How Spending Time Outdoors Can Benefit Your Recovery

spending time outdoors in recovery

Spending time in nature has been shown to offer many health benefits. Regularly being outdoors can help people feel calmer, more grounded, and better able to handle stress. 

These effects can be especially meaningful for people who are in recovery from addiction. Addiction can cause a lot of stress and discomfort. Connecting with nature as part of their treatment program can help people heal from the physical and psychological pain that accompanies addiction. After all, there are many ways spending time outdoors can benefit your recovery.

If you or someone you love requires addiction treatment, you have many treatment options to consider. At Moving Mountains Recovery, we offer holistic, effective treatment that cares for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. Our programs are designed to empower people in their journey with addiction. Each carefully designed adventure-based program uses nature and meditation to soothe and heal the body and mind so that people can thrive in recovery. 

Exploring the Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors During Recovery

Recovery from addiction is not a destination–it is a lifelong journey. One of the most important parts of addiction and recovery is learning new ways to manage stress, cope with discomfort, and heal your body and mind. 

Spending time outdoors in nature can benefit your recovery from addiction in many ways. Some of the most important benefits include:

Reduced Stress

Research shows that spending even a small amount of time outdoors can measurably reduce stress.[1] A short break to soak up nature can result in a decrease in your blood pressure and heart rate. And the best part? The benefits start in as few as 10 minutes. 

Less Depression and Anxiety

Thirty minutes in nature a week can reduce people’s depression by as much as 7%, and taking a 50-minute walk in a natural setting may help reduce your anxiety.[2] Depression and anxiety can contribute to people’s addiction to drugs or alcohol, and anything you can do to reduce these conditions can help you in recovery. 

More Exercise

Addiction is hard on your body, and getting more gentle exercise can help you heal and soothe your muscles and mind during recovery. Taking a quick walk or doing some yoga outdoors is a wonderful way to increase your daily movement and counteract some of the physical effects of addiction.

Better Sleep

Substance use can interfere with your ability to get good, restorative sleep. Spending time outdoors has been shown to improve sleep quality–and the extra exercise you get helps, too.[3] 

Less Boredom

Part of recovery from addiction involves deciding how you will spend your time. Finding an outdoor hobby can help you find new meaning, increase your self-esteem, and help you connect with others who enjoy the same activities. 

Finding a way to incorporate time outdoors into your treatment and recovery can provide numerous benefits. Even just a little time in nature can have a profound effect on your body and mind during your recovery from addiction. 

What Outdoor Activities Can Benefit My Recovery?

You do not have to hike the Appalachian Trail or go on some other grand outdoor adventure to reap the rewards of spending time outdoors during recovery. Simply spending time outdoors can have a significant impact on how you feel during treatment and recovery. 

Some ways to increase your time in nature include:

  • Hiking or walking outdoors
  • Writing or journaling outside
  • Tending a garden–even just growing plants in pots on your apartment balcony or patio
  • Outdoor yoga–as part of a community class or on your own
  • Reading–in a hammock, park bench, or blanket on the grass
  • Creating art–painting, sketching, or photography outdoors

Many addiction treatment programs in New Jersey have begun to incorporate outdoor recreation and adventure therapy into their programs because of the benefits it offers. Many people also include outdoor recreation and other holistic activities in their aftercare plans. Outdoor activities can be a great way to stay active, healthy, and engaged in recovery for the rest of your life after treatment ends. 

How to Incorporate Time Outdoors Into Your Addiction Treatment and Recovery

At Moving Mountains Recovery, we use outdoor activities and holistic treatments as a part of our recovery programs because we know that they can benefit the whole person. It is vitally important to care for the mind, body, and spirit during addiction treatment, and we know that spending time outdoors during recovery can benefit every part of a person.

Outdoor recreation can be incorporated into a person’s treatment program. After detox, people usually start a treatment plan that includes therapy, group support, education, medication, and holistic treatments, including nature therapy and outdoor recreation.

After completing treatment, people can use outdoor recreation as part of their ongoing aftercare plan. During recovery, it is important to find new meaning and structure in your life, and spending time in nature can be an important part of this. 

Find The Help You Deserve Today

If you or someone you love requires addiction treatment, you do not have to walk this journey alone. Reach out to the staff at Moving Mountains Recovery for more information about the high-quality, effective, adventure-based addiction treatment programs we offer. 

We believe that addiction is a whole-self condition, and we offer adaptable programs to treat people’s bodies, minds, and spirits. We also offer support to people’s families and communities.

If you have been living with substance abuse or addiction, do not wait another day for the care you need and deserve. Call now to speak to one of our admissions counselors about getting the treatment you need today. 

References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29604546/
  2. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-06-dose-nature-doctor.html
  3. https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2015/08/24/having-trouble-sleeping-research-suggests-spending-more-time-outdoors/

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