Especially for a person who’s recovering from substance abuse, outdoor activities can be helpful. There’s nothing like watching a sunrise to uplift the spirits. Though there are certain elements of nature that some people may enjoy more than others, there seems to be a substantial relationship between the outdoors and improved mental and physical health. At our drug rehab center in Gilman, we wanted to take a closer look at the benefits of being outside in addiction recovery.
Spending time with nature can be calming and soothing. Going outside for a long walk can help you disconnect from the stress and responsibilities in life and give your mind a much-needed break. If you’re in addiction recovery, then you may appreciate the many benefits of being outdoors in sobriety.
One of the main health benefits of being outside in recovery is Vitamin D production. Vitamin D is produced in the skin in response to sunlight. It helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, improving and maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin D is important for growth and bone health. People who don’t get a sufficient amount of vitamin D are more prone to developing conditions like osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
Getting enough vitamin D can also help you fight off infectious diseases and cancer. Especially if you’ve been in an addiction treatment program, this can help your body in the healing process as it slowly becomes accustomed to functioning without drugs or alcohol.
At Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland, we know that addiction recovery can be stressful. Add work, school, or family, and you have a recipe for stress. Because this feeling isn’t always avoidable, it’s important to make time in your routine to go outside and disconnect for a little while. Whether it’s in your backyard or on a field somewhere in the middle of nowhere, spending some time with nature can help you decompress after a long day. By making this into daily practice, you can also avoid overwhelming yourself to the point where you return to your old habits.
Another benefit of spending time in nature during sobriety is getting better sleep. Sleep is crucial for maintaining physical and mental health. Spending too much time indoors or in front of a screen can disrupt your sleep pattern and prevent you from getting a full eight hours. Being outside for a little while every day can actually help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Not only can the exercise help you release any pent-up energy, but these moments are great opportunities to calmly think through and let go of past experiences that may keep you up at night.
Going outside in addiction recovery can also encourage you to exercise. Drug and alcohol abuse can take a severe toll on your physical and mental health, but you can help your mind and body recover through exercise. Exercising releases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in the brain and help to alleviate stress. Staying active can also help you improve and maintain heart health, mental health, and can help you lose any unwanted weight you may have gained after drug or alcohol addiction treatment.
There are many incredible benefits of being outside in addiction recovery. While these are the most general, you may discover additional things that you enjoy during your time with nature.