I can get lost in it. It’s where I can recharge my soul. And it’s one of my most used tools in my recovery toolbox. I feel better when I spend time outdoors. And when you feel better you are less likely to ‘relapse’. BONUS!
One of the great things about nature is that it is EVERYWHERE. I think that’s important to remember…especially during times such as these…with so much quarantining and isolating. IT’S EVERYWHERE. We are spending so much time indoors and online, when nature can help our brains, our bodies and our recovery.
Just a few of the favorable rewards we can get from nature are:
- Being in nature reduces stress and anxiety!! Hell yes! Better than anything you can find in pill form! And free! Calming nature sounds (even outdoor silence) can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which calms the body’s fight-or-flight response.
- Find yourself feeling a little crabby and cantankerous? Get back to nature! Research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy is showing a strong connection between the time we spend outdoors and our moods.
- You will see an increase in your focus, concentration and creativity…which in early sobriety, as your body adjusts to a life without alcohol, is common to see the opposite.
- Sleep!! 😴💤 You will sleep better
- You’ll see an improvement in your short term memory.
- Less loneliness and boredom….which can often be ‘relapse’ triggers.
One of my favorite things to do outdoors is Geocaching! Have you heard of it? It’s like a treasure hunt. 🧐🗺 And it’s worldwide. I try and do it on all my travels. One of the things I like most about it, other than I just find it a lot of fun, is that it helps me get out of my head and my thoughts. I’m just out in nature looking for that next smiley face. 😊 (If you’re a cacher too, you know what I mean.😉)
I also LOVE to hike.
My husband and I have 3 large rescue dogs…
Acelyn, Bobo and Noggin.
I call them my pound puppies.
When the weather allows it we
take them and go hiking every
Sunday we can.
There are tons of outdoor activities that will help you add a little more nature to your life. Some suggestions…
- Go for a walk, a bike ride
- Create a backyard garden.
- Find a quiet grassy hill, or bubbling brook, and meditate.
- Look up the local parks in your area…and visit them!
- Take a nap in the park.
- Skip rocks.
- Look under rocks.
- Go birdwatching! Another fav of mine that I’ll do for hours in the morning from my very own backyard. I live on a greenbelt and have a creek in my backyard…so LOTS of birds!
- Take up outdoor photography. (This is on my list!)
- Rock Climbing
- Solo backpacking or camping. (Also on my list!)
- Go look for wildflowers.
- Sit and listen to the wind in the trees.
- Find the end of a rainbow.
- Hug a tree! (Like my daughter and granddaughter are doing in this picture! 🤗🌲)
If you can't make it outside then try listening to nature sounds, not exactly the same but it can have a similar effect.
I love this quote, by Eckhart Tolle, from Stillness Speaks.
“When walking or resting in nature, honor that realm by being there fully. Be still. Look. Listen. See how every animal and every plant is completely itself. Unlike humans, they have not split themselves in two. They do not live through mental images of themselves, so they do not need to be concerned with trying to protect and enhance those images. The deer is itself. The daffodil is itself.
All things in nature are not only one with themselves but also one with totality. They haven’t removed themselves from the fabric of the whole by claiming a separate existence: “me” and the rest of the universe.
The contemplation of nature can free you of that “me,” the great troublemaker.”
That last line nails it…”The contemplation of nature can free you of that “me,” the great troublemaker.”
“Free you of that “me.”
On top of all the benefits I listed above getting out and being one with nature can help you get out of your own head. To just be yourself.
Do as the deer and the daffodil, do.
I’d love to learn how you spend your time in nature. 💚
Until next time, be well.
Kerri Mac 🤟🏽