26 May Embracing Summer in Your Addiction Recovery
Spend time in the sun.
The sun is proven to provide a variety of health benefits—both mental and physical. A recent study carried out by researchers at the Baker Heart Research Institute in Melbourne confirmed that exposure to sunlight does in fact result in a better mood, while a lack of sunlight can lead to symptoms of depression. This is especially important when considering the mental battle that addiction recovery so often is. A different study carried out at Utah State University confirmed that increased sunlight exposure can actually be effective against insomnia—definitely a plus when considering the strengthening power that effective sleep can have on the body and the mind.
Try adventure recovery activities.
One of the major benefits that summer has for addiction recovery is the wide variety of outdoor adventure recovery activities it has to offer. Some of the most commonly practiced activities include rock climbing, mountain biking, white water rafting, kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, and wilderness survival—all of which are best done during the summer months. Adventure recovery is a highly effective way for recovering addicts to find new interests that speak to them, replace old habits with new ones, and find a natural “high” that more than satisfies a thirst for something more in life.
Be mindful of potential dangers.
While it’s great to take advantage of the warm weather that summer offers and how it can contribute to your health, it’s also important to be smart about spending time outdoors in the heat. Sunscreen, needless to say, is a necessity when out in the sun for any extended period of time, as is plenty of water to keep your recovering body well hydrated. With rigorous adventure recovery activities also comes added risk for injury, which in turn could lead to a recovering addict turning to addictive medications to kill pain.
If you haven’t yet made the first step toward freedom from addiction, there is no better time to start than the present. We at Therapia are located in the St. George, Utah, area and offer gender-specific as well as family-oriented treatment programs to help those suffering from addiction take advantage of treatment options tailored specifically to them.
Ally Keenan is a University of Utah graduate and currently works as a Clinical Social Worker and Substance Use Disorder Counselor. Ally started her career in 2009 working in adolescent residential treatment as an assistant program director. Since 2010, she has worked as a clinician with individuals suffering from addictions, chemical dependency, and co-occurring mental health disorders in both the Intensive Outpatient and Residential treatment capacities. Ally currently serves on the board as vice-president of the non-profit foundation Recovery Outreach; a 501(c)(3) organization created to help fund treatment for individuals suffering from addiction and lacking the financial resources to afford it.