As you work through the recovery process of addiction, you may be wondering what to do with your time. Free time can be stressful for an addict. You might not be able to visit the same friends or places you used to haunt where you could be tempted to relapse. You don’t know where to go or what to do.
One option as you move forward with your life is to discover new hobbies and activities to fill your time and engage your body physically and mentally. Gardening is one option to consider. Here are three reasons to consider taking up gardening through the recovery process.
1. You gain a stronger sense of purpose
A garden gives you something to care about and care for. Every day, your plants need you. They need water (just the right amount), fertilizer, and the right amount of soil and sunlight to thrive. Without your dedication, they can wilt or die.
Depending on the place where you currently live, you can spend hours in your garden, planting tomatoes and other vegetables to eat or cultivating beautiful flowers that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. These acts help various animals in nature and allow you to actively care for the environment. Even if you live in a cramped apartment, you can still develop a windowsill herb garden and maybe even grow some peppers.
Many addiction treatment centers encourage gardening and even have on-premise gardens for patients. Cast Centers, a Los Angeles drug rehab facility with locations across Southern California, even promotes outdoor yoga and hikes for its Beverly Hills locations. See if connecting with nature through gardening is right for you.
2. You can spend more time outside
Gardening is a wonderful way to get outside if you aren’t able to leave the house or don’t have the resources to go hiking, swimming, or kayaking. You might not realize it at first, but gardening is a workout. You need to carry around bags of soil, dig in the dirt to create appropriate holes, pull up roots, and carefully water your plants. By the end of the day, you are likely to feel tired but accomplished.
Gardening also gives you the ability to get some vitamin D from the sun. This can give you energy and help with various systems in your body, including your immune system.
Even if you don’t have any planting or weeding to do in your garden (and there will always be something to do), you can enjoy sitting outside with a book or a cup of tea, marveling at the work you did.
3. You can learn about the plants you grow
Plants are unique beings. Each plant, from the complex orchid to the simple dandelion has different needs to grow well. Some plants grow strongly next to each other while others need space and prefer to grow alone. Gardening is a learning process, and as you get into this hobby you might be surprised by what you pick up.
For example, the aralia fabian stump is an indoor shrub that is native to the tropical pacific islands. It’s easy to care for but looks delicate and exotic. Learning about this shrub might make you want to get one of your own.
When you start out with your garden, look for durable plants that are native to your region. These are most likely to thrive even if you miss a few watering days or don’t have the best soil. As you learn, you can move on to more advanced plants.
You don’t have to be an expert gardener to enjoy cultivating plants during your drug addiction recovery. This process is about getting outside, finding a hobby you love and developing a sense of purpose.
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