As Americans celebrate Great Outdoors Month this June, it provides the perfect opportunity to explore how the natural world can enhance your ongoing efforts to stay on track with your sobriety and regain your mental, spiritual and emotional well-being. With that in mind, consider the following benefits of being outside.
1. Engages Your Senses
The outdoors provides many multi-sensory experiences. You can admire the bright colors and enticing smells of flowers, hear the sounds of birds singing in the trees above and enjoy the feelings of the sun warming your skin and the breeze blowing through your hair.
2. Helps You Be More Mindful
If you’re working on improving your mindfulness as part of your recovery journey, maybe it’s time to step outside. In today’s technology-centric, always-on culture, we tend to spend most of our time engaging with the world through various screens. Ironically, the same devices that make it possible for us to connect with anyone anywhere in the world have caused us to lose sight of the beauty and wonder of the natural environment. Put your tech away and try a mindful walking exercise instead.
3. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Plenty of scientific evidence has demonstrated that being outside can help with your mental health. For example, one Cornell University study found that as few as 10 minutes in a natural setting helped students feel happier and less stressed.
Ways to Spend More Time Outdoors
If you haven’t already established a habit of enjoying all the beauty of Mother Nature, you may need some ideas for getting out of the house. There are plenty of ways to spend time in nature, even if you’re staying socially distanced. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Move your exercise routine outside: Luckily, plenty of exercises naturally lend themselves to outdoor activity, such as walking, running, hiking and biking. Or, get more adventurous and try your hand at water-based activities like kayaking, canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll be combining all the health benefits of physical exercise with the advantages of being outside.
- Start an outdoor hobby: In recovery, it’s essential to avoid boredom and find new ways to use the time you have reclaimed from drugs and alcohol. If you’re looking to start fresh with your pastimes, think of things you can do outside, like nature photography, birdwatching or gardening.
- Try al fresco dining: Have a picnic lunch in your favorite park, or eat a meal on your porch, patio, deck, balcony or in your yard.
Providing the Strength and Structure You Need
If you’re in early addiction recovery and have found yourself having trouble transitioning between an inpatient treatment environment and the outside world, sober living may be the answer you need. At Segue Recovery Support, we offer three levels of structured recovery residences where you can benefit from meeting like-minded people while living in a comfortable, homey setting and continuing to work on avoiding a relapse. Reach out to us today for more details.