Tag Archive: technology

  1. Why You Should Participate in National Unplugging Day

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    Unplug

    March 5 is National Unplugging Day. This annual event challenges people to go 24 hours without using electronics such as cell phones, computers, televisions, gaming systems, and anything else related to technology. The idea is to spend a day without relying on the internet and screen-based entertainment to connect in other ways of passing the time and accomplishing tasks. Pew Research reports that nine out of ten households have at least one technology-related device, with the average being five. Eighteen percent of households have a whopping ten or more devices. 

    The younger the person, the more likely they are to have access to multiple devices. An entire generation is growing up with no memory of a world where they could not immediately access information and entertainment on a handheld, portable device. For adolescents and young adults, the idea of spending 24 hours without engaging in their tech habits can be scary and frustrating; however, there are benefits for any age group to “unplug” from the e-world. A short respite from electronic life can offer a person the opportunity to let their minds quiet down and recharge

    Engaging the Five Senses

    While there is no denying the convenience of electronic devices, often, they rob a person of the advantages of real-time, in-person contact. Having a phone call instead of texting allows a person to hear things like tone of voice and laughter. However, speaking in-person opens the spectrum up even more. Face-to-face conversations allow for:

    • Seeing body language 
    • Establishing eye contact
    • Feeling a real connection 

    Many people enjoy cooking shows and recipe apps but do not take the next step of testing their skills in the kitchen. Spending some time trying a new recipe or fiddling around with an old one provides a person with the ability to smell cooking aromas and taste the results. 

    If a person considers playing a sport virtually as exercise, it’s time to rethink this. Toggling a few buttons or keys to play baseball or other sports does not provide the benefits of being on your feet, exercising, and getting fresh air. Choose activities that incorporate some or all five senses, making for a richer experience than one coming from electronic devices.

    Less Screen Time Can Mean Better Sleep

    Just the act of setting aside smartphones or turning off screens can mean a person is more likely to engage in other activities. Taking a brisk walk to stretch your legs or other exercise and getting fresh air lends itself to better sleeping patterns, and stop all screen time at least a half-hour before going to bed. Cell phones emit a type of blue light that affects melatonin production–the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythm. When this is compromised, falling asleep and waking can be much more difficult. 

    Once a person is in bed, choosing a peaceful way to transition to sleep can decrease the amount of time to fall asleep. Reading a book (the physical kind, not an e-book) or listening to calming music are excellent choices. Even activities that seem harmless, like reading the news or scrolling through social media apps, can trick the brain into thinking it needs to stay awake to think about items read. Some news stories or updates on social media sites illicit strong reactions, such as anger, frustration, or sorrow. The mind may remain focused on these feelings rather than making a relaxing transition to sleep.

    Being Plugged in Can Be an Avoidance Technique

    Many people can relate to the idea of “just one more game” or “five more minutes” as an excuse to keep themselves occupied with electronics. In particular, adolescents will jockey for more time doing what feels most comfortable and most fun for them, making it imperative for parents to challenge them. Too often, burying one’s head in electronic devices can be a way of distracting a young person when dealing with mental health issues or sobriety. 

    While National Unplugging Day occurs once annually, unplugging from devices can be done on any day throughout the year. A parent or treatment professional can sit down with a young person to help them plan for a day of being “unplugged.” Discuss what activities they might be avoiding by being tethered to their devices. Make a list of things to accomplish on their “day off,” which could include household chores, studying, getting outside, socializing, journaling, doing volunteer work, or engaging in creative pursuits. Make sure kids understand that being unplugged for a day is not a punishment. Being “unplugged” is an opportunity to shake up a routine and see what one can accomplish.

    National Unplugging Day is a day set aside for people to abstain from their electronic devices, such as smartphones, televisions, computers, video gaming systems, and streaming services. The idea is to reconnect with non-electronic pastimes that involve movement and engaging in all five senses. Doing so can promote better sleep and counter the tendency to avoid accomplishing necessary tasks. When a young person seeks help from Sustain Recovery, we allow them the ability to unplug from their daily life to concentrate on healing. Our clients often find that being removed from their familiar home environment and any unhealthy temptations among peers proves beneficial to hitting the “reset button.” This allows them to learn to thrive in sobriety and manage any co-occurring mental illnesses. When they return home, they are equipped with the skills needed to heal and move forward. Call us today to find out how we can help your child unplug and rejoin life! (949) 407-9052

  2. These Smartphone Apps are Designed to Support your Recovery

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    These Smartphone Apps are Designed to Support your RecoveryMore and more Americans are dealing with addiction, and science and technology are doing their best to keep up. Mobile apps offer added support, organization, and peace of mind to the daily life of someone in recovery from addiction. Millennials are very expressive and open with their phones, more so than in face-to-face situations. While that paradigm may be causing some problems for this generation, it can also be used positively for certain purposes, recovery being one of them. The best part?  These apps are totally free.

     

    Recovery Apps for Logistics

    Addiction recovery apps are nothing new; people have been using them since smartphones became a widespread commodity. Sober Tool provides the fastest track to AA meetings. Addicaid tracks attendance and participation. Sparkite allows both addicts and their case managers to track goals and progress.

    It’s not all logistics, either. Recovery apps can also be emotionally uplifting (or even brutally honest, when necessary). The Serenedy Player is just one of many apps which provides inspirational quotes and stories whenever you need an emotional boost. Words are powerful, even coming from a screen.

     

    Recovery Apps for Aftercare

    Some apps offer recovery exercises of their own, which is great for recovering addicts emerging from rehab. The app Recovery Box allows the user to color code a monthly calendar according to their goal-making-progress. Some of these apps are so interactive and sophisticated, they’re still in development. My New Leaf, which is set to hit Apple and Android devices by next year, engages its user in surveys, identifies their motivations and triggers, and provides useful individualized feedback about how to improve. It will also offers peer-to-peer support from other users currently online.

     

    Helping, not Distracting

    The ability to record and assess recovery progress with such relative ease gives today’s tech savvy youth an obvious edge, but not everything can be solved or improved with some some phone or device; nor are these tools appropriate or helpful in every situation. Sometimes, technology gets in the way. Sometimes, it causes its own problems in our lives. Sometimes—at least once a day, perhaps—it’s good to set down the phone and enjoy a nice walk, a cup of coffee, or a book.

    There is no denying that computerized technology has become a growing and prevalent force in society. Learning to use it productively–to better ourselves rather than distract ourselves–is a must for today’s youth. You don’t need recovery apps to recover, but they’re worth checking out, even if you’re not a computer person.

    For more information on addiction recovery and aftercare support,
    contact Sustain Recovery Services.

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.

K.C.
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