Balancing Work and Family Life
During sobriety, daily stress and chronic pressures can become triggers for drug and alcohol relapse. One of the central issues for many women in recovery is the challenge of balancing work and family life. While it’s natural to feel pulled between two worlds as a working mother, finding ways to foster balance in your life can help you become more effective in both arenas – while reducing stress and guarding your new-found sobriety.
Here at The Orchid Recovery Center, we can help you find the delicate balance between work and family life so you can stand strong in your sobriety. Call us today for more information.
Ways to Balance Work and Family Life
With a mindful approach, you can foster productivity and peace at home and at the office. We’ve gathered some practical ways to create a greater sense of balance in both employment and motherhood below.
- Set Dual Goals
The first step to achieving goals is simply to set them. So often, we set goals at the office and forget to set goals for ourselves at home. Ask yourself what you would like to achieve as a mother, as well as what goals you have for your intimate relationship. Eliminate any unnecessary expectations and focus on the goals you truly desire to achieve. Break down goals into daily, actionable items.
- Ask for Help
One of the easiest mistakes to make in attempting home life and work balance is to attempt to go it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your partner, coworkers or boss should you find yourself overwhelmed.
- Get Organized
Organization can be a proactive way to reduce stress. Lay out lunches and clothes for kids the night beforehand. Keep a clean inbox at work and sync up professional and personal calendars to avoid double-booking. Set chore schedules and daily routines to ensure effective time management, higher productivity and calmness.
- Remain Flexible
Not every day goes according to plan. Allow yourself the space to be flexible when unexpected events come up. Attempting rigidity only adds to stress levels. Some days, the laundry will have to wait, and some days, you might find yourself working through lunch to meet an unexpected deadline. Strive for balance, but keep perspective when you need to make fast adaptations.
- Eliminate Harsh Judgment
Self-criticism and guilt add nothing to your day. Set your own personal standards and let go of the need to berate yourself for not keeping up with the Joneses. Remember to keep your sense of perspective (and your sense of humor!). Avoid comparisons with others. Remember that you don’t have to be superwoman to be effective at work and on the home front.
- Stay Present
It’s easy to divide your attention when you have both work and home pressures. Attempt to stay present as you approach each task in a mindful manner. When you are with your children after work, do your best to avoid checking your email or voicemail continuously. Conversely, while at work, attempt to trust your partner, daycare provider or babysitter and avoid unnecessary worrying.
- Make Contingency Plans
The stress of the last minute can add to a sense of imbalance. Try as best as you can to make preparatory contingency plans. Talk with your partner about who will stay home at what times when the children are sick. Make back-up plans for date nights that may be sidelined by work pressures. Knowing ahead of time what your “Plan B” is can help take the stress out of any surprises headed your way.
Setting Attainable Goals
In sobriety, many of us find a rejuvenation of desire as we return to goals we had before addiction sidetracked us. However, many times, we may have had dreams that remained just that – notions of things we said we would love to do some day that simply never become actualized. Often, the problem lies not in our ability to achieve – but simply our failure to set goals that can be attained. Setting reasonable goals means making our desires concrete, organizing time and efforts, gathering resources and outlining steps for attainment.
Ways to Set and Achieve Attainable Goals
With some basic tenets, you can set and achieve goals in a stress- and fear-free manner. Here at The Orchid Recovery Center, we are happy to help you achieve your goals. Here are a few tips for setting goals that are specific, actionable and attainable.
- Visualize Success
You won’t know when you achieve a goal if you haven’t decided what success looks like. Take some time to list your goals and then attach verbal and sensory values to them. What does it mean to “advance at your job”? What does “quality time with your kids” look like? Get specific, knowing you can amend your picture of success as it evolves over time. Ask yourself what sounds, scents, visuals and feelings would accompany your picture of success. Create a “vision board” with magazine cutouts, drawings and inspirational words that symbolize your success, to create tangible goals.
- Break Tasks into Steps
Make sure that you’re not creating goals that are mammoth in size. For each major goal, create sub-goals with actionable, simple steps for their completion.
- Seek out a Mentor or Partner
In addition to gaining support, mentors and partners can provide feedback and inspiration that can become indispensable in goal attainment. Whether you seek out a veteran in your company, another mother in your child’s kindergarten class or a girlfriend at school, find women of strong character and healthy lifestyles to recruit into your support network. Allow connections to build easily, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or support when you need it, while giving the same in return.
- Assess Your Resources
Sometimes, we have the tools we need to achieve our goals already; we simply haven’t recognized it yet. Take a moment after goal-setting to assess your resources. Who could help with this goal? Do you know someone with knowledge or a talent in a given area? What books might be instructional for you? What time can you comfortably find in your schedule? What money or tools might you already have for achievement? By allotting resources to achievable goals, you’ll find that you can better position yourself for attainment.
- Set a Reasonable Pace
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and goals don’t get accomplished overnight. Remember to set a reasonable pace for yourself in goal achievement. Leave time for relaxation, meditation, exercise and personal obligations. Remember that achievement is not a race to the finish.
- Plan for Setbacks
Always build both a time and a resource cushion into your goal plans. Remember that life doesn’t always go smoothly and not everything will execute according to plan. Especially around important action items, try to identify obstacles and create secondary plans for any foreseeable setbacks that may arise.
How to Stay Motivated
During the alcohol and drug rehabilitation process, many women find themselves invigorated with a new-found sense of motivation as they approach their sober lives ahead. However, the challenge during sober living is to maintain fortitude and motivation – even in the wake of challenges that may arise. By nurturing yourself, setting practical goals and maintaining a positive attitude, you can harness the strength and insight you achieved during your time at The Orchid Recovery Center.
Staying Motivated During Your Ongoing Addiction Recovery
During the transition into sober living, you can maintain your motivation by embracing a few core principles that you learned during the drug or alcohol recovery process. Here are a few simple ways to continue to stay motivated as you enter your new and exciting sober life ahead.
- Set Specific Goals
By setting specific goals, you can guard against feelings of failure. Start small and be as specific as you can. Attach each goal to a tangible result, and consider drawing a picture or putting together a collage of your success. Try to make your goals actionable on a weekly, monthly or daily level. This will help engender consistency as you approach your goals as well.
- Embrace a Positive Self-View
One of the most demoralizing things we can do is to badger ourselves with negative self-talk. Take time to reinforce a positive self-view by keeping a list of your accomplishments, positive traits and successes. Remember that you are a worthwhile individual, regardless of who approves, what you do or do not do, or what challenges you face. Recognize your beauty and find small ways to celebrate the person that you are every day.
- Reward Yourself
Accomplishments can be bolstered by finding rewards for achievements we make. Though our motivation often stems from a deeper place, we still need to take time to acknowledge and revel in our successes. Take an impromptu trip to a local national park or open space area, indulge in a hot bath or take time to read for pleasure. Attach a small reward to each goal and make sure you follow through upon achievement.
- Create a Healthy Support Network
Positive people open up a world of possibilities for us. Take a look at the people in your life. How do you act when you are around them? How do you feel about yourself after interactions? While sometimes we cannot eliminate relationships that are problematic, we still can take measures to limit our time with negative people and create personal boundaries for our own protection. Foster relationships with those who bring light, love and inspiration into your life. Reach out for help and support when you need it, and seek out relationships with those who have embraced a rewarding, healthy lifestyle.
While inpatient recovery centers tend to enjoy a stronger success rate than outpatient rehabilitation programs, not everyone has the luxury of attending a residential drug or alcohol treatment program. For some individuals, child care issues, work pressures or financial constraints necessitate outpatient rehabilitation in the wake of drug or alcohol addiction. With a dedicated number of hours of treatment per week, outpatient rehabilitation programs tend to focus on education, group meetings and addiction awareness. Naturally, outpatient programs require a strong sense of dedication and motivation in participants. By taking an active and mindful approach to outpatient treatment, individuals can make the most of their outpatient rehabilitation program here at The Orchid Recovery Center and prepare for a sober life ahead.
Maximizing an Outpatient Rehabilitation Program
The first step to sobriety in an outpatient rehabilitation program comes with the acknowledgment of addiction and the decision to enroll. Because outpatient programs rely on patient participation, you will want to maximize your success in treatment with practical measures. Here are just a few ways you can make the most of your outpatient rehabilitation program in your pursuit of sobriety.
- Regular Attendance
Outpatient programs occur for a limited number of hours per week, requiring consistent attendance. Avoid missing appointments at your outpatient rehabilitation program, and ensure that you arrive distraction-free and ready to learn and heal.
- Comply with Medical Rules and Regulations
Outpatient rehabilitation centers do not generally have on-site detoxification facilities. Instead, most facilities require that patients detoxify from drugs or alcohol three days to a week before enrollment. Ensure that you have successfully – and sufficiently – detoxified before entering treatment at an outpatient facility. Additionally, you will need to comply with your outpatient program’s drug testing requirements to help them achieve a sober environment – and to ensure your own sobriety through accountability. Some outpatient rehabilitation programs will dispense necessary medications in order to help patients achieve sobriety; in these cases, faithful maintenance of prescription ingestion will be required.
- Maintain a Nurturing Home Environment
During outpatient rehabilitation, participants remain in their original home environment. Make sure that you create a positive, nurturing and sober environment at home. For some, this will involve changing roommates, entering couples counseling, creating a more organized and healing space, or eliminating drugs, alcohol and addiction triggers.
- Augment Your Recovery
Remember that outpatient rehabilitation programs are not, by nature, all-encompassing solutions. As such, make sure you augment your personal recovery from drug and alcohol addiction by attending 12-step meetings, acquiring a personal therapist, exercising and eating healthful meals. During group addiction counseling or family counseling sessions at your outpatient rehabilitation center, maintain a sense of honesty and reflect on your addiction in an attempt to gain greater insight for recovery.
- Remain Aware of Deeper Recovery Needs
In some cases, more intensive recovery will be required in order to achieve sobriety. By staying honest about and open to cues that deeper recovery work may be needed, you can help guard against a descent into addiction. If you find yourself relapsing, displaying symptoms of a secondary mental health disorder (known as “dual diagnosis”), or self-harming, you may require inpatient treatment in order to fully recover. Remember that there is no shame in reaching out for further help, and speak to your sponsor, care coordinator or outpatient counselor if you recognize a need for more intensive treatment.
Group Meetings for Support
Since the dawn of the 20th century, 12-step group meetings have provided cost-free support to those in recovery for drug and alcohol addictions. These donations-based, peer-run meetings can be indispensable as you embark on sober living after completion of our program here at The Orchid Recovery Center. With built-in measures for accountability, a confidential atmosphere and empathetic, nonjudgmental gatherings, group meetings are available in virtually every locale across the country for continued support in addiction recovery.
Ways to Gain Addiction Recovery Support in Group Meetings
Like most recovery aftercare measures, the effectiveness of the support provided by group meetings often hinges on the level of openness and participation of members. Below you’ll find some practical measures for maximizing your addiction recovery support as you approach 12-step group meetings.
- Try Different Meetings
Many individuals in recovery find that they need to visit a few local group meetings to find one that feels like a natural fit. Some group meetings will lean heavily on 12-step literature, while others will emphasize anecdotal experience. Furthermore, group meetings exist with specific demographics in mind, catering to women-only, alternative lifestyles, parents or other audiences. Some meetings are open to everyone while others are “closed meetings,” open to only those in recovery.
- Make Sure to Participate
The 12-step adage, “It works if you work it” applies to the level of participation of members, as well. Consider coming to meetings early or staying afterward to interact with other members on a deeper level. Listen attentively and attend meetings regularly to ensure that you get the most out of your 12-step meetings.
- Embrace Accountability
The 12-step group meeting model centers around sponsorship and accountability. When you are ready, consider seeking out a sponsor – someone who has already achieved a reasonable duration of sobriety and who can offer help and counsel when needed. If you feel you would like a sponsor but do not have one in mind, consider approaching a meeting speaker or veteran member and asking for recommendations.
- Speak Up
Many individuals feel intimidated by the perceived pressure to speak at 12-step group meetings. Start out by listening, and then challenge yourself to speak up when you feel ready. Remind yourself that others can empathize with your experiences, and take increasing risks as you feel more at ease. Remember to honor your personal boundaries and only share what you are comfortable sharing. Make attempts to be truthful in what you share, remembering that others have traveled the road to sobriety with many of the same challenges you face.
- Keep an Open Mind
Try not to discount the words of others, even if you can’t relate to them on a personal level. Try to approach meetings with an open mind, seeking lessons in each person’s attempts to share. Remember that while individuals may come with a variety of personality types, quirks and backgrounds, each individual has faced drug or alcohol addiction and seek to learn from their experiences with sobriety.
Avoid Addiction Relapse
Despite graduation from reputable drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, many individuals relapse back into use during the first year of recovery. While relapses do occur, there are ways to guard against them as you begin walking your path of sober living. By preparing for your sobriety with mindfulness, honesty and determination during your time at The Orchid Recovery Center, you can maximize your sober potential.
Five Ways to Avoid Addiction Relapse
Here are a few practical ways to avoid addiction relapse and promote sobriety as you begin your new life after drug or alcohol rehabilitation.
- Make Preparations
Many cases of relapse center around lack of preparedness. Before you return home from your alcohol or drug rehabilitation center, carefully assess your environment, relationships, habits and pressures with an addiction counselor. Spotlight areas that might pose challenges to your newfound sobriety and together, make actionable plans for coping with such factors. Map out available support resources and tangible lifestyle changes, to ensure that you have a relapse prevention plan when triggers or temptations arise.
- Create a Healthy Environment
No one is indifferent to the environment that surrounds them. Making the return back home from inpatient drug or alcohol rehabilitation can be difficult if your environment remains fraught with chaos, unkempt, disorganized, negative or promotes drug and alcohol use. Create a calming, organized space in the presence of trustworthy, sober companions.
- Avoid Burnout
One of the keys to maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse is to avoid taking on too much at a time. Give yourself time and space to heal by learning to say “no” to excessive personal demands, exceedingly long hours at work or a schedule that is too full. Make sure that you work time for relaxation, sober socializing, meditation and exercise into your schedule. Give yourself plenty of time cushion around your activities to avoid high stress levels.
- Be Kind to Yourself
Avoid berating yourself or engaging in self-criticism. Foster your self-esteem by speaking kindly to yourself, avoiding unreasonable self-expectations or embracing a perfectionist, critical mindset. Stop to give yourself acknowledgment or small rewards for achievements, and practice affirmations to build your self-esteem.
Sober Living Tips
Because of the spiritual and emotional nature of addiction, recovery is a lifelong process that begins with successful drug or alcohol rehabilitation. Sober living is about more than merely sobriety; the freedom you find from addiction opens up entirely new personal avenues for most women. As you embark into sobriety, healing continues in real and tangible ways. By incorporating the tenets of mental, physical and spiritual health you have learned at The Orchid Recovery Center, you can prevent relapse while enriching your life in the process.
Tips for Long-Term Sober Living
There are several key components to creating a rewarding, healthful sober lifestyle. Here are just a few ways in which you can create ongoing healing and guard against relapse as you continue in your recovery.
- Make a Commitment to Keep Healing
One of the most common misconceptions about alcohol or drug rehabilitation is the notion that healing is complete when graduation from a recovery program occurs. Stay in touch with your treatment center, continue to maintain 12-step attendance and therapy appointments, and follow through on the lifestyle changes you initiated during your stay at The Orchid Recovery Center.
- Take Care of Your Body
Over the course of addiction, our bodies quite frankly undergo a tremendous level of stress through ingestion of toxic substances. Select nutritious foods, ensure adequate hydration each day, and consider vitamin and mineral supplements to promote optimal function of the body and mind. Make sure to get plenty of sleep and exercise, as these measures will reduce stress, bring mental clarity for problem-solving, increase your metabolism and release mood-enhancing endorphins.
- Feed Your Passions
Sober living isn’t simply about abstinence; it’s also about pursuit. Acknowledge your capability and seek out passions you can enjoy. Take time for hobbies, sports, intellectual pursuits, volunteer work and creative activities, acknowledging yourself as a unique and multi-dimensional human being. Recognize the ability recovery has brought you to enjoy your life and pursue the things you love.
- Surround Yourself with Support
After rehabilitation, many women find that certain social relationships that existed during addiction are stumbling blocks. Surround yourself with positive people, and don’t be afraid to ask for support when you need it. New connections with those who are in a healthy place or likewise dedicated to recovery can be indispensable as you embark on sober living.
- Seek Spiritual Growth
As women, we are more than simply intellectual or physical beings. Many individuals find that during drug or alcohol rehabilitation, they get in touch with their spiritual selves in a deeper, more meaningful way. Take time for meditation, read ancient scriptures or reconnect with your religious beliefs to foster perspective, spirituality and a sense of connectedness and meaning.