Rancho Milagro Recovery occupies an expansive, secluded property nestled deep in 60 acres of countryside in the Temecula Hills. Being in the right environment can lend holistic support to your mission towards physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. While therapy, peer support, and treatment options all play their part in a successful recovery, being able to connect with nature has been proven to improve your overall health and wellness. It can be well worth the effort to explore nature on your own or with peers, especially if you live in a city. You can find a nearby nature trail and spend a day taking in the local flora and fauna. Some treatment programs include the outdoors in alternative therapies.
You can spend countless ways soaking up the healing benefits of fresh air and natural sunlight. Follow your interests and pursue outdoor activities that speak to you. You might try:
- Meditating in the sun or under a tree
- Light exercise like walking or trail riding
- Picking berries, mushrooms, or fruit
- Horseback riding
- Cloud watching
- Nature photography
- Picnics and family outings
- Swimming or fishing
- Spiritual communion with nature
Connecting With Nature Can Improve Your Mood
Many recovering from substance abuse experience symptoms and disorders related to rapid and unpredictable fluctuations in mood, especially during the early stages of recovery. Being unable to predict or control your reactions to a given situation can be highly frustrating and may increase your chances of developing anxiety or depression. One way to balance your mood is to enjoy some form of outdoor activity regularly. In 2018, Griffith University in Australia published a paper that examined the efficacy of outdoor activities as a legitimate mental health treatment. Their analysis found that “nature exposure can provide a wide range of mental health benefits related to attention and cognition, memory, stress and anxiety, sleep, emotional stability, and self-perceived welfare or quality of life.”
There is also ample evidence that outdoor activities and moderate exercise can bolster your recovery by:
- Decreasing instances of anxiety and depression
- Lowering your stress
- Reducing symptoms of chronic illness and chronic pain
- Decreasing your cravings
- Enhancing the positive effects of therapy
Allowing Yourself to Be Vulnerable
Feeling vulnerable is one of the more important and more challenging side effects of pursuing treatment. Some people may have a hard time releasing the stigmas they’ve associated with opening up and accepting the vulnerability that comes with healing. Nature can provide a serene, open forum where you can let yourself feel and express your emotions without having to worry about how others will perceive you.
You can also use time spent outdoors to let yourself fully release any anxieties and negative thoughts. You deserve to have fun and enjoy yourself without constantly focusing on your recovery. Give yourself space and permission to think about other things, like the beauty and majesty of the natural world around you. For anyone who believes in a higher power, nature can serve as an excellent catalyst for recharging your spiritual batteries and refocusing your energy.
Safety Precautions for Spending Time Alone in Nature
Recovery is a fluid, ever-changing process. What can help you one day may cause problems the next if something happens to alter your mood or stress levels. Before you choose to take time off to spend time in nature yourself, it is vital to make sure that it’s a healthy decision in your current circumstances. Even in a comfortable environment, spending time alone can be problematic if you have specific unhelpful thought patterns. You should try to avoid being alone and reach out to someone in your support system if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Intrusive self-harm thoughts
- Cravings or thoughts of relapse
- Physical symptoms like dizziness, impaired balance, or weakness can make it dangerous to explore alone
- Suicidal thoughts or compulsive self-harm
Always take safety precautions like making sure that someone knows where you will be and approximately when you intend to return. The National Park Service has a thorough page that details how to prepare for a day hike safely. The United States Forest Service offers water safety tips if you intend to do any water-based activities.
Exploring Treatment Options That Incorporate the Outdoors
Meditation, animal therapy, and healthy activities like exercise and yoga can all be done outdoors. Some recovery programs directly incorporate time spent outside into their core therapies, while others leave it as an option for anyone interested. Mountain resort rehabilitation centers and places like Rancho Milagro Recovery provide plenty of chances to take advantage of the natural landscape by slipping away to explore on your own or with your peers.
Spending time in nature has helped to effectively aid treatment for various health and wellness issues for thousands of years. Regular access to nature has proven to improve symptoms related to physical and mental distress. You can enhance your recovery through routine connections with the outdoors. Rancho Milagro Recovery is located in a stunning natural setting of rolling land with plenty of space for you to connect with nature and attain an elevated sense of calm and peace. Spending time walking, exercising, and meditating outdoors can help lower your stress levels, improve focus, and build a more positive state of mind. Rancho Milagro is here to help you make the most of recovery by providing holistic treatments and a community that supports every aspect of your healing. We encourage each person who visits our facility to take advantage of the beauty found on our grounds. To learn more about our services and facility, call us today at (951) 526-4582.