Learning how to handle the stresses of life, even those as simple cooking, is one of the most important aspects of overcoming addiction
Life is stressful. Each day brings different problems to face and obstacles to overcome. Learning how to handle that stress in an effective and healthy manner is an important part of individual growth. “Life skills” are what we learn that gets us through our daily responsibilities. They are learned at different stages throughout life, and build upon each other progressively.
However, many people decide on a different method of coping with stress, one that ends up causing even more stress than what they are looking to “escape” from. When life’s stress becomes overwhelming, or when someone doesn’t have the right skills to handle stress appropriately, choosing drugs or alcohol might seem like a better option. As addiction begins to take hold, the stress is multiplied, which only leads to more substance abuse.
A thorough and effective treatment program, like the one we offer at A Forever Recovery, is much more than just a way for someone to get clean and sober. We have developed our rehabilitation strategy to go much further in preparing our patients to lead a substance-free lifestyle after they graduate from our recovery center. We accomplish this through the various supplementary program options that we offer our patients to choose from, which build on the core program by showing them practical applications of the concepts and ideas discovered in the core program. These additional program options focus on helping our patients discover new techniques of coping with life’s stresses by learning essential life skills and methods of expressing negative emotions and frustration in a positive and productive manner.
Among those supplemental programs that we offer is our Cooking Class. These group sessions introduce our patients to the basics of planning and preparing healthy meals and maintaining a balanced diet. Many of our patients are learning these skills for the first time, while others, who have fallen into poor eating and dietary habits through the progression of their addiction, are using this class as a refresher course. Having confidence in one’s ability to handle daily responsibilities, even those that seem as simplistic as cooking dinner, is a tremendous step towards avoiding unnecessary stress that would lead to using drugs or alcohol.
Trent Mead is the Kitchen Director at A Forever Recovery and the Cooking Class facilitator. As Kitchen Director, his daily role at our treatment center include planning menus for every meal throughout the day and ensuring that the Kitchen Staff has the necessary ingredients and equipment to execute those meal plans. Planning daily menus also includes taking any special needs, such as gluten sensitivity, food allergies, diabetic dietary restrictions, or vegan/vegetarian preferences, into consideration. His knowledge and ability in planning and preparing meals is extremely useful as the instructor for our Cooking Class.
Just like every part of our treatment program, the Cooking Class focuses on helping our patients form a plan for leading a healthier and more positive lifestyle after they graduate from our recovery center and return to their daily lives. “What I provide is hopefully a full understanding of breaking old habits,” Trent explains. “You need to start something new in order to achieve something new. I try to promote that through food – making sure you care about what you put into your body. It’s my job to inform them exactly what they put in their body and how good it is for you, and how to maintain that positive recovery through knowing what you put in your body.”
The Cooking Class at A Forever Recovery is mainly focused on helping our patients find a healthier lifestyle through a balanced and nutritious diet and proper eating habits, but it also has another benefit that might not be so obvious to some. Developing the skills to be able to create nutritional and enjoyable meals is a big step towards being able to handle the daily responsibilities that life places before us. Matt, a patient at AFR that chose to participate in the Cooking Class, points out how this program has helped him prepare for a substance-free lifestyle outside the halls of our treatment center. “I’ve learned a lot of things to try and get ready for outside life,” Matt explains. “It definitely is beneficial trying to keep that balance in time management.”
A Forever Recovery isn’t just a place where people go to get clean and sober. It is a place of total lifestyle transformation. It is a place where patients can find the tools and skills they need to remain clean and sober after graduation. They find the ability and strength within to build a healthier and happier today, and to look forward to a brighter and more promising tomorrow. Here, our patients discover a sense of confidence, and a path to overcoming addiction that is truly can be a Forever recovery.