Not too long ago, we suggested that taking up cooking might be a wonderful way to support your sobriety. We stand by that suggestion, and in this entry we want to explore another activity that can power your recovery while also contributing to your new-found love of the culinary arts. We are, of course, talking about gardening. Let’s look at some of the ways that getting your hands into some dirt can help you stay clean.

Gardening is an Engaging Hobby

For a person in recovery from a substance use disorder, having a hobby can make a real difference. Hobbies stave off boredom while also promoting relaxation. And in many cases—including in the case of gardening—they can provide a real sense of accomplishment.

The time you spend gardening can result in delicious food or beautiful flowers or ornate designs (or some combination of all of those things). Seeing the results of your own work (with a little help from the sun and the rain, of course) can be extremely satisfying—and that sense of satisfaction can strengthen the foundations of your sobriety.

Gardening can Connect Us to Nature, Spirituality, and Hope

On the face of it, it might seem like a stretch for us to suggest that digging around in the dirt, pulling weeds, and the like has much to do with spirituality or cultivating (see what we did there?) a spirit of hope.

But here’s the thing: Getting connected with nature tends to naturally lead to a sense of wonder. After all, what could be more wondrous than witnessing—even helping—a tiny seed grown into a beautiful plant? That experience—made up of a bunch of little moments along the way—can buoy your spirits, which is good for your ongoing recovery.

Gardening is Exercise and Offers Benefits of the Outdoors

When you think about exercise, gardening is probably not what first pops into your mind. But the time you spend in your garden does, in fact, have health benefits. Gardening is undeniably a physical endeavor from planting through harvest, and that endeavor offers benefits for your physical health—and your mental health by extension.

In addition, the time spent outdoors allows you to soak in some sun—and the vitamin D it provides. Vitamin D supports your mental health and is best acquired via sunlight. Just be sure to protect yourself from the harshest rays of the sun so you get the benefits without the dangers of sunburn.

Gardening Can Help You Eat Healthily

As promised, we are circling back around to cooking. If you grow vegetables in your garden, you will be supplying yourself with wonderful, healthy ingredients for your gastronomic adventures. No matter what you grow, your harvest will be good for you—and probably more delicious than what you can pick up at the local grocery store. It might take a little bit of research to figure out what grows best where you live (and you may need to devise some humane ways to discourage the local animals from munching away at your produce), but the effort will be worth it.

Even if cooking isn’t your thing, many garden-fresh veggies can be eaten raw, making them a great snack anytime. And healthy eating always supports your continuing efforts to maintain your sobriety.

Gardening can Celebrate Your Creativity

Just as you might not think of gardening as a form of exercise, you also might not think of it as an artform. But for many people, gardening is a creative outlet. Think, for example, of the most beautiful bit of landscaping in your neighborhood. It takes artistry (as well as patience and perseverance) to create a combination of flowers and other plants that are pleasing to the eye (and maybe the nose, too!).

Artistic endeavor can be a great way to underpin your sobriety—and a garden can be the canvas on which you express yourself. 

Sobriety is Like Sunlight

Let’s face it: When you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, the world can seem very dark, indeed. A substance use disorder can make it feel as though you will never grow as a person or step into the sun again. 

But that does not have to be the way things go. At Wooded Glen Recovery Center in Indiana, we are dedicated to planting the seeds of sobriety via our medically supervised detoxification program. We will nurture your sobriety through a rehabilitation program that can address all sorts of weeds—including those that crop up in the form of co-occurring mental health disorders. And then, as you grow into your hard-won sobriety, we will continue to support that growth via our continuum of care. 

When you are ready to reclaim the sunniness of sobriety, we are ready to help.