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Advice for Mom’s in Recovery

Happy Mothers Day!

There is a reason they call it the hardest job in the world. Managing being a mother while maintaining recovery is possible using these tools!

Let Go of Resentment

Resentment can be a killer for those struggling with substance use disorder. Holding on to bitterness keeps us sick and holds us hostage and stuck in victim mode. Letting go of resentments and learning to deal with anger in healthy ways is a critical part of healing from this disease of addiction. Moms in long-term recovery have learned how to process anger. They don’t blame others or play the victim. Instead, they have learned how to be assertive without being aggressive. What I’ve learned and tell my clients is to pause when they’re angry or feeling uncomfortable. To step back, breathe, be mindful of their feelings and look at the role they may have played in the situation before reacting. Doing this helps them “respond” and not “react.” Learning to use these tools helped me tremendously.

Establish a Daily Spiritual Practice

Here’s what I know for sure: addiction darkens our spirit. Folks who are flourishing in recovery have some type of a daily spiritual practice. Spirituality means different things to different people. It is important to find a spiritual community, as well as what gives you joy, and do it! Here are some of the spiritual practices I have found extremely helpful in recovery.

  • Reflection: Unplug from the world. Put down the cell phone, pick up a pen and paper, and write down your feelings, emotions, goals, or what you’re grateful for.

  • Meditation: Take a moment to let your mind unwind from the stresses of every day life.

  • Prayer: Find your higher power. It does not have to be religion based. Your higher power can be anything that keeps you grounded, such as nature or your community. Feeling part of something greater allows you to stay connected to what is important.

  • Volunteer: Find opportunities to give back to others in your community. Helping others gives you a sense of purpose as well as increases feelings of self-worth and strengthens your sense of community.

Practice Self-Care

An important part of healing for moms is learning how to take care of themselves. In long-term recovery, I have learned to slow down and take time for myself. The acronym HALT – hungry, angry, lonely or tired – is always a reminder for me to check in with myself. I tell my clients to be vigilant if they are experiencing any of these signs and to be aware of how they are feeling and why. Remedies that worked for me include:

  • Taking a nap

  • Exercising

  • Going for a walk

  • Spending time in nature

  • Trying a new hobby

  • Binge-watching Netflix (I’ve done this a lot)

  • Spending time with friends and famil

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