Best Solutions for Post-Holiday Blues

The holidays are meant to be a time of happiness, yet many people suffer from depression during the holiday season, which brings about feelings of loneliness and sadness. But, for those who are in recovery, the symptoms of depression may increase, which commonly triggers a relapse. The holidays, unfortunately, often evokes overwhelming stress and busier days that do not leave time for the things that help to keep sober living less overwhelming. Post-holidays may be difficult for someone in recovery to get over the stress and depression they experienced during the past month or so leading up to and during the holidays. The good news is there are things you can do to help relieve the symptoms of the post-holiday blues.

Stick to Your Schedule

One of the most important things you can do is to stick with your recovery plan and regular routine, even when things get overly busy. Holiday plans and a busier schedule often make it easier to put off doing what you typically do as a part of your plan for sober living, but it is critical that regardless of how busy you are, to follow your plan. In fact, it is even better if you increase your meetings, especially if you are thinking about using. Create a day-by-day calendar for the holidays and do not stray from it.

Avoid Overindulging

During the holidays, you may find yourself surrounded by sweets and larger meals than you are not typically accustomed to having. When you aren’t used to indulging in heavy foods, sweets and caffeine, you may feel less energetic as well as depressed about the extra weight you may have gained or disappointed about breaking your routine, which may lead to thoughts of a relapse. Instead, make time to exercise, go easy on the sweets and eat healthy, well-balanced meals. It is important not to deprive yourself of a few treats, but remember that moderation is the key. Make sure to get plenty of rest to help avoid fatigue and try to plan ahead with holiday activities, such as shopping for gifts and entertaining.

Part of sober living is taking care of you. Remember to take some quiet time every day to meditate, go to a meeting and reach out to your spiritual advisor, sponsor or support group. Spending time with others in recovery is a great way for you to realize and remember your personal limits. Helping others is a great way to beat holiday depression, so this is a great time to do something nice for someone who may be less fortunate. Consider helping out at a local toy drive or food drive, or take food or blankets to the homeless or volunteer to help at a shelter.

During the holidays as well as after the holidays, is a great time to treat yourself to a gift. Visit My 12 Step Store to find the perfect gift to celebrate sober living.

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New Year’s Resolutions for People in Recovery

New Year's Resolutions for People in Recovery

The New Year is just around the corner, which means it is time to set your New Year’s resolutions. Making resolutions is difficult for almost anyone, including those who are in recovery. One of the biggest problems many people face when making resolutions is sticking to them, in fact, many people struggle even starting a resolution. When it comes to setting a goal for the New Year, a common mistake many people make is planning too far ahead and making hard to achieve goals. In reality, goals and resolutions should be made in the same manner those in recovery set goals…one day at a time. Here are some positive and exciting New Year’s resolutions that are ideal not only for those in recovery but for almost anyone.

Get Control of Your Stress

Instead of letting your stress control you, it’s time to take control of your stress. Sobriety is often difficult in itself, but when life gets in the way, it can make it difficult for someone in recovery to fight the stress. Whether your stress is caused by work, school or a traffic jam, there are ways to overcome it. Remember, living a happy, sober life means learning how to deal with stress, so make it your resolution to take control. Whether you find solace through mediation, yoga 12-step meetings or support groups, make it a goal to include these stress reducers in your life at least one extra time each week in the New Year.

Eat Healthier

Eating healthy is essential for healthy, sober living. Along with getting moderate exercise, the foods you eat can help you have a healthy mind and body. Unfortunately, many people with addictions neglected their health before their recovery, but the good news is you can change unhealthy eating. Make it a goal to eliminate one unhealthy snack from your diet each month, while adding one or two healthier food items. For example, if you eat chocolate bars on a daily basis, gradually eliminate them from your diet by only eating chocolate bars every other day, then twice a week, then once a week until you have completely eliminated them from your diet. Be sure you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of water in your new eating plan.

Taking time for you is critical to maintaining your sobriety. Make it a goal to remind yourself how far you have come. Do this by writing in a journal, meditating or doing an activity you enjoy, such as biking, swimming or hiking. Make a resolution to do at least one activity you enjoy each week.

Visit My 12 Step Store to check out the unique gifts, journals and other treats you can use to help you obtain your goal of doing something for yourself.

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How to Find Peace in the Holiday Season

How to Find Peace in the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of great excitement, family connection and community involvement. These elements, however, can also make the holidays a significant source of stress. People from all walks of life find the holidays to be emotionally challenging and have a hard time finding balance and maintaining a sense of peace during this time of year. The following tips offer some simple coping techniques that can help make the coming weeks easier to navigate. After all, there are so many positive things to be gained during the holidays, that avoiding undue stress and anxiety is well worth the time and effort.

Create Time and Space for Emotional Breaks

One of the most challenging aspects of the holiday season is often spending time with the people that you love the most. In many cases, this is a time when you will have far more interaction with family members than during the rest of the year, and those interactions can sometimes feel a bit forced. It is important to give yourself periodic breaks from the social settings that permeate this time of year. That can be as simple as stepping outside to get some fresh air, taking a brief walk, or even finding a quiet space within the house to take some deep breaths and recenter. There is nothing wrong with taking the time to remain balanced, and some people even make use of their watch or phone to alert them of scheduled personal breaks.

Embrace Simplicity and Balance

It is easy to feel overscheduled and rushed during the holidays, but it is important to try and keep things simple. Time spent with friends and family is far more rewarding when things are quiet, and when one’s attention is undivided. Never feel bad about turning down an invitation or leaving an event early if there are simply too many things to juggle in a given day. As with so many things, quality is far more valuable than quantity, and it is easier to appreciate the many benefits of the holiday season when you are relaxed and able to enjoy yourself.

At, we have assembled an impressive array of products that are aimed at increasing serenity and supporting sobriety. We offer books on sober living, addiction, recovery and personal growth, as well as jewelry, decorative items and much more. Please feel free to look through our offerings to find the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one.

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Maintaining Your Serenity During Holiday Gatherings with Family

We long for a Norman Rockwell setting when it comes to getting together with family over the holidays. Unfortunately, most of us get something closer to a Chevy Chase Christmas with burnt turkey, surly relatives and wrecked expectations.

With so much chaos and so many emotions running high, how can you hold onto your serenity (and your sobriety) while visiting family over the holidays?  Whether you are a recovering addict or simply someone who wants to survive the next few weeks, we have a few tips to give you hope and peace this holiday season.

Don’t Expect Too Much

If you enter the next family together with high hopes that this year will be different then you will likely end up disappointed. Uncle Joe is Uncle Joe and your siblings are your siblings. You know what they are like (and the stunts they are likely to pull), so why expect any different? If you walk into that gathering with full expectations for the day, you will find it much easier to handle what is thrown your way.

Know Your Personal Triggers

Think about what sets you off. If your mom’s snide remarks about your love life or your brother-in-law’s snip about your recovery trigger your emotions, do what you can to stay clear of those people and their rude remarks.

Don’t Take the Bait

Once you recognize what your triggers are and who is likely to set them off, find ways to deal with your frustration without taking the bait. Take along a special project (like a puzzle, snowman making kit, etc.), that you can pull out and get engrossed in when the “fun” starts. Finding ways to take yourself out of the situation without leaving will help you remain at the gathering and enjoy the people you do get along with without feeling emotionally depleted afterward.

Have a Game Plan

If your family is a rough one to get along with, have a game plan. This may include:

  • Staying with a neutral friend. If you are coming in from out of town, make arrangements with a friend to crash at their house. This will give you a place away from your family so you can recharge between gatherings.
  • Renting a car. Do you tend to feel trapped because you don’t have a means of escaping (even for a little while)? Consider renting or borrowing a car to use while visiting the family.
  • Making a plan before you go. For those of you who can only handle three hours with your family, plan on staying that long and no more despite any backlash this may cause.
  • Taking an ally along. Can’t imagine facing your entire family alone this year? Take along someone you can trust (and confide in) to help get you through the ordeal.

Take Care of Yourself

Overcoming addiction takes a lot of work, and allowing yourself to enter such an emotional experience as a family gathering during the holidays can send you reeling. Be sure to take time out to refocus, rejuvenate and simply relax. Whether you will be visiting family for a day or a week, be sure that you take care of yourself. Here are some tips:

  • Eat well and avoid too many snacks, which can make you feel sluggish and emotional.
  • Try and stay on some sort of schedule.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Take some time alone to relax, such as going for a walk, meeting up with a friend or even go shopping.

The holidays can be wracked with chaos and emotions, but they can also be alive with fun and enjoyment. Once you learn to accept your family for who they are (flaws and all) and find a way to set boundaries for them and yourself, you will discover that those holidays can be a time to enjoy each other.

Learn some practical ways to survive this holiday season by checking out the books and other products available at My 12 Step Store, the premier online recovery store site.

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10 Tips for Traveling During the Holiday Season

The holidays can be a stressful time of the year for anyone, especially if you will be traveling to see your loved ones. Luckily, there are several ways you can minimize your stress while traveling during the holidays.

1. Book Your Trip in Advance

With a bit of planning, you’ll be able to get the flights you want at more affordable prices with no stressful scrambling at the last minute.

2. Do Some Research

If you will be driving, look up some alternate routes in case of bad traffic or road closures due to inclement weather.

3. Don’t Check Your Bags

If possible, bring carry-on luggage only. This way, you’ll be able to get out of the airport much quicker when you reach your destination.

4. Ship Gifts

Rather than weighing your luggage down with all your gifts, arrange to have them shipped to your destination ahead of time so that you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

5. Create a Packing List

Before you pack your bags, write down a list of everything you’ll need for your trip. This way, you won’t forget anything if you are scrambling to get packed at the last minute.

6. Use Alternate Airports

If your location has multiple airports, consider using one of the smaller ones. They’ll be less crowded and your flights will often be less expensive.

7. Catch a Ride to the Airport

Parking at the airport can be very expensive, especially during the holidays, so take a taxi or ride-sharing service instead. You’ll save money and avoid the stress of driving in holiday traffic.

8. Allow Extra Time

Get to the airport well in advance of your flight and schedule plenty of time between connecting flights to allow for delays. It is far better to be too early than too late.

9. Don’t Wrap Gifts

If you do bring gifts with you, wait to wrap them until you reach your destination. The TSA will likely unwrap them when you go through security, so you’ll just have to do it all over again.

10. Check in with Your Neighbors

Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you are gone. It can give you great peace of mind knowing that someone is looking out for your home.

Hopefully the tips outlined here can help you navigate the holiday season without returning to your former vices. Here at My 12 Step Store, we have everything you need to stay on track. Browse through our selection today to find the help and support you need.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2016

The biggest gift giving season of the year has arrived…the holidays are here! And we want to share the best recovery gift ideas and be a big help, by giving you a big holiday KISS — “Keep It Simple Santa.”

Here are some of the best and most requested gifts for giving, and we made it fun and simple for you.

You shop and checkout and we fill your orders, wrap gifts, and ship to you or anyone anywhere!

1. Beverage Mugs and Blankets to keep anyone warm and comfortable. Made with the best motivation and recovery slogans and prayers.


2. Daily Meditation Books provides the best way to start your day. We offer the famous “twenty-four hours a day” or choose from many others, sex addiction, food or drug addiction just to name a few.


3. Book Covers to protect your books. Great for step studies and to show gratitude for the work you put into the program. We have fancy genuine leather to fun colorful faux leather.


4. Medallion holders of all types and styles. Wood, brass and stone styles for the wall, a desk or table. Leather, silver and metals to use as key chains or something to wear.


5. Beautifully made wall plaques in various styles and woods etched and painted for the wall at home or that special place. Fun styles and colors with slogans and prayers. Great for you or anyone.


6. Jewelry to signify the importance of the recovery process for you or a loved one can show great care and kindness. From fancy 14k Gold and Sterling silver rings and pendants to fashion jewelry and dog tags for both men and women.


7. Nothing says comfort like a hoodie or hat. We have the essential styled hoodie or hat for you, or  anyone’s recovery wardrobe.


8. Prayer God boxes make the perfect gift for anyone in recovery bring positive intentions. We have an amazing collection from teakwood to stone.


9. Sail in the wind with a unique sailboat. Made from wood or metal with positive messages. Great gifts for collectors or Men.


10. The best 2017 AA sobriety calendar with all the interesting history, facts and dates of its founders and program. These make great stocking stuffers.


11. Recovery journals can be a great tool during the recovery process. Write down your daily thoughts, struggles, goals, accomplishments, and keep track of your growth in your recovery journal. Great gifts for you or anyone in recovery.


12. Recovery Medallions are top on the list. While the journey to recovery can begin in an instance, we know that it lasts for a lifetime. With medallions by year or a specialty style we have hundreds of styles and options to choose from.


We hope we helped your shopping needs and wish you a clean and sober holiday season! If you need more assistance you can call us at 310 623 1702.

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Skip the Lines and Do Your Holiday Shopping on Cyber Monday

Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday are often thought of as the greatest shopping days of the year, the day when you can find deals on almost every item on your list. Unfortunately, this also means waking up before dawn during the holidays, standing in long lines and fighting crowds, none of which is very fun or festive.

The good news is there is always Cyber Monday, where you can simply use your computer or tablet to score those great deals from all your favorite stores in the comfort of your home or office. Here are a few ideas and tips to help you enjoy holiday shopping on Cyber Monday.

Shop from a Secure Computer and Connection

One of the most important things you can do when doing your holiday shopping online is to use a secure computer and a secure connection. If your computer isn’t protected with trustworthy security software, there is a high risk of being compromised by malware. This means all the data you enter, including your personal information, bank accounts and credit-card numbers, will be at risk. If an attacker gets control of the network or uses hacking software, they can easily steal your information for their own personal gain. To ensure websites are safe, make sure all browser addresses you’re using begin with “HTTPS.”

Only Use Trusted Vendors

It’s possible for any website to be attacked by hackers, but shopping only with trusted and established vendors will limit your exposure and reduce the risk of being redirected to fake sites. There are massive amounts of deals available on Cyber Monday, but keep in mind that if a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look for low prices, but if possible, compare the prices from two or three different stores to make sure the “bargain” you find is a legitimate one. When paying for your purchases, it is best to use a credit card instead of a bank account because the credit card company is usually more apt to investigate should you file a fraud report for purchases you did not make.

Prepare a List and Budget

Before Cyber Monday arrives, take the time to create a holiday shopping list that includes the name of the gift recipient and how much you want to spend. Having a prepared list will help save you time and money while allowing you to search only for the items you have listed. It’s also helpful to search online stores a few days before Cyber Monday to verify which store has the items you’re looking for.

Whether you are in the process of recovery or are searching for gifts for friends and family who are in recovery, visit My 12 Step Store for a large variety of unique gifts and we offer a gift-wrapping option with a greeting card.

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Developing an Attitude of Gratitude During Recovery

Gratitude is the best attitude

Life can be tough. It can wear you down. It can even tear you down. But one thing is certain — when life is at its roughest, you can pull yourself up and out of the muck. You already know that. You have survived addiction and have enjoyed the power of recovery.  So what’s next? Adopting an attitude of gratitude.

So Small, Yet So Vital

After all you have been through on your road to recovery, finding ways to be grateful should be easy, and yet still you struggle. That’s OK. You’ll get there. Gratitude is such a small thing, yet its power can never be underestimated. Undervalued far more than it should be, gratitude is simply taking the absolute smallest positive in your life and turning it into a something big enough to savor.

Think of it like this — a road is not built all at once, rather it is built with small insignificant sections that when put together connect towns, cities and even states. Standing alone they do might not mean much, but together, the road offers a way to travel across vast sections of land.

The same is true for gratitude. By finding one small seemingly insignificant thing today and another tomorrow, you begin to build a road of real value. Before long you will begin to see all of the good things your life has to offer. Even when things go wrong and you are faced with your most difficult challenges, you will be able to see the reward of the experience. This is gratitude at work!

Developing a Gratitude Filled Mindset

Learning how to be grateful is not always easy, especially for those who are going through a difficult time. Trust us, once you begin to see the little positives in your life, you will pave the way for seeing the bigger ones that are there. Developing a sense of gratitude does not just make you more content with the fact that you don’t have something, it helps you direct your thought patterns toward what you do have. Isn’t that what addiction recovery is all about? This allows your thinking patterns to shift to noticing and appreciating the good things about your family, your job, your home, your friends and so much more.

So how can you begin today, right now, to develop a more grateful attitude? The first thing you can do is sit down and write down everything good about your life. The things you write do not have to be big or important things. The mundane will do. Something as simple as “that hot cup of coffee this morning” is fine! The point here is to begin to see and appreciate the small positives in your life so that you can free your mind (and your attitude) to see the bigger ones.

If someone in your life has been super supportive during your recovery, show some gratitude and write them a thank you note. Let them know what a difference they have made in your journey and how grateful you are to have them on your side. Maybe it was a stranger showing you kindness that turned your day around. If so, send them a mental “thank you.” This act alone could help you better appreciate the moment.

Once you have started to implement these practices in your life, you will begin to see that not everything in your life is bad. It is this acknowledgment that can help you break free from the negative thoughts and emotions that are holding you back. You are a survivor. Now take what you have learned and enjoy life again!

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How Can I Make Today Better for Someone Else?

Keeping yourself uplifted and in a positive frame of mind is vital to your success in your addiction recovery. To do that, you need to surround yourself with positive energy and learn to radiate that energy outward. One of the easiest ways to do that is to do something nice for someone else to make their day a little better. Not only will you be doing your part to improve the world around you, you will reap the reward of feeling better about yourself too. Consider these ideas for making today a little better for those around you.

Show Your Appreciation

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, including your friends and loved ones. How you do it depends on the person and the circumstances but here are few ideas.

  • Tell them. It may seem difficult at first, but just telling someone how much you appreciate them can make a big difference in their day. Saying thank you when it is not expected can be uplifting for both of you.
  • Give them a token of appreciation, like a special mug or a meaningful book. It doesn’t need to be a big item. Little things can make a big impact on someone’s day.
  • Send a thank you card. If telling them how much you appreciate them is difficult for you, try saying it with a card.

Spend Time With Others

In today’s busy world, time is often in short supply. Spending time with someone you care about shows them how important they really are to you. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Go for a walk. If someone you love or care about enjoys the great outdoors, offer to go for a walk along a nature trail.
  • Arrange a visit over coffee. This works especially well for shut-ins or those who have difficulty getting out. Call ahead and stop by for a quick visit as a pick-me-up for their day.
  • Watch a movie together. Nearly everyone enjoys a good movie. Take the time to watch a movie that the other person chooses. This is especially important if you typically choose entertainment that appeals to you. It sends the message you care about what the other person likes and you may learn something new about them, too.

Take Time to Listen

It’s easy to get into the habit of talking about your own dreams and goals in life and overlook that those around you need to share their dreams too. Sometimes, taking the time to listen can make all the difference in person’s day. Give someone you love the gift of your undivided attention as you listen to what they have to say today. Both of you will reap the rewards of improved communication and they will get a boost to their morale today.

Building up others and making them feel good about themselves isn’t difficult and doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time. Make a habit of doing something nice for someone every day to improve the world around you. You will be surprised at how much better you feel, too! Check out our selection of inspirational books and gifts for more ideas on how you can make the world a better place as you work through your addiction recovery.

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Show Support for Veterans in Recovery

Show Support for Veterans in Recovery

All of the freedoms and rights we have as U.S. citizens were defended by veterans, which is why these individuals deserve our support when they undergo treatment for addiction. Their recovery should be a priority for the entire community, not just health care practitioners. There are certain things that you can do to help, even if veterans have not yet entered treatment.

Show Empathy

If you know or suspect that a veteran is coping with pain by using illegal substances, then it’s important to show empathy. Instead of ignoring the problem or being angry at the vet, it is better to talk to him or her about the problem. Opening a dialogue is the start of the healing process, especially when you suggest treatment programs. It doesn’t hurt anyone if you’re proactive in your approach because it will benefit the veteran over the long run.

Be Supportive of Treatment

If you know a veteran contemplating treatment or who is actively in treatment, then supporting that effort should be a priority. That support can mean the difference between a lasting recovery and a relapse. There is no shame in getting help for addiction, and it’s important to let the veteran know that. He or she can regain a normal standard of living if they can make it to a treatment program. Your support can help make that happen by providing the right resources.

Be Forgiving

While it may seem easy to be angry with veterans over their substance use, it’s important not to hold a grudge or resentment. Forgiveness is often the right action to take, especially if the veteran is suffering from mental issues such as PTSD. It’s hard to serve in the military and even harder to be in combat, which is why forgiveness is important for dealing with veterans’ substance abuse.

This Veterans Day, be sure to show your support for all of the veterans in your community, especially those struggling with addiction and recovery. Their well-being should be a point of concern for all U.S. citizens, given the sacrifices that veterans make for the country.

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