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healing through nature
May 29, 2020

How Spending Time Outside Boosts Your Recovery

The modern American lifestyle is one spent mostly indoors – especially now that many of us are under self-quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some estimates suggest people spend up to 90% of their lives inside, which is an eye-opening statistic when you consider the range of benefits that come with being in the great outdoors. 

If you’re working on your addiction recovery, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to avoid a relapse, and outdoor activity is one of your most powerful tools for doing so. Healing through nature can bring a wealth of rewards for recovering addicts.

1. Stress Relief

Stress can be a significant relapse trigger for people who are learning to work through difficult emotions without the crutch of drugs and alcohol. Spending time outside can help naturally lower your blood pressure, while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. 

2. A Stronger Immune System

Substance abuse weakens your immune system over time, making you more prone to illness. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient your body produces when you expose yourself to sunlight, and it also plays a crucial role in strengthening your immune system. When you get enough vitamin D through sunlight, you will start to feel healthier, which will provide even more motivation for you to stay sober. 

3. Better Sleep 

Recovering addicts often struggle with insomnia as a result of years of disrupted sleep patterns. Soaking up the sun, especially first thing in the morning, can help you hit the reset button on your body’s circadian rhythms. Not only will you feel better after consistently getting a good night’s sleep, but you will also have more energy as you move through your everyday routine.

4. A Healthy Hobby

In early recovery, boredom is an enemy you’ll want to avoid at all costs. Making a conscious effort to go outside every day will establish a healthy habit that can help keep you active. Ideally, the time you spend in nature will become a bright spot in each day, and will create a sense of purpose in your life.

Ways to Spend More Time Outside

You don’t need to plan a lengthy backpacking adventure or take up an extreme sport such as rock climbing to benefit from healing through nature. Here are some ideas to help you get outdoors more often.

  • Plant a garden: Growing flowers, fruit and vegetables can be tremendously rewarding. You get to look forward to nurturing plants and watching them grow, and homegrown produce is even more delicious than the store-bought variety. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, consider container gardening
  • Sit on your porch, deck or balcony: Are you lucky enough to have a porch, deck or balcony? Take advantage of it by using it to get your daily dose of fresh air. Invest in some comfortable outdoor furniture, and you can have an outdoor living area perfect for entertaining guests or sitting alone with a good book. 
  • Take your workouts outside: Plenty of activities naturally lend themselves to outdoor exercise, such as walking, jogging, biking, swimming and yoga.
  • Try an outdoor meditation: Make your meditation habit even more meaningful by doing it outside. You can enjoy the sensations of the breeze through your hair, the sun warming your skin and the birds filling the air with joyful songs.
  • Take up birdwatching: What birds are native to your area? Have you always enjoyed learning about wildlife? Birdwatching is an affordable hobby that can help bring you closer to nature.

Healing Through Nature

If you love the outdoors, you likely appreciate the serenity that comes with immersing yourself in a naturally beautiful environment such as the beach. At Beach House, our peaceful setting provides an ideal backdrop for you to start your recovery journey, and our compassion of culture ensures you’ll feel supported and loved at every step of the way. 

During the COVID-19 outbreak, our team is taking every precaution to keep our campus clean and safe for our residents and staff, including providing health pre-screenings and sanitizing high-touch surfaces every 30 minutes. To learn more and verify your insurance, call our admissions counselors today.

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