Tag Archives: Holidays

Tag Archives: Holidays


talking to teen about alcoholNew Year’s is a holiday that sparks a lot of anxiety for parents, as holiday celebrations mean easier access to substances for teens. Most parents want to have that conversation with their kids on the dangerous effects of alcohol and drug abuse, but they aren’t quite sure what to say. As a subject that’s difficult to discuss, you still don’t want to skip it. Previous research has shown that parents who express their view on drugs – in particular, that they don’t want their kids using them – are more likely to warrant more favorable responses from their teens when the time comes that they’re approached with it. As a parent, you want to make sure that you’re telling your teen exactly what they need to make an informed decision – so what do you say?

Your Teen Mag gives some excellent pointers:

  • Have a discussion and set expectations but don’t lecture your teen
  • Express steps for being safe if they do decide to drink – because the reality is that while we cannot control what our teens decide to do, we can suggest ways they can be safe if they do move forward with it
  • Emphasize just how dangerous it is to drive under the influence or to be in the car with someone who is under the influence

Adolescents and teens are likely going to face experimentation and peer pressure, but maintaining a respectful, open dialogue with your teen is most likely going to give you the most favorable outcomes. As your teen is in a stage where their brain is still developing, they want explanations – not commands – for why they shouldn’t drink or use substances. Make it a collaborative effort and they’ll be much more likely to refrain from use (or at least take safety precautions if they do).


Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

3 Holiday-Themed Meditations to Start Your Days off Right

The holidays are considered a time for celebration and thanksgiving, but there’s a lot of stress that can go into the holidays, too. Anxiety can seep in as we attempt to create this “picture-perfect” depiction of what the holidays are supposed to be about, and all of this energy can be draining. Food preparation, decorations, conversation, traveling and more are generally part of the holidays, which can make the day of peace and gathering everything but! What’s even more – a lot of people are unable to spend time with loved ones this holiday season because of work, recovery or other life situations. This time of the year is an excellent time to really zone in with meditation – to give you a peaceful state of mind as you navigate some of the busiest times of the year.


Try out the following holiday-themed meditation exercises:

  1. Reel in Positivity

  2. Lay down or sit comfortably and close your eyes if you can. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth while taking several minutes to gently repeat to yourself (either out loud or in your head) the following: “May today be filled with peace. May I be well. May I be filled with love and kindness.”

  3.    Extend Love

  4. Getting in the same type of position and with your eyes closed as the first meditation exercise, imagine that your feet are grounded firmly, almost as if you’re a tree with roots that are secured deep into the ground. Imagine the energy from this balance flowing up through your feet, your legs and through your entire body – and you’re extending love out to the entire world this holiday season. Imagine yourself feeling so much love – and then extend that to a friend, a family member, a stranger, a community and so on.

  5. Gratefulness

As you’re focusing on your breath, breathe in positivity and gratitude, while breathing out negativity and pessimism. Allow beautiful thoughts of your blessings to emerge in your mind as you breathe in – this could be the food and housing that you currently have, friends and family, the journey of your recovery, the inner strength that you have and so much more.

The holidays can be stressful for a number of reasons, but you can really tone down that stress by taking hold of it through meditation. Over time, meditation can truly transform your inner and outer experience – and you’ll find that you become much stronger over time because of it.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Trolley Tour of Nashville area Holiday LightsJoin us for a festive trolley tour of Nashville area holiday lights. We will board the trolley at Starbucks in the Belle Meade Plaza Shopping Center – Address: 4514 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205, arrive early and get a holiday beverage on us!


WHAT: A festive trolley tour of Nashville area holiday lights
WHEN: Saturday, December 8th from 7:00PM – 10:00PM
COST: $8.00 (nonrefundable fee) per person – limited spaces available

The deadline to RSVP (signup form below) is Thursday, December 6th. This event may not be appropriate for small children due to the length of the tour as well as the seating arrangements on the trolley. If you RSVP and are unable to attend the event, please notify Jaime Gibbons by 12/6/18 – failure to cancel within the time frame indicated can result in higher costs and restricted participation in future events.

Wow! All available spots are gone!

Due to the overwhelming response we’ve had for our trolley tour, we’ve unfortunately run out of available spots. If you’d like to add your name(s) to the waiting list, please email Jaime Gibbons at jaime_gibbons@cumberlandheights.org

Enjoying the Holidays When You’re Celebrating Alone

If you’re going to be home alone this holiday season, you’re not the only one. So many people either don’t get along with their family members, or they’re focusing on their addiction/mental illness recovery and don’t feel ready to go out and about yet. For some reason, there’s this stigma that being alone for the holidays means you’re unloved – but that has nothing to do with it! Life happens, and sometimes holiday plans with others just don’t pan out. Rather than beating yourself up this holiday season, you need to embrace the fact that you’re going to have some truly magical days indoors – which means you can spend some time doing things that really make you come alive!

One person shared the reason why they chose to celebrate the holidays alone via the Seattle Times. They stated, “I could cook what I wanted when I wanted. I could stay in my pajamas all day. I could nap on the couch with my dog. I didn’t feel obligated to go anywhere or do anything. It was so freeing.”

Yes, it’s possible to have an incredibly relaxing (or adventurous) holiday all by yourself, but it’s really up to you to embrace it. There are so many other fun things you could do, such as:

  • Singing and dancing to your favorite tunes (without worrying about anyone watching!)
  • Sleeping in (who doesn’t like that?!)
  • Trying to cook a new recipe
  • Helping others by volunteering somewhere
  • Hosting a sober holiday party with others in your recovery community
  • Zoning in on a craft or activity you’ve been meaning to get to

One of the most important aspects of recovery is perspective, and that’s because what you allow into your mind is what follows through in your actions and life experiences overall. If you fill your mind with the endless possibilities of what this holiday alone could bring, you are setting yourself up to have an excellent day. It’s not about making the most of it, either – it’s embracing the fact that you don’t need to have the “picture-perfect”, family-filled, laughs and conversations around the table in order to have the best holiday ever. By celebrating alone, you’re actually able to skip all of those pesky conversations about the weather, politics, jobs and more – and what could be better than that?

Enjoy the holidays this year by making it a day of self-care. You won’t regret it.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Holidays: What Are Some Benefits to Being Sober if I’m Alone This Holiday Season?

American musician and songwriter Ace Frehley stated in his book titled, No Regrets: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir“I personally believe this: We have only today; yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow is uncertain. That’s why they call it the present. And sobriety really is a gift…for those who are willing to receive it.”

Alcohol and drugs often give us this illusion that they’ll solve all of our problems, only to find that after the “high” is gone, they’re still there. The same thoughts, feelings and life circumstances continue to plague us, and even more problems seem to appear because now we’re chasing after the intense craving that comes with dependence and addiction. Sobriety is an incredibly powerful way to live because it forces us to battle our demons every single day. We have to use the tools we’ve learned to climb up that mountain of emotions and with every ounce of strength that we have; we have to pull ourselves back up – again, again, and again.

The holidays are a time that bring up a lot of challenging emotions, especially for people in recovery. This is because for many of us, friends and family are absent from our lives, or we’re unable to celebrate because we’re still working through our recovery. No matter what you’re going through this holiday season, you must remember to separate the story that society tells us is important from the real story that applies directly to you. Media, movies, billboards and more try to convince us that everyone’s out there having a great time with their loved ones during the holidays, when the reality is that there are so many people celebrating the holidays on their own – and so many others are focusing on their sobriety, too.

Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, sadness, loneliness, or anger. Be open to experiencing all of the wonderful benefits that come with being sober this holiday season, including:

  • Becoming a warrior for your recovery by using the tools you’ve learned thus far
  • Strategizing the holidays as you would any other day – because that’s what they are
  • Amping up your self-care, which could include crafts, watching a movie, relaxing, cooking some new food, reading a good book and much more
  • Promoting others’ well-being by volunteering at local food banks and similar places this holiday season

This holiday season, you have a choice – and you’re strong enough to stay sober and build up your strength in recovery, which is something you can be extremely proud of.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-campus, we are made up of 2 twelve-step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Holidays and Recovery: What Are Some Things I Can Be Grateful for This Holiday Season?

The holidays can be a difficult time for those in recovery, especially if you’re still trying to figure out how everything works. If you won’t be able to spend time with friends or family right away, you may also be struggling with feelings of guilt, sadness or hopelessness; our society places so much emphasis on being surrounded by others during the holidays, and this often causes us to hold unrealistic expectations. We begin to believe that if we aren’t surrounded by a lot of people who love us – this “picture perfect” vision of love, happiness, food, gifts and celebration – we must not be lovable. The truth is, a lot of families around the U.S. don’t have others to celebrate with. Not only that, but there are a lot of other people in recovery whose friends and family aren’t around. There are still so many things to be grateful for this holiday season and changing your perspective may make this time go by much smoother.

Things to be Grateful For

  • You’re at a place in your life where you can really start focusing on your mental, physical and spiritual health.
  • With so many free resources and organizations who want to help people, you’re at a great advantage for finding tools to promote your recovery.
  • This time of the year is a great time to start reflecting on how far you’ve come and where you plan to head with your life.
  • If you have little friends or family around for the holidays, you can enjoy the day relaxing, catching up on movies you’ve missed, or volunteering to help out others. You have another chance to focus on yourself.
  • You’re alive! Today in and of itself is a beautiful opportunity to learn and grow.

Back in 2015, researchers published an article in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine regarding the “rules” of recovery and people’s’ perceptions on what really makes recovery a transformative journey. These are the rules they found worked best: 1) creating a life that’s more conducive to sobriety, 2) being completely honest with others and yourself, 3) asking for help when you need it, 4) practicing self-care, and 5) don’t bend the rules! Perception is everything, and in all reality, the holidays are just that – days. They will come and go, but what matters most is that you continue to practice the path of recovery that you’re on. Stay strong.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-campus, we are made up of 2 twelve-step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Sunday is Mother’s Day and in an effort to recognize those amazing women in our lives, Cumberland Heights staff members share what makes their Moms so special.

My favorite thing about her is her ability to make everyone around her laughHere’s my Momma and me on my wedding day! My favorite thing about her is her ability to make everyone around her laugh. She is the most hilarious person I know with a heart of gold! Her favorite saying is ‘wear your seat belt’ or ‘did you pack a snack?’

~ Lauren Osborne, Patient Accounting


As close to perfection that God has ever gotten when he made my mother Patricia!As close to perfection that God has ever gotten when he made my mother Patricia!

~ Frank Vega, Utilization Review


This was taken less than a year before she lost her battle with cancerThis is my mom and my son. This was taken less than a year before she lost her battle with cancer. What I love about her is that she is responsible for me becoming the person that I am today. She walked through some of the hardest moments of my life with me and never gave up. When she was diagnosed with Cancer, she stood up and fought as hard as she could, until she had nothing left and because of my recovery, I was able to stand right beside her.

I love this picture because it shows two humans at opposite stages in life.

~ Stacy Bridges, Business Development


Life hasn’t always been easy for her, but she has remained loving and graceful through it allMy favorite thing about my Mom is her strength. Life hasn’t always been easy for her, but she has remained loving and graceful through it all. I am lucky to have her! I love when she says, ‘Have a groovy day!’ and ‘Home again. Home again. Jiggity Jig!’

~ Rachel Smith, Patient Registrar


She's the best Mom anyone could ever hope forMy Mom turned 92 Last December. She’s the best Mom anyone could ever hope for. I love her dearly!!!

~ Wanda Yates, Medical Records


You can do anything you set your mind to – but of course I was an only child and she thought I was perfectMama always said, ‘You can do anything you set your mind to’ – but of course I was an only child and she thought I was perfect!  She always called me the light of her life and really made me feel special.

~ Martha Farabee, Chief Development and Marketing Officer


Why is your Mom special to you? Please share some moments below!

Cumberland Heights Annual Egg Hunt

Bring the family (kids under 13) to this full day of fun beginning with a service at 11:00AM in the Ishee Chapel at Cumberland Heights followed by lunch. At 1:00PM we’ll gather in The Crossings for the annual Egg Hunt, and the kids won’t want to miss the surprise guest hopping over. Pictures will also be available with the Easter Bunny!

Event Details:

WHO: All staff, alumni & patients’ children 13 and under are welcome to participate
WHAT: Cumberland Heights Annual Egg Hunt
WHEN: Sunday, April 21, 2018 at 1:00PM
WHERE: Cumberland Heights – The Crossings (River Road Campus)

Cumberland Heights Alumni Association Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Cumberland Heights Recovery Blog - 7 Ways to Avoid Stress During the Holidays

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.
– Sydney J. Harris

Stress and anxiety can ruin your holidays and your recovery. Setting realistic goals, seeking support and planning ahead can help to lessen the stress this holiday season. Check out the following 7 ways to practice recovery and avoid stress during your holiday festivities!


  1. Know your limits.
    Don’t overextend yourself. Don’t be afraid to set healthy boundaries and know when to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.
  2. Go to a meeting, do step work, call your sponsor.
    Engage your support system and beef up your recovery efforts during seasons of high stress. Don’t be afraid to reach out or ask for help when you feel overwhelmed. Take a deep breath and go back to the basics of 12-Step recovery.
  3. Get some physical exercise, fresh air and plenty of sleep.
    Exercise stimulates the feel-good hormone serotonin. Getting out in nature and going for a walk, run or hike can help relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Yoga and meditation are also great ways to refocus, clear your mind and calm your nerves during times of stress. Getting enough sleep is also crucial when avoiding the holiday pressures and being able to think clearly.
  4. Focus on being grateful.
    Making a gratitude list helps put things in perspective. Expressing gratitude or just paying a compliment has a way of lifting others’ spirits by bringing a smile to their face and yours.
  5. Pray and meditate.
    Silent reflection is always a good way to refocus and reduce anxiety. Holidays can be a deeply spiritual time of year. Take time to connect with your higher power or something greater than yourself; it will help you feel calmer and more centered.
  6. Volunteer.
    Spending time doing service work or volunteering with those less fortunate helps put things into perspective. Wrap gifts for a local charity, volunteer at a homeless shelter, buy a gift for a child in need – whatever adds meaning for you.
  7. Set realistic expectations.
    Focus on fun and relaxation, rather than on creating the perfect table, meal or moment, and you will see your holiday stress melt away. The most precious thing we can give to anyone else is our time and attention. Tune in to the people around you and really be with them, so you don’t miss out on what counts most.

Cumberland Heights 2017 Alumni Holiday PartyThe Alumni Association of Cumberland Heights invites you to share the gifts of the season with our current patients. Friday, December 8, 2017 at 7PM, we will be gathering in the Dining Hall to spread hope and cheer! The party will include:

  • A special performance by “The Jolly Jinglers”
  • Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus
  • BINGO
  • Presentation of gifts to the patients and
  • a Gratitude meeting

The holiday season can be a tough time of year for those in recovery. Please join us in supporting our current patients and your fellow alumni. Your presence brings a sense of hope and happiness to those we serve.

Bring a dessert or an appetizer if you wish!


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