journaling requires only yourself and a commitment to the practice, it is a low-pressure communication tool that allows you to dig deep and learn about yourself, your life, and the path you have chosen in recovery.

The practice of journaling is cathartic way to express your emotions and manage mental health issues affected by addiction such as anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as understanding the root of the addiction itself. This healthy form of mental health management should be an accessible tool in your recovery toolbox that you can use to maintain longevity in your sobriety. In fact, even before making that life-changing decision to pursue detox and addiction rehabilitation, keeping a journal can help process and reconcile with the need to seek treatment.

Contact the Orange County detox and rehab specialists at Fresh Start of California for addiction recovery options and where to start. Call our team today.

The Benefits of Keeping a Recovery Journal

Studies have shown that writing in a journal actually trigger positive physiological responses in your mind and body. By simultaneously enacting the rational left side and creative right side of your brain, you are able to freely express yourself without verbal or communicative restraints. Writing in this mindset also improves cognitive function and ability, and strengthens your personal relationship with yourself, empowering your emotions and bolstering your natural coping mechanisms.

Breaking down the many benefits of journaling for recovery can also help boost your confidence and keep you on track. These specific benefits include:

  • Self-reflection and self-actualization: The reflective moments that you allow yourself with your journal allow you to look inward and understand your emotions, encouraging you to reflect and grow. By being in touch with yourself, you will strengthen your emotional intelligence, and learn how to act with integrity while cultivating self-confidence.
  • Naming problems and responsibilities: Self-reflection requires honesty, and honesty is necessary during the recovery process. Journaling compels these honest conversations with yourself so you can recognize your triggers, responsibilities, the root of your addiction, and how to overcome these issues to maintain sobriety long term.
  • Preserve your privacy: It is difficult to be honest with yourself when that information is shared. With journaling, you are having a conversation between you and yourself—no one else needs to read it. You are free to get it all out on the page without judgement.
  • Setting goals and tracking progress: One of the most valuable benefits of journaling is creating a written record of progress and goal-achievements. It is inspiring to look back on previous journal entries and see how much you’ve grown emotionally and how far you’ve journeyed through recovery. This helps maintain progress and keep momentum, especially during periods of self-doubt and when facing external challenges.

Writing in a journal is habitual act that takes commitment and dedication—even a few words a day will help you maintain a helpful, therapeutic practice. By processing and unpacking your emotions through daily journaling, you harvest a growth mindset while stimulating self-accountability that keeps you on track in your recovery process.

How to Start Journaling for Recovery

One of the most beneficial elements of journaling is how accessible it is. You simply need a pen, a notebook, and a sliver of time for yourself. Writing prompts can sometimes help you break the ice and write with certain topics in mind; other writers prefer to record and reflect the day’s events. Journaling while in therapy or rehabilitation programs usually combine approaches to allow both guidance and freedom.

Everyone’s writing and journaling process works differently for them, and you should allow yourself to shed any pressure you may feel about getting started. Remember—it’s just you, and the blank page in front of you.

There are several types of journaling, and each can be accessible and adaptable to your style and preference:

  • A Traditional Diary: You record your day’s events, as well as your emotional responses and overall wellbeing.
  • A Reflection Journal: Usually written in the evenings, you aim for deep self-reflection on specific topics that may have come up throughout your day’s occurrences.
  • A Gratitude Journal: Focusing on the positive, you write about things you are grateful for, whether or not they are connected to the day’s events.
  • Goals and Progress Journal: This can be interwoven in other types of journals and allows you to write down specific goals and track progress towards those goals, while also maintaining accountability.
  • Prompt-based Journal: Prompts can be facilitated by rehabilitation leaders, therapists, or you can purchase a journal with prompts already written. Prompts help you start writing, but it is not a writing assignment. Once you start writing, you freely your mind and pen lead you into self-reflection.

No matter where you are in your journey, maintaining sobriety requires you to confront, process, and overcome the many challenges of addiction recovery. Through the practice of journaling, you can healthily reduce the emotional stress that may be inhibiting your recovery process, while bringing creativity and joy into your life through writing.

Need help getting started? Contact Fresh Start of California in Orange County today.

10 Ideas for a Sober Fourth of July

Independence Day is a holiday well known for big parties, outrageous behavior, and the use of alcohol to “celebrate”. As you walk the path of sobriety, it may be a day of stress and temptation, but there are ways to prepare and prevail. The Orange County detox and rehabilitation team at Fresh Start of California understands that it is best to be equipped before you celebrate so that you can remain sober and in recovery. You can enjoy the fourth of July and stay sober. Our tips and ideas below can help.

Contact Fresh Start of California for recovery solutions, rehabilitation, and detox in Orange County. Our recovery specialists can help you start a new life in sobriety.

10 Tips for Sobriety on Independence Day

  1. Start the day with a meeting. Attend a morning meeting on the fourth of July so that you start your day off right and with a strong foundation.
  2. Make plans with sober friends by attending a sober party or hosting a sober event.
  3. Practice accountability by asking your sponsor, friends, or family to check in with you throughout the day.
  4. Drive yourself so that you know that you can leave a location if you need to and know that you can choose what you do.
  5. Have an exit strategy. Go into events with a plan, just in case you need to leave. Consider explaining to the host that if you need to leave, you will do so according to the best plan for your recovery.
  6. Focus on the food. Keep your mind and hands busy by putting yourself in charge of the barbeque, the desserts, or the appetizers so that you have something to pay attention to other than the drinks.
  7. Bring a cooler of non-alcoholic drinks. Be sure to have plenty of alcohol-free drinks available for yourself and others who are staying sober. If you have a drink in your hand, others will be less likely to offer you an alcoholic beverage.
  8. Celebrate Independence Day with an activity. Rather than going to a party, go to the beach, a sporting event, a hike, or a parade.
  9. Have a sponsor on-call or enlist a friend to be available no matter the time or place so that you can reach out as needed. Stay in touch with people who support your sobriety.
  10. Have confidence in your sobriety. Share your story if someone asks, be proud of the strength it takes to be sober in a world that is often centered around being inebriated.

Celebrate Freedom and Sobriety

Living a life of sobriety is a kind of freedom that only those who live it understand. Part of your fourth of July celebrations can focus on the freedom you have found in recovery and the strength you have in sobriety. With a plan, an on-call sponsor, and a great support system Independence Day does not have to be something you dread. Let our tips be your guide and if you need help in recovery, our team can help.

Fresh Start of California is here for you with Orange County detox and rehabilitation specialists that can create an individual plan for your recovery. Contact our team today and step into the bath of sobriety.