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When a loved one is enrolled in an addiction treatment program, it doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice spending time together. In fact, quality time will help both you and your loved one make the most out of healing and recovery.

Outpatient addiction treatment programs, such as PHPs and IOPs, generally provide more free time compared to inpatient programs. Your loved one will find the strong structure and support needed for recovery during treatment, with extra time during the week to participate in hobbies and spend time with family.

If your loved one is enrolled in an outpatient program, you might be wondering what you can do to support their recovery when they are home. The following five ways are fun activities that can help your loved one switch their focus away from substances as they re-discover true pleasure and excitement in life.

#1 Physical Activities in Nature

According to Frontiers in Neuroscience, exercise can make you smarter and happier, and can even increase the number of neurons in your brain. There have been various studies about the wonderful effects of exercise, which is why many drug treatment centers incorporate regular exercise into their programs.

Even better than exercise alone, exercise out in nature could have amazing benefits on the mind, body, and soul. A 2021 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found evidence for associations between nature exposure and improved cognitive function, brain activity, blood pressure, mental health, physical activity, and sleep. Further, when exposure to nature was combined with physical activity, the benefits were even greater. 

If your loved one is in addiction treatment, you can plan to exercise in nature whenever they have some time off. Some ideas may include:

  • A weekend camping trip close to home
  • Outdoor yoga classes
  • Going for a jog or walking around the neighborhood
  • Canoeing on the lake

#2 Movie or Television Night

When a person is in recovery, they may feel disconnected from current events and entertainment. Everyone is talking about the latest movie or the new Game of Thrones, so it might be a fun idea to plan a movie night to catch up on the latest entertainment.

It seems like everything can be done remotely right now, and this includes watching movies. Most new movies are released on a streaming service so you can enjoy them straight from your home. You can make some popcorn, get some snacks, and dig into your favorite film or start binge-watching the latest great series. 

You can also go to the movie theatre if you choose. It’s great to have options when it comes to enjoying entertainment with your loved one.

#3 Participate in a Class or Hobby Together

Hobbies are becoming increasingly popular as classes become more widely available to the masses. Hobbies even play an important role in addiction recovery, as a person struggling with substance use must replace unhealthy behaviors with healthy and exciting activities. Finding new activities that can increase self-esteem, engage the mind, and release endorphins associated with positive and uplifting activities.

If you’re wondering what type of class you should take, here are a few ideas for a new hobby:

  • Painting
  • Martial arts
  • Meditation
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Crafts

#4 Plan a “Staycation”

The word “staycation” has popped up a lot recently as the COVID-19 pandemic forced most people to stay close to home or indoors. If a person is in addiction treatment, they might not be able to take the time out for a long vacation. Instead, you can plan a “staycation” where you spend a fun day or weekend close to home.

When a person struggles with substance use, they often forego the simple pleasures in life as they devote most of their time to drugs and alcohol. A small trip like this is a great way for your loved one to get their mind off of substances and truly enjoy the world around them. 

If you research some fun places in your area to have a “staycation” with your loved one you will most likely find a ton of ideas. Some things that you might enjoy include:

  • A day or weekend at the amusement park
  • A spa trip
  • A weekend at the beach
  • Exploring a city close by

#5 Have a Picnic

Picnics can be such an underrated, yet extremely enjoyable activity to have with your loved one. The planning process can be a lot of fun on its own as you decide what kind of food and snacks to take with you. After that, you can find a beautiful place outdoors to plan your picnic. 

Having your picnic outside in nature has a lot of benefits on its own. According to the CDC, spending time outdoors can improve overall health and wellness. The CDC also states that time outdoors may also promote mental health and stress reduction. 

It’s no secret that people struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) can undergo a lot of stress, anxiety, and even depression. This is why a picnic in the great outdoors is a wonderful way to spend time together, alleviate stress, and help with mental health.

The bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter which activity you choose. The most important thing is to find healthy activities that both you and your loved one can enjoy together while they are in treatment.

When a loved one is enrolled in an addiction treatment program, it’s more important than ever to have quality time that you spend together. Addiction can greatly impact a person’s self-esteem, so finding fun and enjoyable activities can help motivate and allow them to see themselves outside the scope of their addiction. Activities in nature, especially, can profoundly impact mental health and stress; doing these activities with your loved one can help rebuild bonds and bolster support. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas,  your loved one will find the strong structure and support needed for recovery, with extra time left during the week to participate in activities and spend time with family. At Lighthouse, we employ a “family first” approach in our treatment programs, which includes the whole family in the treatment process from beginning to end. For a free assessment, give us a call today at (214) 396-0259.