Did you know that staring at the ocean can actually change your brain waves’ frequency and put you into a meditative state? Listening to the waves also activates the parasympathetic nervous system to decrease anxiety and promote relaxation.
With so much to offer, the beach is a wonderful place to spend time when you’re in recovery. Awakenings Treatment Center is located in Agoura Hills CA and is about 20 minutes from Malibu Beach. For clients who live locally, we encourage them to make “beach time” a regular part of their recovery plan.
Let’s learn more about the benefits of spending time at the beach and some sober activities you can do to stay busy.
What are the Benefits of Spending Time at the Beach?
Spending time in nature is an important part of the healing process. You can lower your blood pressure and stress hormones, increase self-esteem and enhance your mood. Enjoying beachside time offers even more unique benefits because you’re off the water, listening to the waves in the distance.
Here are some of the surprising health benefits you can expect from digging your toes into the sand!
- Soak up Vitamin D. Just one hour outdoors gives your body the daily dose of Vitamin D, a nutrient responsible for healthy bones, healthy teeth, a strong immune system and a positive mood.
- Get rid of stress. Being outside in nature helps you look at things differently. Listen to the waves, breathe in the sea air and do nothing for a few minutes – or hours. No one is judging!
- Work in daily exercise. At the beach, you can accomplish two things at once: relaxation and exercise. Plus, walking in the sand improves lower body strength, giving you an incredible workout!
- Natural exfoliation. Sand is a natural exfoliant that sheds dead skin. Stick your feet into the warm sand and let it do its work!
- Better sleep. A proper night’s sleep is important in recovery. Sea air is full of negative ions, which improve our ability to absorb oxygen. They also balance serotonin in the brain, making it easier to get a good night’s rest.
Sober Activities to Try at the Beach
Looking for ways to pass time at the beach? There are plenty! If you don’t live near the sea, you can enjoy many of these benefits by spending time near a lake or river.
- Play sports. Beach sports are plentiful and include surfing, sand volleyball, frisbee and boogie boarding. Invite your sober friends along for the fun!
- Walk or run along the shoreline. Give yourself a change of scenery and take a walk or run along the coast. The wet sand and waves at your feet are a welcome change from your neighborhood.
- Read a book. Find some books that you’re interested in and take one down to the beach. If you’re not an avid reader, check out the Big Book or a book that has motivational quotes or recovery stories.
- Listen to a podcast. Sit on a comfy chair and catch up on your favorite podcast under the sun. You can find recovery-focused podcasts here.
- Meditate. The beach is the perfect place to get in a meditative state. Between the warm sand, the relaxing waves and the sounds of wildlife in the distance, you have everything you need to meditate.
- Be active. Want to experiment with some new activities? Try snorkeling, kayaking or surfing. There’s nothing better than being out in the water, away from the triggers that cause you anxiety.
The Beach is Your Playground. Use it Wisely.
The beach is your playground. It’s up to you to decide how you want to use it! However, you won’t know unless you try. Make an effort to visit the beach (or another body of water) while you are working your recovery. One day, this can be one of your recovery tools.
Awakenings Treatment Center is an outpatient drug rehab in Agoura Hills, located about 20 minutes from the beach. We encourage our clients to spend time here as part of their recovery so they can get comfortable using nature as a coping tool. When coupled with exercise or relaxation, you can get even more out of your beach time!