How Getting Outside Can Help You Get Through Recover | Bethany Hatton

Success in recovery involves so much more than therapy and a step-based program. You need to find ways to relieve stress, improve your health and stay focused if you want to stay sober. One way to help yourself stay strong in recovery is to spend some time outdoors. Here are a few ways being outside can boost your chances of success in recovery:

Outdoor Exercise Can Relieve Stress

If you are in addiction recovery, you know that stress can be a severe trigger for relapse. In fact, stress is the most common cause of relapse for those in recovery. Knowing how to healthily cope with the stress in your life is a vital element in any successful recovery plan. Regular exercise aids recovery by releasing built-up tension and producing feel-good endorphins in your brain. To boost those stress-relieving benefits even more, try taking your workout outside. If you have a dog, try taking your dog outside for some fun, dog-friendly activities that keep you and your pet stress-free and strong. Pets can help reduce stress as well, so spending time outside with your dog is like a a triple punch against any stress that’s bringing you down.

Sunny Days Can Give You Energy

The sun catches a pretty bad rap for something that gives us so many benefits. While it is true that too much sun exposure can cause serious health effects, regular sunlight can keep you healthy too. Just a few minutes outside in the sun helps your body synthesize an essential vitamin for energy production: vitamin D. If you’re feeling sluggish or tired in recovery, a vitamin D deficiency could be the culprit. The sun is your best bet at getting the vitamin D your body needs, so get outside for a few minutes each day. Have your morning tea on the patio or try going for a short walk to get the energy you need to get through recovery. 

Being Outside Boosts Your Mood

Keeping your mood level and positive is important when you are working through your addiction, and getting outdoors can help you there too. Studies have shown that spending time in green spaces can boost your mood and improve your mental health. A hike through the woods is a therapeutic activity that can improve your mood.  Spending time in your favorite city park can do the trick as well, as long as it’s clean, well-lit and regularly maintained. For even more of a lift, look for parks with water features, like fountains, ponds or creeks. Water has a calming effect on the mind and has been known to elevate mood as well.

Connecting With Nature Can Help You Find Peace

For many who struggle with addiction, depression or any other issue in their life, finding peace can seem impossible. But finding calm and learning to live in the present is key to true happiness in life. Being outside and allowing yourself to truly take in the beauty of the natural world is a great way to practice being present. As you take your walk or finish your hike, take a few moments to bond and really connect with your experiences. Close your eyes, listen to the sound of the wind, feel it against your skin, and be grateful for these small, but powerful, experiences. Living in the moment and learning to appreciate the small moments in life can help you stay positive and find peace. It can also help you stay the course when things get tough in recovery. 

Getting outside can help you get through recovery. It can also boost your health, improve your mood and lead to a happier life. Get outside, connect with nature and find the strength you need to stay strong, stay sober and stay happy for a better life.