With the warmer weather often comes a feeling of “spring fever,” or the need to throw off all commitments and head to the park, the mountains, or the nearest body of water as quickly as possible. This feeling doesn’t have to mean that you skip 12-Step meetings and put your recovery at risk. Rather, you can use the impetus to get outside to rejuvenate your path in recovery and try some new things that may make your sobriety stronger than ever before.
Here are just a few ways to get started:
- Instead of going for coffee, go for a walk after a support group meeting. It is common to meet people for coffee before or after a meeting, and if you still need some caffeine to keep you going, grab a cup and take it walking. Going for a walk will let you get some fresh air and enjoy the warm weather, soak up some vitamin D, and give you a little exercise while you are connecting with people in recovery – a win on all counts.
- Try an outdoor or adventure therapy. There are a number of different alternative therapies that center around outdoor activities, and many of them ramp up in the spring. Surf therapy, boating therapy, ropes courses, and more can challenge you, get your adrenaline going, and help you to push your personal limitations and explore what you can do.
- Join an outdoor recreational sports team. Adult softball, soccer, or another recreational sport is a great way to get outside, build your community of positive people, and enjoy the warm weather. If you grew up playing a sport, this can be a great way to reconnect with the happy parts of your childhood and give you a sense of confidence.
- Learn a new sport or outdoor activity. If you don’t know how to swim, now is a great time to learn. Or pick out something that interests you that you’ve never tried before. Learn how to rock climb, paddleboard, or go spelunking. A new challenge that gets you outside and having a good time is great for your recovery, and there are so many to choose from that you can keep yourself busy for months.
- Hit the water. Swimming, surfing, kayaking, or just lounging in the pool can be a great way to relax and get your hit of vitamin D for the day. Whether you choose to use the water to rest and relax, to get a workout in, or as the forum for spending a day with good friends, it can help you enjoy the summer months and stay cool at the same time.
- Take your workout regimen outside. Do you usually hit the treadmill at the gym to get a workout or take a class inside a studio? If so, shift your workouts to the outdoors by either going for a run at the park or signing up for classes that happen outside.
- Take a book outside. You don’t have to work up a sweat to enjoy the benefits of sunshine and warmer weather. Take a recovery book outside and spend some time in the shade reconnecting with yourself in recovery.
- Garden. You’re not the only one growing; spring and summer are great times to demonstrate your ability to attend to the needs of something else and watch it grow and thrive under your care. Gardening and growing plants can be a great healing practice in recovery and help you to build your confidence in yourself. You can also take it to the next level and grow vegetables for healthy salads and summer meals to further boost your recovery with great nutrition.
- Open up the windows. If you are not interested in getting outside or dealing with the sun but you still feel like you want to take advantage of the weather and freshen things up, open the windows. Let out the musty winter air and get some fresh air into your space.
- Enjoy the view. Too hot to open the windows? Dealing with allergies? Take some time and enjoy the view. If you don’t have a great view from home, head out to a restaurant with a view, take a round-trip scenic train ride, or otherwise find a spot that allows you to minimize your interaction with allergens and excessive heat and still enjoy all the season has to offer.
How will you take advantage of the change in weather and rejuvenate your recovery?