Springtime naturally represents a time of renewal, fresh starts, and even a clean slate. We find ourselves wanting to explore the great outdoors, breathe deeply, and enjoy the luscious scents of spring. Luckily, most of these activities are perfect to do while also practicing social distancing.
Enjoying Spring Under Current Conditions
Although social distancing guidelines may require adjustments to your activities, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a relaxing spring, without jeopardizing your recovery goals.
Consider these ideas for ways to enjoy a sober spring season:
Connect with Nature
John Muir, once known as the father of national parks, eloquently said, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” This wise naturalist may not have known it then, but he was onto something big. Research has confirmed that time spent in nature can help physically repair and retrain our brains to be less anxious, depressed, and more emotionally balanced.
Whether we walk after dinner, take a challenging weekend hike, or simply sit on the front lawn and gaze at the sky, we trigger healing within the brain through the production of specific neurotransmitters. By spending time in nature, we can also connect more deeply with ourselves and our recovery goals. So make time this spring to get outside: garden, hike, camp, picnic–the options are endless.
Learn a New Skill
Spring is a time of beginnings, making it the perfect time to learn something new. Many artists, musicians, and tech-savvy crafters are taking advantage of social distancing measures by offering virtual classes. If academia is your pursuit, numerous top universities are also offering full classes and lectures online (most for free).
This is also an ideal time to try out that DIY project you’ve been considering since the beginning of quarantine. As the weather becomes nicer, set up an outdoor office space or craft area for yourself. Other ways to learn a new skill: check out Pinterest for DIY ideas, execute a delicious new recipe, or read a book about your interests.
Volunteer and Give Back
If you start to feel hopeless or depressed, consider distracting yourself by helping others. Volunteering leads to self-discovery and allows you to connect with those who share your interests. Volunteering may even help you further your professional career by giving you networking opportunities. There are many ways to get involved. Local food banks and animal shelters are adapting to restrictions caused by COVID-19, and many can use some extra helping hands or donations. Many organizations are remotely sewing masks for essential workers, creating PPE materials, and collecting all types of donations that may benefit those in need during this pandemic. Other ways to give back: donate unwanted items like clothing and nonperishable foods, or simply pick up trash on your daily walks.
Create a Self-Care Routine
Self-care is not only about bubble baths and chocolate. It’s the practice of giving yourself the time and space to just be. You might do this through journaling or meditation, or through movements like ecstatic dance or yoga. Self-care routines can also include engaging in hobbies, watching a feel-good show or movie, and pampering yourself with healthy foods and body products. Try including one self-care activity per day to get yourself started. Other self-care activities: create a bucket list, write your own daily affirmation, or make a vision board.
It is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, to be cognizant of your personal needs as you consider how to make this springtime season one that nurtures your recovery.
We’re Open and Ready to Help
Great Oaks is open and accepting new patients at any time. We are always here to answer any questions and address your concerns. Our trained staff is here to support you and your loved ones through the addiction recovery process.