Tag Archive: exercise

  1. Self-Care for Treatment Providers in a Post-Pandemic World

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    When the COVID-19 crisis began a year ago, an unprecedented number of people developed high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Those who already suffered from those mental health issues before the pandemic often found their conditions worsened.

    The spotlight turned to the professional treatment community. Therapists, doctors, and other treatment program providers found themselves charged with providing the answers to how to cope. Many treatment providers themselves faced stress and anxiety over COVID-19. They worried about the health of their families and themselves.

    These treatment providers were tasked with leading others in healing while trailblazing the path needed to cope during a worldwide pandemic. Now, as society moves into the beginning stages of the post-pandemic world, the same treatment professionals find themselves in similar leadership roles. Once again, they must navigate the unknown and remain a consistent beacon of light for their patients.

    Focusing on Self-Care Benefits Both You and Your Clients

    The first step to helping patients make the switch to a post-pandemic society revolves around self-care. While self-care for the patient remains important, self-care for the providers should not be neglected. How well you take care of yourself spills over into the care of your patients.

    Setting a Policy on What Types of Appointments You Will Offer

    Many treatment providers find themselves preparing to transition away from schedules heavy with telehealth appointments. Some may employ a hybrid method of offering both telehealth and in-person sessions. Others may find it best to make a complete switch back to office appointments only. Make a decision based on what works best for you.

    You may not feel prepared to see patients only in the office. You might prefer to start conducting all sessions in your office. Whatever your instinct is for the beginning stages of reintegration, respect your level of comfort moving forward.

    Once you have decided what approach works for you, explain your policy to your patients. Knowing you have settled on what the next phase of your treatment practice will look like helps with self-care. Making this decision removes uncertainty and instills the confidence of having a game plan.

    Exercise and Eating Healthy Benefits Any Self-Care Plan

    Sometimes telling patients to eat healthy and exercise becomes routine, but remember that the advice also applies to you. Many people slipped into unhealthy eating habits while quarantined. Give your dietary intake some consideration. If you see room for improvement, take action.

    Many professionals enjoyed the benefit of exercising as part of a group. The pandemic closed down many options for that, but many gyms and fitness centers show signs of reopening. If you are ready to restart (or begin) a group workout, look around for options. Many gyms are cautiously reopening. Choices like yoga classes and running groups now offer spaces again.

    If you prefer to work out alone, make sure you establish a schedule and keep to it. At-home gym equipment paired with upbeat music can inspire you to keep up with your workouts. Like running, biking, or hiking, outdoor exercise gives you the bonus of fresh air and warmer weather.

    Choosing Which Pandemic Guidelines Should Still Apply For Now

    The pandemic swept in a host of boundaries people had to learn. Avoiding things like hugging and handshaking became a habit. People habitually wore masks and respected recommended social distancing guidelines. As society reintegrates, many may assume those rules all go out the window.

    Make no assumptions about how you should behave. If you still feel wearing a mask during in-person appointments should be required, that is your right. You may also want to talk to your patients about other related policies. Let them know if you still want to refrain from handshaking, hugging, or other forms of physical contact. Discuss with your staff what your policy will be for themselves and your patients.

    Sneak in Short Moments of Self-Care

    A typical day does not always provide long stretches of time for self-care. While an hour of yoga or a massage might be tempting, your schedule may not be open to these activities. Keep in mind that you can take small chunks of time and devote them to self-care.

    Try closing yourself off in a private area, putting in earbuds, and playing a favorite song at top volume. Dance if the spirit moves you! You can also use the same space to take five minutes to close your eyes, concentrate on your breathing, and clear your mind.

    Seek Support From Your Peers

    Other treatment professionals can be a valuable source of support. They understand the career concerns you are up against better than anyone. Look for formal support groups, both in-person and virtual.

    If you can’t find one of those, form a chain of colleagues with a similar interest in self-care. The group can look to each other for support. They can also bounce ideas off each other. Brainstorming how to take care of yourselves spills over into taking better care of your patients.

    When the pandemic began over a year ago, treatment professionals were expected to provide all the answers for their patients. Now that society is reintegrating again, the same treatment providers are tasked with helping others navigate this change. The first priority for therapists, doctors, and others in the field is their own self-care. When they make sure to take care of themselves, self-care practices will spill over into their work. Sustain Recovery provides pandemic-stress-related care as part of our treatment programs. We can offer your adolescent and young adult patients a place to address their substance use disorder and any co-occurring diagnoses. If you have a patient who did not thrive while in other treatment programs, we are happy to discuss why our program is often the one that works. Call Sustain Recovery today at (949) 407-9052. We will be happy to detail a plan to help your young patient embrace recovery and a post-pandemic world.

  2. Getting Kids Outside to Exercise

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    exercising outsideCold weather naturally causes many people to stay indoors more often. The added pressure of needing to socially distance for the past year increased time spent inside. Many spent much of that time leading a sedentary lifestyle. Now that the temperature is warmer and the days are longer, it’s time to guide your child into moving around outside.

    Warmer months mean people get outside more and have more options for outdoor exercise. Many adolescents and young adults who struggle with an addiction to alcohol and drugs find that their physical health has suffered, too. Regular exercise can help them improve their physical health. Exercise also establishes a healthy routine that can help replace previous, unhealthy habits.

    If your child is prone to passing the time by staring at screens, exercise becomes even more vital. Take advantage of warmer temperatures and fresh air to give your child a memorable summer. Often it just takes a trip or two outside to remind them of the joys of sunny days and moving their bodies.

    Group Activities Flourish In the Summertime

    Look for group activities that emphasize being physical. Team sports such as soccer and baseball provide a great way to get some exercise. Check neighborhood organizations and community listings for summer teams that are forming. You can also talk to other parents for suggestions on what activities their kids enjoy.

    Activities that don’t feature an actual sport can still provide needed movement for a child. Camping provides an opportunity for hiking, setting up camp, and building muscles while carrying equipment. Young peer groups that go camping together experience multiple benefits. They engage in exercise, problem-solve as a team, and enjoy relaxing time around a fire or gazing up at the stars.

    Membership to a local swimming pool can help your child be among others while they enjoy regular swim sessions. A family membership can help the entire family enjoy time together splashing around.

    Volunteer work that involves being physical also provides a child a chance to get some exercise. Seek out groups that build housing for those in need or require volunteers to help exercise dogs at a shelter. Doing a good deed while working on their physical self can do wonders for a child.

    Exercising Solo Helps Get Your Child Moving

    Your child can also enjoy the sunshine and fresh air with solo activities. Riding a bicycle, skateboarding, and inline skating can give a child an opportunity to move around outside. Track and field events also provide the ability to get their heart rates up. Encourage your child to consider solo exercise-related hobbies that get them moving.

    Exercise Can Help Manage Mental Health

    Many young people who have a substance use disorder also cope with co-occurring disorders. These include mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other conditions. Exercise can also do wonders for mental health by reducing levels of anxiety and elevating positive moods.

    Establishing a habit of engaging in regular exercise can offer the one-two punch that kids need. Their new exercise routines can help them stay on the recovery path and manage their mental health. Addressing both issues provides a young person with a way to feel empowered and healthier.

    If Your Child Is Hesitant to Join a Group or Team

    A child who might have spent a lot of time isolating due to their addiction may be wary of becoming social again. Being part of a group working together as a team can offer benefits. Forming friendships and developing bonds with other members of their age group can have lasting effects.

    Talk to your child about any hesitancy they may feel about becoming more social this summer. Assure them that many kids may be nervous at first when they become part of a new group. Your child may have attended a residential treatment program in the past. If so, remind them of how they likely felt unsure of that in the beginning. They likely shifted to occupying a comfort zone reasonably quickly.

    Similar to adolescents grouped together in a treatment program, summer activities can help bond them. The members all work towards making good use of free time and socialization. Everyone wants to end the summer with good memories of the fun they had and new friends they made. This sort of experience can help a young person focus on maintaining their sobriety.

    Planning For Staying Safe This Summer

    Each community and activity will have its own rules for social distancing. You can check around to see what each activity requires and then determine your comfort level with your child participating in a group or program.

    Pandemic restrictions on movement meant many people have missed out on getting outside to enjoy some exercise. Now that society is starting to reopen and summer is almost here, it’s a whole new ballgame. If your child who copes with a substance use disorder is coming off months of lethargy and staying indoors, you can help them get excited about getting outdoors again. Exercise opportunities include group and solo sports, outside hobbies, and volunteer work. These can benefit their physical and mental health. Sustain Recovery offers well-rounded, long-term programs that help young people embrace recovery. We treat co-occurring mental health disorders and prepare your child for rejoining the family in a healthier mind and body. Our sunny Southern California location offers programs that help kids who may not have responded well to other treatment plans. Call us now at (949) 407-9052 to discuss how we can help bring your child back to an active life.

  3. Alternative Coping Strategies for Recovering Teens

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    Alternative Coping Strategies for Recovering TeensThere are many different ways that people deal with the challenges of life. When life is going well, we feel on top of the world. When life throws us a curve ball, that’s when we find out our true coping skills. Some people have strong, solid coping mechanisms and can deal with problems in a healthy way, while others of us find that we do not have a solid coping foundation and turn to substances or other vice to deal with our problems.  If you’re out of rehab and looking for ways to cope with life’s turmoils and difficulties without turning to substance use, consider these options;


    Exercising To Feel Good

    The vast improvement that exercise can have on the mind and body are hard to grasp until you actually start doing it. It doesn’t take long, though. Endorphins released during physical activity cause a natural, healthy euphoria which encourages you to repeat the productive and beneficial act. Exercise also helps remove byproducts of the stress response. If you’re feeling agitated, anxious, or angry—some of the biggest cornerstones of addiction recovery—a quick run or bike ride can do wonders for peace-of-mind and clear thinking.


    Journaling To Express Yourself

    By putting your thoughts on paper, you’re not just expressing your feelings—you’re gaining insight on them. You have to talk to someone, even if it’s just yourself. The major advantage of journaling in recovery from addiction is that it provides a clear and motivating record showcasing your treatment progress and which actions, attitudes, or choices worked for you along the way. Not only does the act of writing often reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and cravings, it can serve as a useful tool to look back on when you need insight or inspiration in the future.


    Talking It Out With Someone

    In addition to self-regulation and analysis, it’s important to have another listening ear. When stress and devastation make life seem unbearable, the act of communicating with another human being serves to help ground you in relationships and human interaction, which helps you to not feel so alone. Talking to a trusted friend takes some of the burden off yourself. It also makes way for multiple perspectives, both yours and theirs. If you’re attending AA or a similar program, you can even obtain a sponsor–a fellow addict with whom you can interweave your motivations and skill-building.


    There’s no better place to learn and utilize coping skills for recovery and sober living than right here, with us. Sustain Recovery offers a multitude of counseling and guidance services for building effective coping skills in and after treatment. For a consultation, call 949-637-5499.

The people at Sustain Recovery are truly passionate about their work. They put all their love, energy and spiritual strength in to it. They continue to support me today as I continue my ongoing journey in my personal recovery. I now have over a year of sobriety, my own apartment, a job, true friends and a support network that is always available to me. Although all that stuff is great, what matters most today is that I love myself and have the ability to love others. Thank you to all who had a hand and heart in Sustain Recovery

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