Treatment centers are adding recreational activities to their addiction recovery programs, and for very good reason. Physical activity is an important part of our overall wellness and provides tremendous benefits for our mental, emotional and physical health. When we incorporate recreation into our recovery, it can bolster our progress and help us in various different important ways. Physical activity can help us to lower anxiety and cope with the normal stresses of both everyday life and addiction. Exercise provides endorphins, one of the body’s natural feel-good happiness chemicals. When we exercise on a regular basis, we’re giving ourselves a natural boost in our mood as well as an outlet for our difficult emotions. We develop better habits around our well-being, and we allow ourselves to use healthy coping mechanisms rather than the self-destructive ones we used to resort to, namely our addictive substances and behaviors. We learn that it’s possible to deal with our emotions in healthier ways that make us feel happier, more centered and at peace within ourselves. We release our pent-up anger, aggression, anxiety and sadness in ways that are therapeutic for mind, body and spirit. The activities become an important part of our therapeutic treatment. Recreational activities teach us important skills, in addition to stress reduction and emotional management. We learn team building, group development, conflict resolution and conscious communication. We learn how to actively listen to one another and how to communicate effectively. We can take the skills we learn and practice during recreation with us after we leave treatment and apply them to our everyday lives. We can implement our newfound skills in our relationships, which benefit from everything we’ve learned and all the growth we’ve experienced. We become better at listening, communicating and resolving conflicts, and our relationships improve naturally as a result. When our relationships are healthier, we tend to be happier and therefore more likely to be able to stay the course of our recovery. The recovery process can be an arduous one, and any time we can include fun and relaxation, we give ourselves the important gift of pleasure and enjoyment. We’re reminded what it’s like to enjoy ourselves again. We get to take our minds off of our problems for a little while. We reconnect with our former selves, the people we were before addiction took hold of our lives and made us forget our interests. We regain our sense of humor, our optimism and our positive outlook. We find healthier outlets for our time and energy than the addictions we used to turn to. Any time we can increase our positivity and happiness, we set ourselves up for greater success in recovery and are better equipped to prevent relapse.
We offer therapeutic recreational activities, including swimming, yoga and kayaking, as part of the treatment programs at Riverside Recovery. Call us for more information: (800) 871-5440.