Tag Archives: health and wellness

How to Take the Stress Out of Sober Travel

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a Guest post by Caleb Anderson

Travel can be exhilarating, relaxing and rejuvenating. But if you’re in addiction recovery, travel can be scary because you think you may be tempted to fall back into old and dangerous habits. It doesn’t have to be that way. Travel can give you a sense of calm and an awareness of the big world around you. It’s also a great way to help heal your body and mind.

A little advance planning can make your trips easier and less fraught with triggers. Here are a few tips to get you ready for this big step.

Try Sober Travel

There are travel companies that offer sober tours, trips and even cruises. Though you might think you need to avoid the big cities that are party meccas, you can enjoy these places sober, too. Sober tours offer companionship with other people who want to stay clean but still have a great time.

Travel with the right people

Don’t bring your party-animal friends along on a trip. Travel with people who understand your situation and who will refrain from drinking and drugs, if that’s what you need. If you’re comfortable with others drinking around you, but don’t want them to offer it to you, communicate your needs ahead of time. Good friends will honor your recovery.

Look for meetings

If you’re in a 12-step program, you can find meetings almost anywhere. They’re even offered on cruise ships, which are typically loaded with alcohol. Plus, meetings are a great way to meet new people and experience other cultures. Keep your sponsor’s phone number handy, and tell him or her in advance of your trip. You might even get some good travel tips.

Manage stress

Travel can often include stressful situations, which could easily trigger a relapse. If you plan ahead, you can ease some of that anxiety. Make lots of plans, lists, and itineraries to keep the guesswork to a minimum. Build extra time into your travel schedule for the unexpected, like a delayed flight. Tell your travel partner that you may need help if you get too stressed, and he or she might need to take the reins and help you relax.

Bring your pet

If you’re planning on being in the great outdoors for a sober adventure, and you have a dog that loves to hike or camp, bring him along! Your dog can help calm you when needed, as well as give you a loving companion to cuddle. Not only will you both be getting some time outdoors, but you’ll get some extra bonding time. Plus, your dog will appreciate the vacay, too!

Continue your self-care routine

Do you meditate every morning? Read a book over coffee? Take regular breaks to clear your head? Keep this up on your trip. Continue eating well and exercising for your health. Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you have to give up your goals.

However you do it, just do it. Travel can hugely benefit your state of mind. Just by getting out of your normal routine, you reset your thoughts and experience the world. Travel enhances your creativity, gives you a more “open” personality and relieves stress. Studies have shown that just preparing for a trip can boost your mood. Everybody wants something to look forward to!

As J Henry Hanson put it in Huffington Post, “Waking up clear-headed and knowing where I slept is extremely satisfying to me. Rising with the sun, rather than the moon, enables me to really get to know a place that I am visiting,” she said. “Sober travel allows me to recall sunsets over Volcan Masaya in Nicaragua, Green Turtles laying eggs in Costa Rica, swimming on Starfish Beach in Panama, and participating in a Mayan planting ceremony in Guatemala. The absence of a hangover allows me to savor museum exhibits rather than rush through so I can find my next cocktail.

Extra Reading & Resources

Sober Vacations International 

Addiction.com – Last Minute Vacations for Sober Travelers

Sober Travelers

Read related —->  What’s the Alcohol doing to You?

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to leave your comments and SHARE your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Contact’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by RSS feed.


Caleb Anderson is in recovery from an opiate addiction. He hopes sharing his experiences will help others. He co- created RecoveryHope.org to help people with substance abuse disorders and their families.

 

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Living the Conditions of Genocide

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Healing from Genocide

One day, nestled in the forest, a child giggles and points to the birds flying by, staying close to his/her parent. This parent teaches the child how to pronounce words, naming the birds, a tree, the grass. That smile that lights up the parents face when this child repeats the words back, correctly, makes this child happy beyond words. It’s called joy. This world can truly be a wondrous place with this parent. Can you imagine experiencing such a joy and sense of freedom, security, from your own childhood years?

Genocide, in our minds, refers to ‘mass murder’ of a people but there are a few other terms that need explaining since they get used interchangeably but have their own separate definitions. As we know, the United Nations defines Genocide as ‘the destruction of a national ethnic, racial or religious group‘ and is considered the ultimate crime against humanity. It doesn’t have to necessarily mean complete annihilation of a group but still aims, to ‘eradicate‘ a part of Humanity.

Crimes against Humanity refers to systematic attacks against the civilian population regardless of whether in times of peace or war. It refers to acts against common human rights and values such as murder, extermination, forced displacement, slavery, rape, torture and other inhumane acts.

War Crimes, refers to criminal acts committed during armed conflicts and severe acts of Breach to the Rules of warfare. These rules are set down in the Geneva Conventions to protect the innocent civilian population, prisoners of war, sick or wounded military personnel, destruction of towns, cities, not justified by armed combatants.

The term crimes against humanity, is considered an ‘umbrella‘ term to encompass crimes that are not necessarily extreme as genocide but these crimes do not need to reach this point, in order to be defined and punished, by International laws.

The conditions that occur in armed conflict zones affect people who make up a society. A society is defined as, ‘a group of people who live within the same territory and share a common culture’ (Sociology, The Core). Their social structure (more-or-less recurrent and stable patterns) are disrupted and people are displaced when homes, towns, villages are destroyed.

Culture refers to ‘the social heritage of a people, learned patterns for thinking, feeling and acting that are passed from one generation to the next. It includes ‘non-material’ culture, (the abstract creations like values, beliefs, symbols, norms, customs) and the ‘material’ culture which refers to the ‘physical’ artifacts and objects’.

The armed conflict zones, even in peaceful zones,can affect society and culture especially if ‘ethnocentrism‘ (judge the behavior of other groups by the standards of one’s OWN group) is the driving force to perceive others as an object of loathing, strangeness, evil and danger. It is one of three ingredients that arise from apathy towards the acts of racism.

The urge and need, for self-preservation kicks in, and people will flee the conflict zone. They will enter a new nation seeking asylum and refuge. They will learn to add a new ‘culture‘ to their own. One barrier may be ‘language‘. It is considered one of Man’s greatest ‘symbols‘ since it is ‘a socially structured system of sound patterns with specific and arbitrary meanings’. Language is the ‘cornerstone‘ of every culture around the world and PRINCIPLE means by which human beings create culture and share it from generation to generation’.

Perspectives on reasons that conflict exists may differ, such as :

i) failure to give minorities full equality, wastes valuable human resources, generates ethnic hostilities, reduces economic production and undermines authority

ii) A study of dominant group policies has revealed that a dominant nation ‘developed six types of policies: assimilation, pluralism, legal protection of minorities, population transfer, continued subjugation, and extermination‘(George E.Simpson and J.Milton Yinger, 1972). The minorities are kept ‘in their place‘-subservient, vulnerable and exploitable.

The long term effects of conflict zones have been studied since the First World war. Many names have been applied and today, a common term is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is used to describe the psychological impact of a traumatic event for an individual.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that ‘10% of the people who experience traumatic events will have serious mental health problems and another 10% will develop behavior that will hinder their ability to function effectively‘. It is a tragic consequence of living through conflict upon any Human regardless of age.

Research has found that rehabilitation can be gained with positive new life experiences, psychological support, religious and cultural practices. If we can provide opportunity to fulfill Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs: physiological (water, food, air), safety and security (shelter), love and belonging (family, friends, community), self-esteem (positive new experiences, hope, joy), self-actualization (conscious of others, able to help others), rehabilitation and recovery can be attained. People accessing help are found to be resilient and find recovery. WHO and the UN continue their research for improving and providing continual help in this area.

Did you know that 2/3 of the Indigenous population of N America, were wiped out by the early colonists and pride abounds, in that extreme act? Remember the little child, so happy beyond words? Well, 1950’s to today, First Nation children have been systematically and regularly ‘apprehended‘ and removed, from their FN communities and families. Adult children of the 60’s Scoop have literally ‘lived‘ the EXACT same conditions and experiences, as the terrified refugee’s (arriving on our shores) but, in government care by the Childrens Aid Society, in their own homelands, Canada. Do you think that’s truly fair to do, upon a People? a Child?

Learning in Action

Related Reading

Racism Can Cause PTSD Similar To That Of Soldiers After War

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

FREE Download, UN Declaration of Human Rights

What is PTSD and What can we do about it?

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to share your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Contact’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. I hope you visit again for more informative articles coming soon.

Article(C)2009 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us. She works as a VEA to help businesses operate more effectively.

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