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How Can I Enjoy Outdoor Activities in Recovery?

Your alarm goes off and your eyes open to the sun peeking through the curtain. You spring out of bed to get the day started. It is that time of year when the earth seems to be full of vibrant colors and the birds are singing songs to each other. This time of year is full of planning vacations, excitement about outdoor activities, and a general sense of relief about seeing the sun.

Sometimes trying new outdoor summer activities can be intimidating. However, trying new hobbies can be a beneficial way to motivate yourself and continue your growth in sobriety. This article will explore sober outdoor activities such as adventure therapy and equine therapy as well as helpful tips to help you enjoy outdoor activities in recovery.

Outdoor Activities Help With Emotional Discovery

There is something beautiful about being out in nature, surrounded by greenery. Being in recovery and spending time in nature can lead to developing an increased sense of self-awareness, mindfulness, and spirituality. Outdoor spaces can help you reflect on your feelings and thoughts. Doing activities with others outside, such as adventure therapy, can benefit your mental health as you build positive social connections while exploring the outdoors.

Adventure Therapy

The great outdoors provides a natural source of opportunities for exploration and connection. Nature connects people of all types through a common source of enjoyment.

In a world full of answers at your fingertips, you may have found yourself feeling disconnected from what matters to you the most. Through adventure therapy, you can learn healthy coping skills that help you form effective relationships. You will be a part of a group to enjoy nature while establishing accountability to others. Also, you will gain motivation and feel satisfaction when tasks are completed.

Healing in Outdoor Activities

The opposite of addiction is connection. Thus, it’s helpful when you connect not only to people but also to a world full of wonders and excitement. Time and time again, researchers have discussed the benefits of outdoor activities. For example, according to Behavioral Sciences, nature has been proven to reduce stress and boost happiness. Stress reduction and pursuing happiness are both essential in recovery.

There is no pressure about which activities you choose to participate in. Regardless of what you choose, outdoor activities create a sense of balance within yourself. You can choose to ground yourself just by sitting outside and reflecting on your life in silence.

Many outdoor activities require physical movement, which happens to be fundamental for a healthy lifestyle. The outdoors provides you with a nonjudgmental space and you are free to choose how you will connect with and explore different activities.

Equine Therapy

Another outdoor activity is equine therapy. This form of therapy is centered around the bond between horses and humans. Horses create a unique sense of interpersonal connection within the human experience. This is beneficial for several reasons.

Facilitating Empathy

First, horses can assist with building empathy in your life. These animals feel your feelings and can create an alliance by mimicking how you are responding to events within your life. For example, if you approach a horse and are angry, the horse will respond to your anger. On the other hand, if you are upset, the horse will provide support. You cannot hide your feelings around horses.

Fostering Calm

Secondly, equine therapy requires you to be calm, focused, and centered. Horses can teach you how to be connected with everything that is around you. This sense of mindfulness can help decrease stress within your life and teach you how to be more observant of your present.

Learning Emotional Regulation

Lastly, the need to communicate effectively with a horse will teach you emotional regulation. It is important to have patience when engaging with equine therapy as the horse feels your emotions, as mentioned previously. Being able to regulate your feelings and practicing patience will teach you emotional regulation.

Have a Backup Plan For Outdoor Activities

Even though outdoor activities have many benefits, it’s a good idea to always have a backup plan just in case you are triggered. Keep in mind that there are always unforeseen events that happen and it is good to be prepared. The following are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Know your triggers: Planning outdoor activities can be a fun and exciting time. However, you need to keep in mind that no matter how long you have been in recovery, triggers are still present. Stay away from people, places, and things that remind you of negative aspects of your past.
  • Set boundaries: If you are spending time with people, give yourself an “out” before you leave. That way, if at any point you feel uncomfortable, you have a plan in place.
  • Be honest: Setting intentions before you leave will make your outside time all the more enjoyable. For example, ask yourself what you want to gain from being outside. Give yourself the time and space to achieve your goals.

Outdoor Activities Are Fun

No matter where you are in your recovery, you can create a life of fun-filled outdoor activities. You are in control of how you plan the activities and who you choose to spend time with. Just imagine blowing bubbles in a field with childlike wonder or splashing in a pool with no worries. You get to choose which activities make your heart happy. Just as you are in control of your recovery, you are the author of your outdoor activities.

This is an exciting time of year when you get to spend time in the sun. Spending time outside has many benefits to your overall mental and physical health. This time of year may come with conflicted emotions, however, if you’re not sure how to enjoy the outdoors. Exploring your options and having a plan are both crucial while trying new things in recovery. You always want to have an “out” just in case. You are the author of your story and get to choose what feels good to you. If you or anyone you know is struggling with participating in outdoor activities in recovery and need support, call The Guest House today at (855) 483-7800.