There are many different ways to improve your mental health in recovery. Among the many different conventional and holistic methods, plants have numerous benefits for mental health. Therefore, plants can be a great addition to your lifestyle and help boost your recovery. Simply interacting with plants will help reduce the stresses that come with recovery. Whether you are new to sobriety or have been in recovery, try introducing some plants into your life.
Benefits of Plants
There are a lot of positives to spending time around plants. Being around plants can cultivate a sense of calmness. Further, pictures of nature can have the same effect. They also help improve memory and attention. Plants also emit oxygen which means the air around you will be cleaner. Some other benefits of having plants around include:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Help with breathing
- Reduce fatigue
- Improve productivity
Incorporating Plants Into Your Lifestyle
How can you integrate plants into your life? This can be in a variety of different ways, each providing its own set of benefits. Whether going outside and interacting with nature or adding plants to your indoor life, you have plenty of options.
Being in Nature
Being in nature and among the trees and plants has many benefits. Such benefits include getting vitamin D from the sun, strengthening your cardiovascular system, and boosting dopamine levels within the brain. Getting outside and walking also releases serotonin and other chemicals that provide a natural feeling of euphoria, which can last hours after a walk in nature.
What About the City?
While you may not be able to immerse yourself in nature, most cities have green space. Further, green spaces are becoming more popular in cities because of the benefits plants have on your mental health. Studies show that exposure to green spaces within cities is linked to helping people recover from mental fatigue and reducing stress. Therefore, look within your community for some green space.
If you cannot find green space, create some in your apartment. You can hang plants and tend to them. You can even benefit from watching videos about nature, buying artificial plants, or hanging pictures of nature. While nothing may be able to replace the real thing, these alternatives are still great for helping reduce stress and anxiety.
Start a Garden
Having a garden is like having your personal green space. While you will get all the benefits from having plants in your home, gardening offers its own unique benefits that will help you in your recovery journey.
Most notably, gardening creates healthy habits and can help structure your day. In early recovery, it can be hard to fill all the time in the day that you used to dedicate to substance use. Depending on how invested you want to be, managing a garden can fill up a lot of time. It also gives you a sense of responsibility and routine: making sure you water the plants and trim them. The best part is, if you grow vegetables, you can enjoy your success in a fresh salad.
What if I Work All Day?
If you are at the office all day, you might wonder when you have the chance to reap the benefits of plants. Depending on your work setup, plenty of indoor plants will thrive in an office environment. Since there are so many options, you can find a plant that speaks to you. Coming into work every day and seeing a plant such as ivy or a succulent can bring joy and help you start the workday right.
If you are not in a place to have a plant at work, do not worry; there are still ways to get your daily dose of plants. Place a few plants around the house, preferably in areas where you spend most of your time. If your routine is to wake up, hit the shower, eat breakfast, and leave, you might consider adding plants to the bathroom or kitchen. If you unwind in your bedroom after a long day of work, put some plants in your bedroom. Doing so will maximize your time around plants.
Being a plant owner is a great experience; however, this is not to say that tomorrow, you should load up your car with as many plants as you can. If you worry about not having a green thumb, start with a resilient plant that you will not need to tend to as attentively. Indoor ivy plants are very low maintenance and forgiving if you miss a day of watering. They will thrive, and from them, you can start more ivy plants.
Early recovery can be a difficult journey. You want to be the best version of yourself, and to do so, you'll need plenty of options to explore. At NorthStar Transitions, we believe that treatment should be both conventional and holistic to ensure you are getting the care for you. It also helps you understand that you have so many ways to shape your recovery, and having plants is just one of them. The ultimate goal is to be able to live a happy life. If you are looking for support with recovery or need initial treatment, we can help. Not only do we provide an integrated approach, but we are able to diagnose and treat co-occurring disorders. If you need help, don't wait; act today. To learn more about our programs and services, reach out to us and call (303) 558-6400.