As the world begins to reopen and the pandemic starts to slowly go away it is a great time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Getting outside has countless benefits for your mental, physical, and emotional health.
We have discussed these benefits in past blog posts but experiencing sunshine can relieve stress, provide energy, and help you relax. All of these are hugely beneficial to anyone, but they are even better for people on a journey of recovery from addiction.
Many people heavily associate outdoor sunny activities with alcohol consumption, despite this fact there are still plenty of exciting activities to partake in that do not require any vices. Just remember to consider yourself first when making plans, make sure you trust the people around you and that you are prepared to say no and avoid the temptation of the vices from your previous life.
After sitting inside all winter you may be feeling restless and excited to get outside but are not sure what it is you really want to do now that you are living a life of recovery. Luckily Salt Lake City is a giant hub of outdoor recreation and socializing that certainly has something for everyone. The following list of ideas are broad but can help you rediscover an old hobby, find a new activity, or add a little bit of leisure to your time in the sun.
Soak Up The Sun
When you are in the mood for some sunshine but would prefer to keep your experience leisurely there are still plenty of things to do. Simply taking a nap in the sunshine will provide your brain with some much needed rest and your body with some valuable Vitamin D. In our opinion this is best done near a pool or lake with a book and a floppy hat, but you should experiment and see what works best for you.
Another great way to spend time outside without expending a ton of energy is to have a backyard barbeque. This barbeque can be with your family and friends or simply by yourself. Being outside, breathing fresh air, and soaking up the sun’s rays while cooking is a great way to squeeze in some sunshine while doing something you do everyday.
It is amazing how simply moving your leisure time to the outdoors can make you feel more energized, well rested, and happier on a daily basis.
Work Up A Sweat
Working up a sweat when spending time outdoors is perhaps what most people think of when they imagine going outside to soak up some rays. There are however tons of different ways to get some exercise and soak up the sun at the same time.
Whether you are just starting to workout or have been doing it for years, going for a light jog or an involved run is a great way to get some sun. Light jogs can be done throughout the day while long runs are often better early morning or in the evening to battle the heat that comes with the sun, especially here in the desert.
If running or jogging isn’t your thing, the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding canyons are full of hikes of various difficulties. Hikes are great because you get to experience places you have never experienced before, while getting some exercise and soaking up the sun.
An added bonus is that many of Salt Lakes trails are easily accessible and well populated, so you can even go by yourself (just tell someone where you are going). If you are new to hiking in the area I would recommend the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
Getting outside in the sun and exercising is just about the best thing you can do for your physical well being, something that is very important in a life of recovery. Exercising in the sun will help you burn fat, clear your mind, and release endorphins.
Discover and Explore
Whether you are in the mood to soak up the sun or work up a sweat, a great option is to plan some travel. While flying is just starting to become a relevant option again, roadtrips are still very much in the cards.
Deciding to travel helps you discover new places and explore new activities. A short road trip from Salt Lake City will allow you to explore the beautiful desert in Southern Utah or the Mountains of Idaho or Montana.
Going to a new area to experience the sun not only serves as a catalyst for new activities but also adds a level of enjoyment to your leisure activity and can help you separate yourself from your past or current stresses.
No matter where you go you will enjoy separating from your daily life to enjoy some sun in a new place, plus it will help you gain a new appreciation for your life at home once you return.
Having Fun In The Sun
Throughout the summer make sure you find time to spend time in the sun. Experiment with reading, napping, hiking, swimming, and running to see what makes your body and mind feel the best.
The important thing to remember is any amount of time in the sun will help you feel happier, stronger, and more energized during your journey.