As a result of the first Earth Day in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was founded, and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed. Earth Day also raised a conversation about the importance of sustainability of our ecosystems and being good stewards of the planet. But as we seek the most effective ways to keep our planet healthy, it turns out it’s been doing a pretty good job returning the favor. Today, experts state that it is possible to nurture yourself with nature. You can grow as a person and put an end to addiction with the help of nature.
How Nature Sustains Us
Studies have shown that people who are aware of their symbiotic relationship with nature tend to be happier and have better overall mental health. While lack of time in the outdoors contributes to obesity and depression in youth, children in learning environments in which they have access to fresh air and greenery have seen improved test scores. Recalling her childhood and adolescence in the 1960s and ‘70s suburbia, one therapist noted that gardening with her father enhanced their bond. She’d get dirt on her hands and knees as she worked with him to decide what to plant, in addition to clearing the plot, scattering the seeds, weeding and watering the sprouting crops, and finally harvesting the bounty. The practice taught her patience and teamwork. As a teen, she joined the ecology club at school and volunteered at the local recycling center. Today, she still recycles avidly, supports environmental causes, takes time each day to commune with the outdoors, and brings it indoors in the form of plants she finds pleasing to the eye and soothing to the soul. She encourages her clients to immerse themselves in the wild by appreciating flora and fauna.
Take a Break with Mother Nature
The wonderful thing about nature, besides all of its restorative effects, is that you don’t have to go far to find it. These activities can help you feel more connected to the great outdoors:
- Walk barefoot in the soil or sand
- Hug a tree
- Go camping
- Dig in the dirt while gardening
- Go rock climbing or rappelling
- Plant a rooftop, balcony, or window garden, even if you live in the city
- Volunteer to be part of neighborhood garden clean-up
- Join a community-supported agriculture group
- Spend time by the ocean breathing in the sea-salt air, which provides the added benefits of negative ions
- Stroll or hike in a park
- Ride a bicycle along a country road
- Canoe or row a boat on a lake
- Go whitewater rafting
- Visit a greenhouse or plant nursery
- Splash in puddles
- Lie on the grass and watch clouds roll by
- Identify as many different species of plants and animals as you can while outside
- Consider attending a wilderness program
Nature also teaches us a great deal about how to manage our lives. It shows us that the seasons of our lives bring about change, that we can evolve and adapt to face life’s circumstances, and that there are some things over which we simply have no control.
Heal Yourself and Nurture Your Recovery in Nature with Promises Behavioral Health
At Promises Behavioral Health, we know how vital it is to nurture yourself with nature for your recovery. We provide a range of excellent treatment programs that utilize nature. For instance, many of our mental health treatment programs offer the benefits of spending time in nature. Our mental health treatment programs include:
- Depression treatment
- Substance abuse treatment
- Anxiety treatment
- PTSD treatment
- Bipolar disorder treatment
To learn more about the benefits of nurturing yourself with nature and any of our holistic addiction treatment services, contact Promises Behavioral Health at 844.875.5609 today.