6 Tips to Beat Stress

ways to deal with stress

Stress affects everyone, damaging our health and relationships. Here are a few easy-to-consider tips for reducing stress in your life. Plan ahead and be flexible about your expectations. Think about your plans for vacations and family gatherings. Everyone else has expectations and sometimes they won’t match yours. Plan for spontaneity. If you allow the plans that others have to be a part of what brings you joy, you might find you have more fun. That way, everyone shares ideas and activities. Be aware of what your body needs.This includes healthy food, plenty of water, rest and exercise. Don’t throw your … Continue reading

In Al-Anon…

woman-standing-in-field

There was a period in my life where I spent most of my time doing one of two things: I was either worrying to extremes, or praying about what I was worrying about. My prayers were desperate. I often prayed, “Please let him come home safely.” Sometimes I prayed for something to change. At other times, I would make bargains. I would plea for resolution, and make promises in exchange. My prayers all had one thing in common: I would pray with a specific outcome in mind. “Please make him stop drinking.” “Please help him to find a job.” “Please … Continue reading

What Are the Odds?

I sometimes get asked this question, usually in reference to drug addiction. “What are the odds that my son or daughter will become a drug addict when they grow up? My husband is a “normie” and I’m an recovering alcoholic,” the query begins. “It depends,” is the response, “on so many things. And even with all factors being favorable — genetics, social and home environments, school systems, mental health — there is still no guarantee.” And then I witness a nearly imperceptible shift signaling disappointment. Eyes cast downward, heads nod oh-so-slightly as the parent digests the understanding that they’ve been … Continue reading

When You Are Parented With Shame

parented with shame

“I’m sorry but I have to cancel our dinner date. I have the flu. I know this is the second time I’ve done this and I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you gave up on me. Or, maybe if you let me pay for dinner next time, we can still be friends. I can’t thank you enough for wanting to get together with me. I’m lucky to have you as a friend. Love ya.” Shame definitely has a place in our lives when we’ve done something wrong or hurt someone else. But it has no place in our lives … Continue reading

Take a Mini-Retreat with Aromatherapy

take a mini retreat with aromatherapy

Retreats are a vital part of healthy recovery and overall wellness. They come in all shapes and sizes; with varied costs, time commitments, and focus. Taking time for a retreat encourages rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Integrating a mini-retreat into your daily self-care routine is a simple way to manage stress and enhance your overall wellness. Aromatherapy is an effective and accessible wellness tool that can be easily incorporated into your lifestyle. So let’s explore aromatherapy, essential oils and how they work, and how you can start to use them right away to take that much needed retreat. What is Aromatherapy? … Continue reading

A Woman’s Way Through the Twelve Steps

By Stephanie S. Covington Hazelden Publishing Although written over 20 years ago, this book still provides a valid message to readers today. Covington is nationally recognized for her work with women in private treatment and correctional institutions. Using the 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, she provides a “gender-responsive approach” to addiction and recovery, relationships, sexuality, and spirituality. In the introduction, Covington describes the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and explains why she thinks women may benefit from a more focused approach to recovery, one that is specific for women. Readers will find thoughtful and inspiring stories from women who worked the 12- … Continue reading

How to Survive Your Childhood Now That You’re an Adult

By Ira Israel Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Israel acknowledges that he wrote this book as a way to share what he learned from studying psychology, philosophy, sociology and spirituality. As a psychotherapist, he teaches his clients how to learn to be present and embrace every moment of life. He describes how to be authentic and live at the higher end of the happiness spectrum. Meditation and yoga are two of his recommendations to accomplish that goal. Folks in the rooms of recovery have heard that the characteristics developed in order to get their emotional and psychological needs met as children may … Continue reading

Forty Things I Wish I’d Told My Kids

By John Allcock Morgan James Publishing Allcock says, “Ninety percent of your worries are wrong.” He maintains, “What we do is not as important as how we are.” And he thinks that most of what we fear is imaginary. These are some of the topics in emails he sent to his daughters, who are now grown, to demonstrate his care and concern for them. He states the information was what he wishes he’d known to teach his kids when they were young. Readers benefit from those emails. For example, the one stating that ninety percent of your worries are wrong … Continue reading

Memo From God

memo from God

I arrived at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center in Detroit, Michigan on a warm, sunny weekend in the late spring of 1991. My sponsor hinted strongly that I should attend the weekend gathering. Now that I was no longer suggestion-proof, I was discovering what he meant by going to any lengths. His timing was perfect, as usual. It felt like everything was caving in on me again. I needed some help. I sobered up and was divorced almost simultaneously early in 1987, one of the most difficult periods of my life. Now, four years later, disappointment and sadness … Continue reading

Go Away to Find Yourself

go away to find self

Could you use a break from your daily routine? Some time away for rest, reflection, and renewal? Maybe it’s time to go on a retreat. Whether you take a few hours, days, or months of downtime, going on retreat offers you a chance to unravel your thinking, be kind to your body, and revitalize your spirit. Here are the stories of how four Minnesotans create worthwhile retreat experiences for themselves. Two go on occasional retreats. For the other two, retreats are central to their spiritual life. Get Far Away from the Everyday Since his early retirement five years ago, Mike … Continue reading

Wandering the Wild

The earth is a living thing. Mountains speak, trees sing, lakes can think, pebbles have a soul, rocks have power. Henry Crow Dog I awaken anew each spring. The earth comes alive and so do I. A variety of body memories accompany spring’s sensual feast: the melodious calls of red wing blackbirds, a quick shiver with morning’s early mist, a whiff of ozone after a cleansing rain, the pungent taste of that first stalk of rhubarb, vibrant colors bursting from dreary gardens. My daily walks take me to a city park where I lose myself in spring’s slow unveil. Like … Continue reading

Break the Chain: Go to a Retreat

wandering wild

Let’s face it, we live in a crazy world with crazy demands on us. Always on, always on the go, always more money to make, more bills to pay. Family, friends, obligations. It’s no surprise sometimes we need a break from the grind to find some peace of mind. So let’s not underestimate the power of a retreat — it can reset your life. Even just a day or weekend retreat can ground you in values and practices that empower and uplift you. A retreat can break the chain of old habits and free you to live by your highest … Continue reading

NUWAY Moves 3R’s Counseling Center

This week NUWAY moved its 3R’s Counseling Center to 1404 Central Ave. N.E., Minneapolis 55413 to better serve clients with substance use and mental health disorders. The center was previously located at 2220 Central Ave. NE. The phone number remains 612-789-8030. The new center will serve up to 200 clients per day. “The move allows NUWAY greater ability to serve its mission of providing extended, co-occurring substance use disorder and mental health treatment for individuals in a supportive environment,” said David Vennes, NUWAY’s executive director and CEO. “The new facility gives us more room and flexibility.” An open house will … Continue reading

The Avivo ArtWorks Collective Artists Thriving in Community

Housed in a basement art studio in Avivo’s Minneapolis Community Support Program, we organize together as the Avivo Artworks Collective. If you ask us who we are, we would say we are artists – first and foremost. What brings us together is the goal to create community so that we can support one another. Our mission statement reads, “As a collective of artists, we embrace diversity, build community and present publicly. In doing so, we are challenging mental health stigma, and demonstrating that people living with mental illness can achieve success in art and life. We also aim towards building … Continue reading

Growing Up With Emotionally Detached Parents

emotionally detached parents

I live with my girlfriend in what you might call a mutual arrangement. It’s about all we can handle. Neither one of us wants to be married. We’re both successful career people. It works for us. That is until recently. Last week my girlfriend said she would like to have a baby. I half facetiously asked her, “Well I suppose you want one with me?” Many of her women friends were having their first child and she felt like odd person out. Now raising a child is at the bottom of my list. Neither one of us is into cuddling, … Continue reading