It’s impossible to deny the mental and physical health benefits of being outdoors. The fresh air and natural greenery help stress and tension melt away, improving your mood and lowering your blood pressure.
Research has shown spending time in nature has been associated with decreased severity of mental illness, with the strongest links to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, in addition to increased self-esteem.
Reasons to Spend Time Outside
Looking for good reasons to head to the nearest park? Here are a few to consider.
- No memberships required: The great outdoors is for everyone. Unlike exercising in a gym, which you’ll have to pay a fee to use, there’s no cost associated with going outside, and you don’t need any special equipment if you’re considering adding outdoor walks, hikes or jogs to your fitness routine – other than a sturdy pair of shoes.
- It will increase vitamin D production: When sunlight hits your skin, it triggers the creation of vitamin D, which plays several essential roles in your body.
- You’ll get more exercise: If you make getting outside a goal, that should mean wasting less time in front of the TV or mindlessly scrolling through your phone and more time breaking a sweat and elevating your heart rate.
- It will cheer you up: Natural light is a mood-booster. Even a brisk 30-minute walk can help you feel more relaxed afterward.
- Your concentration will improve: If you have mental fatigue, outdoor activity can help clear away those cobwebs and give you a sharper focus.
- It may make you more creative: Are you struggling to come up with new ideas? For times when you feel stuck in a rut, spending time outdoors can help you break through the barrier.
Adding Outdoor Activities to Your Recovery Process
Regularly spending time outside can and should be part of your emotional sobriety because surrounding yourself with nature provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your feelings. The increased sense of self-awareness you’ll experience can help you reconnect with yourself and your emotions.
Being outside can also give you a healthy outlet for decreasing your stress, which is essential for helping you avoid relapse. When you have a more positive attitude about life, it will translate to everything you do. This benefit is especially helpful if you have co-occurring anxiety or depression.
Outdoor activities are also fun, which may be one of the most significant advantages of making time to go outside. As someone recovering from addiction, you might struggle to find new ways to spend your time. Once you get clean, the hours you spent maintaining your addiction will now be free time, and avoiding boredom is essential to ensure you don’t fall back into an unhealthy cycle. Whether you’re hiking, biking, doing yoga, kayaking or even just lounging in a sunny spot with a good book, being in nature can be a highly enjoyable way to fill your hours.
Qualified Addiction Treatment in New Mexico
If you’re struggling with substance misuse and addiction, it doesn’t have to destroy your life. Our nationally accredited, family-owned addiction treatment center is in beautiful Taos, New Mexico, which has been a healing sanctuary for years. We encourage our guests to participate in a range of outdoor activities, including hiking in Bandelier National Monument State Park and exploring the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado. To get the help you need, contact us for a complimentary consultation.