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Addiction recovery can bring with it intense emotions, heightened stress, and periodic cravings. While there are many tools you can use to manage these feelings, one simple and easily overlooked tool is to go outside. Fresh air and sunlight can help clear your mind and reset your emotions. And the best part? It doesn’t cost anything, and it can take as little or as much time as you’d like. 

Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors

Feeling stuck inside can lead to feelings of boredom and loneliness, both of which can increase your risk for relapse. A great way to get out of your own head is to go outdoors and look around. What do you see? What do you smell and hear? Start walking. Pay attention to what your body feels like as you walk. Breathe deeply. If you don’t feel like walking, sit on a chair or on the grass.   

But aside from walking in your neighborhood, there are endless ways to enjoy the outdoors. Choose whatever type of activity appeals to you and your interests. Here are some ideas:

  • Explore local parks. A short drive might get you to a place that feels far removed from your normal surroundings. Take a walk or sit on a bench to listen to the birds chirping, water running in a stream, or the wind moving through the trees. 
  • Invite a friend to go hiking on a local trail and spend the day exploring. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Go to a beach or swimming pool and enjoy the feel of the sun on your skin. Appreciate the vitamin D you’re getting from the sunlight. 
  • Plant a garden and take time to care for your plants. Gardening helps you establish a routine and will give you an opportunity to enjoy what you grow, whether it is vegetables, herbs, or flowers.
  • Play with your dog at a dog park or in your backyard. Your pet will enjoy the exercise. If you don’t have a dog but like dogs, consider volunteering at a local shelter to take the dogs for a walk.  
  • Grab a good book and read it outside.
  • Get creative by painting, sketching, or taking photos of the scenery around you. Or, you can take a journal outside and see what you’re inspired to write.  
  • Ditch the gym and take your workout routine outdoors. Go for a run, do yoga, or create your own routine outside. 

Benefits of Being Outdoors in Addiction Recovery

Not only does being outdoors improve your mental and physical health, but it also has the following benefits for those in addiction recovery:

  • Helps reduce cravings
  • Decreases anxiety and depression
  • Reduces stress and creates a sense of calm
  • Improves overall quality of sleep and increases energy
  • Leads to better concentration and improved memory
  • Gives you a break from technology
  • Promotes mindfulness
  • Provides an opportunity to connect with others

We Are Here to Help!

If you or a loved one struggles with a substance use disorder, you are not alone. The dedicated and caring staff at Twin Lakes Recovery Center is here to help you get on the path to long-term recovery. Our scenic Monroe, Georgia, treatment center is located on 35 acres and provides a peaceful setting that allows you to heal while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. We offer a variety of treatments and programs for people of all ages, including inpatient residential treatment, medically supervised drug or alcohol detox services, and a family recovery program. To find out more about what we have to offer, please contact us today to discuss your options.