Tag Archive: healthy living

  1. 5 Tips for a Successful Daily Routine

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    Routine – whether in treatment, at school, or with family – is an important tool that can be used to enhance a child’s well-being and improve their likelihood of success in life and recovery. Schedules can create a sense of organization and structure in everyday activities. Expectations of what needs to get done and when are transparent, allowing a child to plan accordingly. Some activities can facilitate family bonding and a sense of belonging, which is so critical during this sensitive time.

    Sticking to a schedule is also a life skill that teaches responsibility, time management, and self-discipline. Overall, your child might find that their stress and anxiety levels are lower when a routine is implemented. These lessons not only prepare for the transition into adulthood but also help recovering children to ground themselves in healthy habits that keep them stable and focused. 

    Features of a Good Routine 

    As a parent, you might be unsure of how you can help your child create a routine and actually stick to it. Every child is different, but good routines tend to have three features. First, they are well-planned. The child should be aware of what their role entails and why they engage in the task. It should also be fair and reasonable. Second, there should be some level of regularity in the activity. For example, maybe every night, your child packs their bag for the next day. The third feature is predictability. The child has expectations for what’s to come or what is expected of them. Overall, it is important that your child’s routine is consistent and that they are held accountable for sticking to it. Some examples of a routine your child could take up include: 

    • Making and packing lunch every evening
    • Doing laundry, feeding the pets, or completing other chores
    • Helping prepare meals with parents 
    • Exercising around the same time a few times a week
    • Committing to an extracurricular activity 

    Getting Your Child To Commit 

    Knowing what goes into a good routine is the first step. The second step is actually getting your child to stick to it. There are five tips that you can test out to increase the chances your child will not only follow their routine but actually look forward to it. 

    The first is allowing your child to have some ownership in the planning process. This could help them be more accepting of the routine, especially if they are reluctant. Allowing the child to have a say also respects their autonomy and demonstrates that you care about their opinions. Another tip is to be aware of the time constraints you are creating for them. Some kids can complete certain tasks faster than others with ease. Others might become stressed when under a strict schedule. Prioritize what is most important to get done and when, and do a test run. The routine might need some adjusting and that’s okay! Tip number three is to be specific with your directions. Instead of saying “clean the refrigerator,” try saying, “throw out expired food from the refrigerator and wipe the shelves down.” When possible, allow them to use some discretion so they can practice planning and making decisions.

    Another suggestion is to write out their routine on paper and post it at eye level to catch their attention. Some kids – and even adults – need frequent and clear reminders about what needs to get done. Keep the schedule or list to a few items so they are not overwhelmed. The fifth tip is to support your child in the process of getting used to a new routine. Not everyone adjusts at the same rate. Give them some time and acknowledge small improvements, offering reminders and assistance when needed. At the end of the day, you know your child best. Make sure you spend some time reflecting on how they’re responding to their new routine during recovery. As a parent, you might want to keep your own journal and keep track of your child’s progress. 

    Routines Are Good for Entire Family 

    Routines are not just specific to an individual. Children reap important benefits from learning how to manage a routine schedule early in life. However, the benefits can be extended to the entire household. Routines can organize the family unit, foster opportunities to learn from each other and create a sense of stability and security. Rituals, which are basically special routines, make clear what is important to the family and strengthen relationships. For example, maybe you tell your kids stories at night or watch Sunday football together. These aspects of familial routines are particularly important for children in recovery. A specific routine that could benefit the entire household is family therapy.  

    A routine is an important tool to enhance your child’s likelihood of success during the recovery process. This stage can be disorienting and confusing, but a routine can help provide the structure and organization your child needs to get grounded again.  Learning to stick to a schedule teaches them responsibility, time management, and self-discipline. Although each child is different, a “good” routine tends to be well-planned, regular, and predictable. As a parent, understanding these three features is the first step in the right direction, but your child has to commit and follow through. There are different strategies that you can use to increase their chances of doing so. Located in Irvine, CA, Sustain Recovery is a treatment facility for adolescents going through a drug or alcohol addiction and recovery. We integrate various treatment modalities to provide adolescents with a positive, loving, and empowering environment. Call Sustain Recovery today to find out more about how our programs can help your child through recovery: (949) 407-9052

  2. Moving Indoor Activities Outside

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    Spring has sprung, and warm weather invites many people to put cold weather behind them. Nature is in bloom again, providing lush lawns, newly budding flowers, and other greenery. Months of being cooped up due to the cold weather and the pandemic have deprived many young people of fresh air and activities. Going outside and taking in the spring air can feel like a fresh start. 

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered many everyday activities for a year now, hope springs eternal. The advent of vaccines and the gradual reopening of society are in progress now. While all activities have not returned to normal, there are ways to transfer some indoor activities outside. Adapting our indoor activities to the outdoors allows people to enjoy the warmer weather and feel more involved in the world.

    Practice Centering Yourself Outside

    Many young people enjoy practicing yoga. This ancient activity can help improve physical strength and center one’s mind. While cold weather forces people to engage in yoga indoors, spring allows for a location change. Find a spot in your yard or a quiet neighborhood area to lay down your mat. Parks and other areas with beautiful scenery are also an excellent option. 

    For those who benefit from meditating, consider finding a new favorite outside spot for this activity. Like yoga, you may find a quiet area in your yard or a nearby outdoor area. Noisy places are typically not conducive to meditation. Look for locations and times of day that provide limits to outside noises. Using earbuds to play classical music or white noise can help drown out distracting sounds. 

    Forgo Gym Equipment for the “Real Deal”

    When gym equipment such as stationary bikes and treadmills came along, many heralded them as a great convenience. While they do provide the ability to work out without leaving your home or worrying about bad weather, they also deprive you of something. Walking, jogging, and bike riding in the great outdoors allows for fresh air and taking in visually stimulating sights. 

    While social distancing still limits you to a certain degree, wearing a mask and maintaining proper distance means you can still get in a good workout outside your home. Being around other people is a bonus, especially if a person is prone to isolation. Look for parks, neighborhoods with sidewalks, and places with bike paths. Getting in some sunlight while getting out of the house increases the benefits of your exercise routine.

    Move Your Indoor Hobbies Outdoors

    Most people think of common hobbies as indoor or sedentary activities. Try shaking things up and move your favorite pastime outside. Grab a comfortable chair and any needed accessories and move outdoors to:


    • Knit, crochet, or do cross stitch
    • Paint or draw
    • Enjoy creative writing either with pen and paper or on a laptop
    • Surf the web for recipes and plan meals for the week
    • Write in your journal
    • Take a series of photographs
    • Catch up with friends on the phone


    Volunteer Your Time Outdoors

    Helping others through volunteer work is good for the soul. For those in recovery from addiction, it can benefit your self-esteem and help keep you busy. Consider volunteer work that involves the great outdoors, such as walking dogs at an animal shelter. Many parks departments need help cleaning up litter and improving their outdoor areas. Helping build a playground for underserved children gives an opportunity to soak up some sun while doing a good deed. 

    Volunteer work doesn’t have to take place via an organized group. Ask around to see if an elderly neighbor might appreciate someone planting a flower bed for them to enjoy. A local children’s sports team might need a coach or someone to hand out snacks and emotional support after a game. Ask your family and friends for thoughts on giving back to your community in ways that get you out of the house.

    Plan Social Events That Don’t Involve Technology

    While keeping up with your friends via text and video chat programs has proven valuable, many people are suffering from “Zoom burnout.” Even if it’s not yet recommended to gather in large groups, consider ways to see your friends in person while still being safe. Set up socially distanced chairs in your yard or other common areas near your home. You can sit close enough to each other to have conversations this way. Tell everyone to bring their own beverages or snacks. Enjoy the fun of catching up without the use of a computer or smartphone.

    When spring rolls around every year, people are excited to get back outside again. The coronavirus has limited people regarding where they can go and how they can enjoy outdoor activities. You can still enjoy the arrival of warm weather. Taking hobbies and exercise routines outside of the home can give you a fresh perspective. Many outdoor volunteer activities may be available in your community. As social distancing becomes less rigid, more opportunities to socialize outdoors open up. Sustain Recovery understands the hardship that the pandemic has visited on society. We are committed to helping young people dealing with addiction and mental health issues embrace recovery in an ever-changing world. Our long-term programs help our clients assimilate into a recovery routine and prepare to rejoin their families. We provide therapeutic support and schooling. Call our Southern California campus today to find out how we can help you rejoin the world! (949) 407-9052.

  3. Do You Know Your Bill of Rights?

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    Bill of Rights

    January 2021 ushers in a new administration on Inauguration Day, inspiring many Americans to think about our founding fathers and the documents that form our country’s backbone. Did you know that everyone is entitled to their own Bill of Rights regardless of their political viewpoints? Not the document housed in an archival section of a museum but rather a list of fundamental rights to which every human being has a claim.  We’ve compiled a list of basic rights you deserve to enjoy and how to accomplish them.

    The Right to Be Treated With Respect

    Everyone deserves to be treated well by others by virtue of being born. Often during talk therapy or another part of a treatment program, a person discovers that they live a life that includes poor treatment from someone else. Such abuse can come from many sources. It could be an abusive partner, a family member who makes habitual negative comments to them, or a friend who continually puts the person down to feel good about themselves. 

    When these patterns go on long enough, it’s easy for some people to believe they deserve this degrading treatment. Therapeutic work can help dismantle this mindset, allowing a person to begin to refuse to accept such treatment. If the people in their lives continue to disrespect them, it can be helpful to create a list of potentially toxic relationships and decide if keeping them around adds to their lives or not. Even when it can be painful to do so, sometimes a person who refuses to respect them needs to be shown the exit.

    The Right to High Self-Esteem

    Besides reviewing how others treat a person, it’s equally crucial to ask your teen how they see and treat themselves. While no person feels fantastic about themselves 24/7, a healthy mindset means learning to reject automatic thoughts like feeling inferior to others or undeserving of love. Exercises like journaling and using positive affirmations can help retrain a young person’s mind to develop higher self-esteem. This makes it easier to think more positively about themselves, which aids in rejecting negative language and actions coming from those who have a vested interest in the person not having good self-esteem.

    The Right to Plan an Exciting Future

    When a person remains mired in the mental cloud of depression and similar mood disorders, it can seem as if there is no hope for a better future. Young people can become conditioned to accept that life will not change for the better. This belief drags them down, sometimes leading them to believe that they cannot accomplish their dreams. Even when an individual’s current life feels stormy and dark, sunny days are always possible. 

    Help your child take charge of their forecast and plan for brighter days. Have them write out what their ideal life would look like and encourage them to talk about it with a therapist, coach, or mentor. Implore them to think about their perfect career or what they might like to go to school to learn about, then help them put plans into action. Take stock of any changes you can make to help support your child’s journey that makes a happier future begin now. 

    The Right to Proper Treatment and Management of Your Mental Health

    No one should have to suffer the difficulties that accompany life with mental health issues. If you need help managing your child’s mental health, explore all options. Talk to your insurance company about how to proceed. If money is an issue, inquire about sliding scale options from therapists, scholarships from treatment programs, and assistance via city, state, and federal government programs. There may be ways to solve financial concerns currently unknown to you.

    Your child will be guided by clinical professionals who are skilled at teaching their clients not just to live but thrive. Keep in mind that the point of professional help isn’t to be a crutch but as someone to teach your child how to help themselves by receiving the treatment they deserve. 

    The Right to Sobriety

    If dealing with substance abuse accompanies your loved one’s mental health challenges, there are ways to deal with both issues. Many young people suffer from co-occurring disorders. The right program will teach your teen how to begin a sober life, which often makes dealing with the mental health side of things more manageable. You have the right to sobriety and better mental health. 

    The Bill of Rights isn’t just about the federal government. Everyone has a list of rights that includes the right to be treated with respect, have healthy self-esteem, plan a bright and exciting future, manage your mental health, and stay sober. Sustain Recovery offers several programs, including residential and extended care. These programs arm you with the ability to achieve everything on your child’s Bill of Rights and live a mentally healthy and sober life they might not have thought was possible. Our Southern California treatment facility offers a warm respite from today’s harsh world and a place to buckle down and get started on building a life that honors the real individual within. Call us today to learn more about which of our programs is the right fit for your loved one. We can help! (949) 407-9052.

  4. Personal Discipline in Recovery

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    goals discipline

    Do you ever doubt your willpower? Do you expect yourself to fail, instead of just fearing failure, like everyone does?

    Developing Self-Discipline

    Positive disciplines are crucial. Life is about adaptation, about dropping old ways and learning new ones. Never are these skills more important than during a mental health crisis. As the urge arises to return to drugs and alcohol, you can turn to productive activities and coping methods instead.

    The first two steps in this process:

    Plan Ahead

    When the urge to use drugs or alcohol hits, you should already know what to do. It helps to have multiple plans, each for a different scenario. It may help to go for a walk, but what if you’re stuck at work? You can’t just let the cravings build and build all day; you’ll have to find a way to ease your mind while sitting there. Can you call a sponsor and vent for a bit? Can you meditate? Can you pull out a journal and immerse yourself in some private writing, if that’s your thing?

    Find Healthy Alternatives

    On a neurological level, drug abuse robs us of our ability to feel joy and excitement from anything besides the drugs. Boredom and numbness are typical of people entering rehab.

    Some more “healthy disciplines”:

    • Get Active – Physical activity – exercise daily, go for walks, pick a new sport.
    • Get a Journal – Documenting your struggle is cathartic. Just admitting your struggles on paper can be incredibly self-empowering.
    • Get New Thoughts Healthy self-talk is important for self-discipline because it reminds us why we stopped in the first place. Addiction is partly a disease of willpower, but it also has a lot to do with miscalculations and deceptive thought-processes: Often, we actually believe, logically, that it’s okay to take just one sip or puff, or to put ourselves in a possibly stressful situation because, hey, it’s probably going to be fine.
    • Get a Friend – Make sure they’re the right kind of friend, not just a friend. Even if someone cares deeply about you, he or she can still be a triggering factor, especially if they’re into drugs or alcohol themselves.


    When surrounded by healthy peers in a recovery setting, it’s much easier to establish some healthy activities. Give us a call at 949-637-5499 to get started on your recovery journey ASAP.

  5. How to Help Your Teen Recover After Rehab

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    rehab aftercare celebration

    Graduation from rehab is an exciting time, and many parents can’t even imagine that their teen could ever backtrack. The change is so drastic, he or she seems like an entirely new person.

    So do most teens who graduate rehab; that’s why they graduate. Roughly 70 percent of them, however, relapse within the first six months, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

    In treatment, teens learn to apply certain behavioral strategies to the real world; but they can’t always succeed. The real world is like a minefield of stresses: relationships, drama, disorganization, and lots of surprises. Just to stay in check, recovering teens need require an extra-wide support network consisting of multiple angles: therapists, health care providers, self-help groups, sober-minded peers, and, if at all possible, family.

    Now more than ever, it’s crucial to provide constant emotional support for the teenager, whether they seem to need it or not. They’re not cured; they’re just ready to continue healing on their own.

    Aftercare Services for Teens

    Ideally, you should find a good aftercare program for your teenager before he or she enters rehab; that way, you’ll allow yourself some time to collect, weigh, and evaluate your options.

    When searching for an addiction treatment program, you should also ask about the support services that the facility provides once treatment is over. Those services should include:

    • Ongoing contact with counselors or therapists who were involved in the teen’s treatment
    • Referrals to therapists, psychiatrists or other specialists in the community who can manage medications and provide continuing therapy
    • Information about 12-step programs and other self-help groups for teens who are dedicated to staying sober
    • Access to transitional housing opportunities for teens who need more supervision and structure after rehab
    • Participation in alumni organizations for teenagers who have successfully completed rehab

    Sober Living Homes

    The transition from treatment to long-term recovery is so tough, we have special state-funded residential settings for that very purpose. Sober homes aren’t just for high-risk/court-ordered teens; they’re just a safe place to grow. There are still many rules to follow–nightly curfews, daily chores, mandatory meeting attendance–but you’re also monitored.

    Support for Parents and Families

    If the people closest to the addict are struggling themselves, it’s especially hard for the addict to recover. Parents, siblings and other family members struggling alongside the addict should join in on counseling sessions for families, especially if someone in the family is feeling resentful or angry. Indifference, negative attitudes, and enabling are problems that need to be targeted and tackled in order for real emotional progress to be made.

    Family counseling sessions cover a variety of topics:

    • The nature and causes of addiction
    • How addiction affects the family
    • Creating a supportive home environment
    • Keeping the lines of communication open
    • Setting healthy boundaries

    Conflicts with parents, sibling rivalry, emotional distance, or verbal abuse–you can’t always handle these problems on your own, the way you might be able to fix a minor leak or hardware malfunction. When these issues lead to mental health crises like drug abuse…that’s when it stops being a “Do it yourself” deal and starts demanding professional intervention.


    From admission through aftercare, Sustain offers the perfect kind of support for staying sober. Call us today to learn more about our intensive rehab programs for adolescents: 949-637-5499

Sustain Recovery changed my life in a way I never considered remotely possible. I arrived in a place where I knew nobody. Sustain Recovery gave me tools so that I never had to be alone again. I learned how to live like an adult and have genuine relationships with other human beings. I gained a sense of self respect, love, and pride from the challenges I was given by staff. I was able to work through the recent loss of my father and I achieved my goal of not taking any psychiatric medication.
I learned that life is an endless balancing act. I have to continually work on myself and my relationships with the people in my life. The staff at Sustain Recovery are all incredibly experienced and spiritual. They were available to me whether I wanted their help or not. Through their efforts and experience, I experienced the inner workings of having an intimate, loving relationship with a loving creator.
Sustain Recovery is “home” for me. I discovered a loving, caring family that helped launch me to a place I would have never dreamed and, if I would have dreamed it, I would never have believed I would be able to accomplish it.

© 2023 OCTLC Inc.