Last May 4, 2019, we at the Lighthouse Treatment Center hosted a trip to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens for our alumni residents. The trip was a part of our Alumni Program aimed at helping our former residents live fulfilling and productive lives. Aside from the stunning art collections featured at the museum, one of the reasons why we chose the venue was because of its magnificent gardens. The tourist spot is home to sixteen wonderful themed gardens that are open to the public.
We believe that giving our alumni members an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature is very important. There have been many studies supporting that nature therapy can, in fact, contribute a positive impact on a person’s health and mental well-being. It was also a chance for them to interact with their peers and develop a strong support network.
Aside from trips to botanical gardens, there are many different ways to enjoy the benefits of nature therapy. If you are looking to connect with Mother Earth, here are some great recommendations.
1. Take a walk in the park
The US is home to 61 National Parks, nine of which are in California. Instead of going to the mall or spending your entire weekend watching TV, take time to explore these natural beauties. You’ll be amazed at how extraordinarily stunning these parks are. Alternatively, if there is a small park near your house or on your way to work, take a detour and spend a few minutes walking through it. The extra dose of oxygen will do you some good.
2. Climb a mountain
There is something therapeutic about reaching a mountain peak. The exhilarating feeling associated with getting to the top is symbolic of overcoming adversity through determination and hard work. It also helps in improving your concentration and giving you short-term goals to focus on. Of course, as the cliché goes, it’s not just about the destination, it’s also about the journey. During your climb, you get the chance to appreciate the calming effects of nature and enjoy majestic views as well.
3. Go camping
Want a break from the city? Why not pitch a tent and try sleeping under the stars. It will be a welcome change especially if you live in a crowded, polluted urban area. If you don’t trust your tent-building skills, you can rent a basic tent on AirBnB for as low as $20 dollars or you can even go ‘glamping’ in a luxury tent for a higher charge. While you’re at it, consider doing a digital detox as well to completely immerse yourself in nature.
4. Try gardening
If you have space in your backyard, you can try your hand at gardening. You can either choose flowering plants or maybe grow your own vegetable garden. Even if you are a novice gardener, you can plant easy-to-grow vegetables like peppers and tomatoes. If you don’t have enough land in your backyard, a vertical indoor herb garden is also a good option.
5. Participate in adventure sports
Sports and exercise have been proven to increase your happy hormones as well as provide your body and mind with innumerable benefits. But you can take this a step further by engaging in adventure and extreme sports that will challenge and excite you. Try zip lining, parasailing, kayaking and bungee jumping are just some examples of adventure sports even beginners can do!
6. Have a beach day out
If you’re not in the mood for an active day out, you’ll be surprised that just lounging around in the beach and basking in the sunshine can be beneficial for you. According to research, exposure to sunlight can be helpful in boosting your dopamine levels. There are also numerous studies showing that a beach trip can contribute to feelings of calm and peace.
Not everyone is lucky to be living near a nature sanctuary, so the next best option? Take time to travel. Exploring a new place can also be a form of therapy. It allows you to discover that there is so much beauty the world has to offer. At the same time, travel gives you the opportunity to understand other people better and be exposed to a different way of life, which can be a humbling experience.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, help is available today. Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today and learn more about how we incorporate specialized therapies in our treatment programs.