Recovery in Action

At Changing Lanes Recovery, we prioritize family and community connections for lasting sobriety. Through family integration, monthly outings, and community service, our approach fosters meaningful bonds and support networks essential for recovery.

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January 28, 2024

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In today’s group session, we came together to explore the boundless wonders of the cosmos while embarking on a path of anger management and emotional well-being. This unique activity combined the awe-inspiring beauty of the planetarium with the power of mindfulness practices.

Through the captivating visuals of the planetarium, we immersed ourselves in the vastness of space, galaxies, and stars. As we observed the celestial dance of the cosmos, we also learned to observe our thoughts and emotions without judgment, cultivating mindfulness in the present moment.

During today’s activity, we encouraged one another to let go of pent-up anger and stress, finding solace in the cosmic expanse above us. We took time to appreciate the intricate connections that bind us to the universe, and through this, found gratitude for the gift of life itself. As we explored the mysteries of the cosmos, we were reminded of our place in the grand tapestry of existence, fostering a sense of interconnectedness and belonging.

Today, we learned, grew, and healed together, using the wonders of the universe to guide us toward a calmer mind, a fuller heart, and a deeper appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us every day. Our journey into the stars helped us find serenity within ourselves.

Mindfulness Zoo Experience


January 21, 2024

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Today’s group session was held at the renowned Reid Park Zoo, where participants immersed themselves in a transformative and educational mindfulness experience. By focusing on observing and deciphering the intricate behavior patterns of the diverse animal inhabitants, this activity served as a gateway to practicing mindfulness and embracing the present moment with unwavering attention.

Beyond the awe-inspiring animal encounters, this extraordinary adventure also fostered deep connections among group members. Through shared exploration and reflection, a profound sense of bonding and camaraderie flourished, creating a supportive and nurturing environment for personal growth.

By intertwining the captivating world of animal behavior with the art of mindfulness, this unique experience holds immense value in maintaining long-term recovery. The practice of mindfulness cultivates self-awareness, emotional regulation, and resilience, empowering individuals to navigate life’s challenges with grace and clarity. Moreover, the shared journey and connections forged during this enlightening excursion provide a solid foundation for ongoing support and encouragement, essential elements in sustaining a fulfilling and lasting recovery journey.

Staying Connected with Support


January 6, 2024

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Building and nurturing relationships with others is highly significant during the recovery process. Connecting with fellow human beings can profoundly impact one’s well-being by promoting the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and trust, which helps individuals feel more connected and supported. Engaging in enjoyable activities, such as playing putt-putt golf and participating in friendly go-kart races, fosters connection and creates positive memories. These shared experiences contribute to a sense of belonging and serve as a source of motivation and inspiration throughout the recovery journey. Additionally, maintaining social connections has been linked to improved mental and physical health, providing emotional support and reducing feelings of isolation. Therefore, prioritizing human connection while in recovery greatly contributes to overall health and wellness.

Depression, Grief and Loss


July 16, 2023

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The experience of death and dying can significantly impact individuals in recovery, particularly those dealing with addiction or mental health issues. Coping with the loss of a loved one or facing mortality can trigger emotional challenges and potential relapses. However, taking a moment to check in with one’s feelings and dedicating time to enjoy nature can be powerful tools for healing and maintaining recovery. Engaging with nature offers solace, reduces stress, and promotes self-reflection, providing vital support during difficult times.

Nature’s ability to improve our well-being is attributed to its capacity to create a sense of peace, promote relaxation, and reconnect us with the natural world. This reconnection can have a profoundly positive impact on our mental and emotional state, making it an essential resource for those navigating the challenges of recovery.

Healthy Relationships & Commitment

June 18, 2023

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Relationships have a powerful impact on our lives, bringing us joy, support, and encouragement. However, they can also bring grief and pain if not nurtured properly. That’s why it’s so important to strive for healthy relationships with others and with ourselves.

At Changing Lanes Recovery, we understand the challenges of maintaining healthy relationships and provide support for those struggling with relationship issues. We offer a range of services, from individual counseling to group therapy, to help you develop the skills needed for successful, meaningful relationships.

We strive to create a warm and welcoming environment where you can feel safe and supported. We believe that with the right care, anyone can build healthy relationships – both with others and with themselves. Relationships are crucial for your journey of self-discovery, connection, and healing.

Remember, relationships are essential for a rich and meaningful life. Don’t delay in seeking the support you deserve!

The Cycle of Addiction


June 11, 2023

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Today’s activity was designed to help us understand the cycle of addiction and how we can focus on the positives in our lives to navigate tough times without resorting to substance use. The Escape Room provided a fun and engaging way to explore solutions that support our long-term recovery from addiction. By working together to escape the room, participants were able to see that with support and positive thinking, they can break free from the cycle of addiction. This activity served as a powerful reminder that we have agency in our own lives and can make positive choices to stay on track with our recovery goals.

While maintaining recovery can be challenging, it is possible when we draw upon support and look for the positives in life. We are here to support each other on our journey of recovery, and activities like today’s Escape Room remind us that we have choices in how we approach our recovery. We hope everyone gained something valuable from this activity and found a renewed sense of inspiration to continue their journey toward long-term sobriety. Thank you for participating and for continuing to strive towards recovery!

Emotional Self-Regulation


May 28, 2023

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Emotional self-regulation is essential for setting healthy boundaries and developing effective communication skills. It helps us better understand our emotions, recognize when they arise, and respond appropriately. With increased awareness of our emotional states, we can practice more mindful approaches in our interactions with both ourselves and others. By learning to respond healthily to emotions, we can promote our own emotional wellness and recovery. It is important to remember that emotional regulation takes practice and patience, but with the right tools and strategies, it can be an invaluable asset in creating a more balanced lifestyle.

Emotional self-regulation involves recognizing, accepting, and expressing difficult emotions constructively rather than destructively. We can achieve this by exploring the root causes of our emotions, taking time to assess how we feel, and then acting accordingly. Utilizing communication skills such as active listening and assertive expression can also be beneficial for regulating emotions. While these skills take time to learn and perfect, the rewards are substantial.

Equine therapy is a unique form of therapy that combines communication, problem-solving, and emotional self-regulation activities with working with horses. This type of therapy provides an opportunity to practice emotion regulation skills in a safe and supportive environment. Through guided interactions with horses, individuals can learn to access and express their emotions healthily. This therapy also encourages mindfulness by enhancing awareness of oneself and one’s environment. Additionally, equine therapy helps build trust and self-esteem while promoting healthy relationships with other people.

Positive Affirmation Putt-Putt


May 21, 2023

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Using positive affirmations can be an effective way to support recovery and overall wellness. Positive affirmations are statements that focus on the present moment, allowing you to take back control of your thoughts and feelings. Making a conscious effort to think positively can have a powerful effect on your mental health – it can reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and other negative emotions. Writing down positive affirmations and repeating them to yourself throughout the day can help you reframe your thinking, replacing negative self-talk with uplifting messages. This simple practice can be incredibly powerful in helping you develop a more positive outlook on life and create a healthier lifestyle. Start today by creating some positive affirmations that work for you and your goals and watch your mental wellness improve.

The recovery golf activity provided a unique opportunity for clients to practice using positive affirmations to navigate stressful situations. By setting up barriers throughout each hole, clients were challenged to think through their thought processes and apply positive affirmations to encourage themselves and remain focused on their goals.

This activity aimed to help clients become more mindful of their thoughts and behaviors. The recovery golf activity was an excellent way for clients to learn more about themselves and gain experience with problem-solving techniques that could be used in their everyday lives. Through the use of positive affirmations and self-reflection, clients were able to gain insight into how they could better manage stress and reach their recovery goals. This activity was designed to help promote a greater sense of well-being and restore hope for a brighter future.

Past Outings

Vision Boards

April 30, 2023

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Practicing Mindfulness the Tucson Way

April 16, 2023

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May 14, 2023

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Unconditional Self-Acceptance Visual Representation

April 23, 2023

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April 9, 2023

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Stress Management & Self-Care

May 7, 2023

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Using Mindfulness to Cope with Anger

August 20, 2023

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Vision Boards

Creating a vision board is an important part of recovery, as it allows us to focus on future goals and dreams. It provides a fun and creative way to reflect on what motivates you to continue moving forward in your journey. With the help of supportive friends and family, making a vision board can be an enjoyable activity that encourages positive thinking. It is a powerful way to stay connected with your present self and your future aspirations, inspiring you to take the necessary steps toward success.

Vision boards help you envision your future and set concrete, realistic, and achievable goals. Through this process, you will gain clarity and perspective on how you want your future to look, while also recognizing any obstacles you may face along the way. With focus, determination, and support, your vision board can guide you toward the life you have always wanted.

Practicing Mindfulness the Tucson Way

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment through a gentle, nurturing lens.

The 7 Pillars of Mindfulness

The following seven pillars of mindfulness, written by Jon Kabat-Zinn, highlight principles you can use and practice to achieve balance in your life and maintain progress in your recovery from addiction or mental health disorders.

  1. Non-Judging – Don’t be so hard on yourself or others who may have relapsed or have different ways of coping.
  2. Patience – Recovery takes time. Be patient with the process and trust that change will come.
  3. Beginner’s Mind – Approach life with a fresh perspective, free from preconceived notions, to see things as they truly are.
  4. Trust – Trust in your journey and the decisions you’ve made to get your life back on track.
  5. Non-Striving – Embrace who you are without constantly striving to be different. Many mental health disorders stem from negative self-feelings.
  6. Acceptance – Learn to see and accept things as they are, without being clouded by biases.
  7. Letting Go – Release past mistakes, anger towards others, and trauma, to move forward with a lighter heart.

These pillars of mindfulness help people find peace within themselves. Following these practices can help you live a more balanced, healthy life and maintain the progress you’ve made in your recovery.


Regular self-assessment is essential for maintaining emotional and mental health balance. By identifying areas that need support and crafting plans for improvement, you can enhance your overall well-being. Understanding your values through self-reflection is crucial for recovery and wellness, as it helps you prioritize important aspects of your life such as relationships, career, health, or spirituality. This self-awareness guides you toward a meaningful life, equipping you to overcome challenges and find purpose in your journey to long-term recovery.

Unconditional Self-Acceptance Visual Representation


Self-acceptance is unconditional—you can recognize weaknesses, but still fully accept yourself. To be self-accepting is to feel satisfied with who you are, despite flaws and regardless of past choices.

One of our clients at Changing Lanes Recovery painted the picture to the left and shared that “when you surround yourself with self-love and you accept yourself for who you are, it is then possible to rain love down on everyone in the world.”

What does it mean to have Unconditional Self-Acceptance?

I accept myself because I’m alive and have the capacity to enjoy my existence. I am not my behavior. I can rate my traits and my behavior, but it is impossible to rate something as complex as my ‘self.’ My self consists of innumerable traits, not just this one. I strive for achievement only to enhance the enjoyment of my existence, not to prove my worth. Failing at any task cannot make me a failure.

I can choose to accept myself even if am unwilling or unable to change my ‘character defects’ because there is no law of the universe that says I can’t. My approval of myself cannot come from pandering to any external source or bowing to any external authority. My self-acceptance can only come from me, and I am free to choose it at any time.

— Nick RajacicI

Changing Lanes Recovery Giving Back to Our Community

During our first group outing at Changing Lanes Recovery, we discussed the importance of service work and how participating in acts of service releases specific hormones in our bodies.

Oxytocin is a hormone often associated with “warm, fuzzy feelings” and has been shown in research to lower stress and anxiety. Oxytocin can regulate emotional responses and prosocial behaviors, including trust, empathy, positive memories, processing of bonding cues, and positive communication.

There are multiple ways to boost oxytocin levels. One method is through physical contact, which is why hugging feels so good. Another powerful method is through acts of human generosity—giving your time and energy without expecting anything in return. Interestingly, oxytocin also inhibits addiction, making it difficult to develop an addiction while having high levels of oxytocin in your system.

After our group discussed these concepts and their effects on recovery, we partnered with Homeless MATters Arizona and went out into the community to pass out socks and compassion bags to the homeless population in Tucson. This experience not only reinforced the benefits of service work but also allowed us to contribute positively to our community.

Stress Management & Self-Care

Self-care is an essential part of long-term recovery. Spending time in nature provides the perfect opportunity to clear your mind, connect with others, and create new memories. Engaging with nature and peers can help strengthen your support system while offering a respite from the worries of everyday life.

Outdoor activities allow us to form deeper connections, create new relationships, and have fun. This practice not only enhances your overall well-being but also supports your recovery journey. With the right support system in place, you can work towards long-term recovery with confidence.

Don’t be afraid to get out there and explore the world around you! Embrace the healing power of nature and the positive impact of connecting with others on your path to recovery.

Using Mindfulness to Cope with Anger

At the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, we seamlessly integrated cosmic exploration with mindfulness for group therapy. As we gazed into the depths of the planetarium, we were captivated by the vastness of the universe while actively practicing mindfulness, releasing anger and stress. Enveloped in celestial wonders, we nurtured feelings of gratitude and interconnectedness, experiencing solace and healing. Today’s journey through the stars provided us with a profound sense of serenity within ourselves.