The arrival of spring is a good time to consider becoming more active, a bonus when you’re on a journey towards addiction recovery or when you’re trying to maintain sobriety. When you’re energetic, your body releases endorphins, making you feel happier. And there’s no denying that the feeling of warmth from the spring sun when you’re active outside can improve your mood.

When you’ve been dealing with addiction or the blues for long periods, it’s easy to take the outdoors for granted and forget its beauty. By gaining the small pleasure you get from enjoying a relaxing spring day, you can move a little further towards your journey to feeling better.

When the days are short and the nights long, it can be easy to hunker down and isolate – it can be extra difficult to get into the mindset you need to be in for successful recovery from addiction. Fortunately, mother nature doesn’t make us wait too long before we see the green shoots of spring and the colors of summer start to appear on the trees outside. Spring represents a rebirth for thousands of folks and recognizing the season’s time of replenishment of earth’s plant life can be a wonderful time for most, it can be overwhelming for others. The “winter blues” is a common issue that affects people’s mood and energy levels that stems from the short and cold winter days, which often leads to spending unhealthy amounts of time indoors. Over the course of a few months, the negative effect on people’s overall mental health can be drastic. Mixed with the limited in-person interactions with family and friends the effect of winter can cause people’s mental health has been amplified. Fortunately, the warm weather, sunny days, and fresh air can help dispel some of these common problems.

Spring gives people new opportunities to alleviate mental stress by socializing with friends and family. Not fond of working out? You can still reap the health benefits by simply basking in the sun with others and absorbing vitamin D.

Whatever your personal beliefs, it is scientifically proven that warmer temperatures and longer days have a positive impact on your feeling of well-being.

Get out and walk around, ride a bike, walk the dog or take the kids for a stroll around your local park and really look at the new life that’s forming all around you. Engaging in walking, swimming, hiking, yoga, and meditation, and other outdoor activities is a healthy way to keep you from heading to the bar or to a party. Staying away from the television, social media and your laptop can’t be that difficult – right? I am not the best at it but I try every day to shave off a little time from my ever-present electronics to just go outside and breathe.

Gosh, spring means summer is right around the corner! The beach, pool, and cookouts are all wonderful ways to connect with others and have some fun. The wonderful thing for me is that I learned how to do this without drinking or using drugs.

And you can too I promise.