No matter where you are in recovery, replacing your negative habits with healthy ones is one of the best ways to nurture and maintain your sobriety over the course of your life. And, experts agree — spending time in nature can provide a great venue for some of these habits to take shape.
Here are a few ways that nature can help your recovery.
Spending Time in Nature Improves Your Mental Health
Mental health and addiction recovery are linked in more ways than just cases of dual diagnosis treatment. In fact, taking care of your mental health is a necessary step in ensuring lifelong sobriety.
Maintaining your mental health provides key benefits in recovery, including:
- Cognitive benefits that help support trigger avoidance and relapse prevention
- Getting sufficient sleep and maintaining healthy energy levels
- Resisting loneliness, anxiety, and depression — and other issues that can make it difficult to cope without using drugs or alcohol
Because of the impact mental wellness can have on your ability to stay clean, when experts say that time spent outside can have a positive effect on overall mental health, these benefits also extend to supporting your recovery.
Getting Active Has Value in Recovery
Studies have shown that maintaining a regular exercise routine can help people in addiction recovery stay clean. While exercise isn’t necessarily limited to open, outdoor spaces, doing outdoor exercise like going for a jog, a hike, or long walks is often more accessible for a wider range of people than consistently going to the gym or playing an indoor sport.
Even if you do have regular access to indoor exercise, a quick jog around your neighborhood or walk in the park can be a great way to break up your routine and use the restorative powers of nature to benefit your whole health in recovery.
Convening with Nature Can Have Spiritual Benefits, Too
People in 12-step groups who look for a non-traditional “higher power” often look towards nature to find it. There’s a good reason for this: being in the secluded serenity of nature tends to be a humbling experience. It can help to remind us that we’re just a small part of a much larger space, illustrated by the natural wonders that surround us when we’re visiting a park or just going on a hike close to home.
People in recovery often look for this perspective to remind them what they’re working towards, and the opportunity to reflect on the beauty and peace found in nature can offer a great way to find it.
Using Every Tool to Face the Challenge of Recovery
We believe nature is just one of the ways to support your long-term recovery, but no two people in treatment and recover require the same degrees of support. That’s why, at Hickory Treatment Centers, we encourage a wide variety of approaches to sustainable recovery — both while in treatment and beyond. At our five locations in central and southern Indiana, we offer personalized care that takes this belief to heart.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs or alcohol abuse, it’s never too early to get help. Contact us today and learn about every option available to you to get — and stay — clean.