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8 Ways to Help Your Child Heal From Past Trauma

8 Ways to Help Your Child Heal From Past Trauma

Children growing up around addicts face trauma of their own. While we may try to protect them from it, it doesn’t always work. It hurts to know that we allowed our children to go through it. That’s an experience you never want them to have.…

The Top 6 Addiction Stories on YouTube

The Top 6 Addiction Stories on YouTube

Sometimes I still have bad days. Watching, reading, or listening to addiction recovery stories helps get me through. If it helps me, maybe it will help you too. Today was hard. For no reason except the thoughts inside my own mind. It can be my…

Essential oils That Benefit Mental Health

Essential oils That Benefit Mental Health

There are many articles claiming lavender or ylang ylang essential oil can fix your stress, cure anxiety, and even make you recover from addiction. They can’t actually fix it. However, essential oils can help.

Studies have proven that certain essential oils boost mood. Will that cure you? No. There is no quick fix for mental illness, including addiction.

That being said, boosting your mood will help you get through the day easier. Lavender does promote sleep. It won’t fix insomnia, but if you just need a little calm to ease off into sleep it will get you there.

To me there is no harm in using a holistic and natural approach to anything in life. If it helps even a little, then it’s very worth it. Besides they don’t carry negative side effects. Many prescription medicines have some very negative side effects. I’m prone to side effects. They can make me worse, rather than better.

When I need a little boost to get me through the day I turn to essential oils. I use for various things around the house. For now we will just go over my most used.

10 must have essential oils in your medicine cabinet:

  1. Lavender oil: lavender is by far my most used oil. I diffuse it when I’m overly anxious. I even put it on my dogs collar when she’s anxious to calm her down. Lavender is also used to clean counter tops. Just dilute 10-15 drops in a spray bottle and use it just like you would a multi-purpose cleaner. It breaks up oil and actually disenfects.
  2. Eucalyptus radiata: this type of eucalyptus has a minty scent and acts similar to camphor or Vicks vapor rub when diffused. I have horrible allergies and it clears up the congestion quickly. Eucalyptus radiata has the same antimicrobial, and calming properties as regular eucalyptus.
  3. Clary sage: this oil acts as a sedative. Combine it with lavender if you’re experiencing severe anxiety or need to fall asleep. It also helps to balance hormones, and brightens mood.
  4. Orange oil: orange brings about a happy feeling. Mix it with lavender if you need a pick me up. It also disenfects so it can be used like the lavender to clean with.
  5. Lemon oil: lemon works much like orange oil in that it brightens mood. You can rub it on the inside of planters as well to keep fruit flies out of house plants.
  6. Peppermint oil: pepper mint helps to clear negative energy. It also clears bad smells from an area, and mice hate it. You can dab it on a cotton ball and place the cotton in cabinets to prevent mice from getting in.
  7. Marjoram oil: this is another sedative. Be warned this one is not to be used if pregnant or before operating machinery. It can be combined with both lavender and clary sage. That combination will put you to sleep quickly.
  8. Bergamot: if you’ve ever drank earl grey tea this is what the citrus scent in it is. Bergamot oil is known for it’s calming effect. It calms in a way that allows you to let things go. It’s also great for tension and fear.
  9. Ylang ylang: it helps lower blood pressure, and can even put you in the mood. Mix it with your preferred anxiety blend to help get that blood pressure back to a normal state after a bad day.
  10. Vetiver: this helps with focus, anxiety and even ADD. It has an earthy lemon grass kind of smell that is grounding. Pure vetiver is also very thick so it can be difficult to drip out.
  11. Chamomile: it’s used for sleep and depression. You can diffuse the oil or purchase tea to drink.

While 11 essential oils were listed here there are many more. Read up on them before using them. Knowledge is power. Everyone should know the facts about something before using it. If you know these facts, other oils, or ways to blend them discuss it in the comments below.

One day at a time. Recovery and mental health will not be cured overnight. It’s a lifelong process. Let’s make it there together.

Recovering Addicts Need Yoga!

Recovering Addicts Need Yoga!

For those in a 12 step program finding spirituality is no stranger. As for those that are not, well it’s not about religion. It’s about delving deeper into yourself while creating a mindfulness that absolutely will keep you clean. It only works if you work…

Running as an Addiction Recovery Tool

Running as an Addiction Recovery Tool

Who actually likes running? I didn’t, I even bought a shirt that says ” I hate running” to wear while I run. In fact, the only reason I started running was because I promised my sponsor that I would. I promised to run twice a…

Why are Coping Skills so Important in Recovery?

Why are Coping Skills so Important in Recovery?

First let’s discuss what coping is: Coping means to invest one’s own conscious effort, to solve personal and interpersonal problems, in order to try to master, minimize or tolerate stress and conflict.  Therefore, having good coping skills means that you will be able to better handle the stresses of everyday life.

Having a lack of coping skills is widely known as a precursor to addiction. Therefore, in retrospect developing coping skills will aid in recovery. This is more than just a theory though. It is commonly stated that stress, loneliness, incompetence, insecurity, pain, and other negative emotions are what lead someone to self medicate even during recovery.

Self-medicating is the leading cause of addiction in the United States according to the APA. Addiction due to self-medicating is even higher in women than in men. Why are so many people self-medicating though? Because they haven’t developed proper coping skills to manage negative thoughts, and pain.

While it may seem easier in the beginning to self medicate than to figure out the underlying cause. It is simply put like trying to fix a flood gate with duct tape. Eventually, it will burst and cause a bigger problem. Before you know it self medicating has become a full-blown addiction, and you have lost everything you were trying to save by self-medicating in the first place.

Developing strong coping skills will prevent self-medication by giving someone in recovery an alternative path to handling negative thoughts, emotions, and pain. This why being active in a 12 step program can be so beneficial to maintaining recovery. 12 step programs give you the tools to keep your mind and body in check, help you heal from past trauma, and allow you to let go of the guilt of your own addiction.

However, coping skills can be developed outside of a 12 step program. You can learn positive ways to handle negative thoughts, healthy alternatives to pain management, and to keep your emotions balanced. One way to do this is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy will help your body and mind to function at its best, exercise will keep you in shape and give you a positive outlet for stress, and you will look better which will help you to feel more confident. However, with a 12 step program, you also get a group of people that will help support you throughout the process. Having those bonds and extra support will make it easier for you to succeed.

If you, a friend, or relative are suffering from addiction due to self-medicating please seek help today. You can run a quick google search for the 12 step program you are seeking and find a meeting in your area. If you are trying to develop coping skills on your own I recommend https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1608823407/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1608823407&linkCode=as2&tag=ophelia0c-20&linkId=e36b4d6e491b56e3d6538921ee2bca37

How to Recognize Addiction in Yourself

How to Recognize Addiction in Yourself

Have you found yourself wondering if you might be addicted to something? With the rising addiction rates around the world, it’s a question many people are asking themselves. Whether it be, prescribed medication or a substance taken for leisure, it’s possible to become addicted without…

It’s Their Addiction Not Yours

It’s Their Addiction Not Yours

Are you allowing someone else’s addiction to take over your life? It’s easy to do. They need help so you try to give it. Then before you even know it your life has become consumed by the addiction you are trying to save them from. …

7 Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance

7 Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is getting tougher these days. Many Americans spends 8 hours a day at a 9-5 staring at a computer screen. Then they go home only to stare at their phones, the television, or even another computer screen. The fast pace of ever changing technology has forced everyone into this nasty routine where you spend all day working, then spend all evening studying new practices that involve your work. 

The only way to break that cycle is to develop a routine that enables you to have a solid work-life balance. Let’s discuss some things you can do today to get on the road to maintaining a good work-life balance:

  1. Listen to music at work: enjoying some tunes while you work can help to alleviate some of the stress in your routine. It will also break up a bit of the monotony.
  2. Ask for help when you are overwhelmed: it may feel needy or like you can’t handle your own job, it isn’t though. Everyone needs help sometimes. Besides, how many bosses have you heard giving the old “teamwork is dreamwork” line. It may be a tired phrase, but it’s very true. 
  3. Set manageable goals: when you’re at work make a list every morning of what you have to accomplish that day and make it happen. At home set goals to get your errands and chores finished on time. Using this practice will give you more down time. It will also give you a clear sense of what you have accomplished in a day.
  4. Learn to say no: if you’re always being a yes man, then you won’t have time to say yes to yourself. Taking on extra tasks will eat up all of that time you could’ve spent living your life. It’s okay to say no to people. 
  5. Exercise frequently: when you exercise on a regular schedule it helps your body to regulate hormones more efficiently. This hormone regulation will help immensely with stress reduction. It will also give you time to yourself. Time that you can use to clear your head, and blow off some stressful thoughts.
  6. Meditate: meditation may seem strange if you’ve never done it. You do get used to it in time though. Meditating frequently helps to keep stressful thoughts from piling up. It sort of clears out the closet inside your brain. You can even try combining it with exercise. Take a walk/run to a quiet place, once there take a break, have sit down and meditate. You will be surprised at the changes you will see in yourself after.
  7. Unplug: in today’s world technology is literally at our fingertips, all day everyday. That doesn’t mean you need to go into information overload on a daily basis. It’s okay to put your phone down, turn off the TV, and go spend time with friends and family. 

If you can’t manage to try all 7 of those tips, then just try one. Pick one tip from that list and put it into action today. Then build on that action by using 2 of those tips next week. Keep adding to your list of actions and before you know it you will have developed a proper work-life balance.

The Need For a Female-specific Approach to Recovery

The Need For a Female-specific Approach to Recovery

Why is there a need for a female-specific approach to recovery? It is widely known that men and women are very different mentally and physically. Did you know that the hormone cycle that women experience every month, along with the way the female body stores…