Once a treatment program has been completed, the transition into early recovery is the next new chapter. Early recovery can be a vulnerable time for some individuals. At the start of recovery, an individual will most likely make big sacrifices to promote a positive change in their life. Removing toxic friendships, starting new employment, mending relationships with family, and even moving to a new environment away from triggers can be very helpful. Starting fresh can seem lonely from the start, but getting outside can significantly boost an individual’s mood and serve as a healthy distraction from drugs and alcohol.
By getting out and experiencing sober activities, cravings may seem less intense, and individuals may feel less stressed. Getting outside can also increase one’s potential to meet like-minded individuals. Restoration Recovery prides itself on getting clients outside and involved in several sober activities. We understand getting outside helps individuals build healthy habits that facilitate long-term recovery. Being active can help the body heal from the negative effects of addiction. It also allows one’s mental health to improve over time.
The Challenges of Addiction Recovery
Although early recovery can be a very sensitive time for some individuals due to some major life changes, long-term recovery can be challenging as well. Being deep into recovery can sometimes feel boring as many have adjusted at this point to their new lifestyle. Boredom can often lead one back down memory lane. One may reach out to old friends, pick up old bad habits, or begin to develop depression. Although they may be less intense, cravings can once again come back to the surface as well. Things begin to slow down at this stage, and some individuals may relapse due to inactivity. The cycle may restart due to feelings of anger and guilt.
Benefits of Getting Outside
Whether an individual has had a drug or alcohol relapse or not, getting outside has been clinically proven to provide many positive mental and physical health benefits. Staying active and getting fresh air can work to prevent a drug or alcohol relapse. It can also help one mentally recover and get back onto the road to recovery for long-term sobriety.
As stated by the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are several health benefits from spending time in the great outdoors. Scientists have observed for years how getting outside can help improve an individual’s mind, body, and community as a whole. The body’s response to nature is immeasurable. Leaving the house and spending time in green spaces with sunshine can support physical activity and a healthy way of living. An individual’s life expectancy may also be increased. Sleep quality may be improved, and spending time outdoors can also reduce the risk of developing cancer.
As getting outside can reduce many health risks, it can also significantly improve one’s mental well-being. Spending time doing sober activities outside can reduce the risk of developing depression related to addiction. Participating in outdoor events can also work to restore and strengthen an individual’s ability to stay focused on their goals in recovery.
Exploring sober activities outside and exploring nature can also reduce air pollution, heat, and noise created by unhealthy ways of living. This can overall promote a healthier mindset.
At Restoration Recovery, we give clients an opportunity to vote on different weekend activities. This may involve kayaking, hiking trips, meditation and yoga in wooded areas, and more.
The Negative Stigmas Associated With Getting Outside
As technology is advancing every day, a majority of people spend much of their free time indoors. In fact, some individuals may feel that getting outside and spending time in nature is just plain boring. Getting outside has been perceived by some to be a thing of the past due to the negative influences of certain types of media.
The negative influence of various media can also be a common trigger for individuals with a history of substance abuse. Social media influencers, alcohol ads in magazines, and dispensary billboards are seen everywhere. Although triggers can increase cravings at any time during an individual’s recovery, using the skills once learned in treatment while in recovery can help individuals effectively respond. Letting go of what we once felt was entertaining and getting in touch with nature can, in turn, feel quite refreshing, especially while in recovery.
Getting Outside With Restoration Recovery
As stated by researcher James R. McKay in “Continuing Care Research: What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going,” individuals who follow up with continued care for addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions have the opportunity to attend self-help meetings, receive additional social support, have prolonged commitment staying sober, and gain confidence to safely cope with certain challenges without using substances. Recovery support can also provide individuals with connections to alumni events, community assistance, and direction moving forward in recovery.
Reaching out to a treatment facility while facing challenges in recovery can be the best preventative choice. Some facilities, such as Restoration Recovery, offer aftercare services for those that need additional support moving forward. Aftercare services and getting outside with Restoration Recovery can be a healthy outlet for individuals who need extra support.
Building healthy habits in recovery can increase an individual’s potential for a positive outcome and long-term sobriety. Here at Restoration Recovery, our mental health care team helps individuals stay on track. At our California recovery center, our serene setting helps clients achieve not just wellness but wholeness. We specialize in drug and alcohol rehab, inpatient alcohol rehab, outpatient programs, drug rehab, and substance abuse treatment. We encourage our clients to get outside and enjoy safe sober activities with others. If you or a loved one needs guidance building habits for lifelong recovery, call Restoration Recovery at (888) 290-0925 to learn more about how our team can tailor our services to meet your needs.