Sometimes you need a break from the city environment. Sure, Wichita is by no means New York City or Los Angeles. But it is a city just the same—with traffic and construction and crowds at the store and busy schedules and all the things that go with living in an urban environment.
Nature Reduces Stress Naturally
Sometimes what you really need is an encounter with nature. Getting out into the natural world is a great way to reduce stress, which is a benefit most everyone needs. For those who are in recovery from a substance use disorder, however, the stress reduction and other benefits to be garnered from time spent outdoors can be especially important.
Now, there are a lot of places you can spend some time outside. Maybe you have a nice yard, complete with shady trees and a hammock. Maybe there is a nice park in your neighborhood. Maybe you enjoy a brisk walk around the neighborhood in the early morning before the day gets going or in the evening to help you wind down after work.
But sometimes you need a bit more than that—and you can find what you are looking for in the Wichita area. In the process, you will be supporting your recovery in a number of important ways.
Check Out Chisholm Creek Park
One outdoor option when you need some nature time is Chisholm Creek Park, one of the largest parks in Wichita. The park covers 282 acres and is home to native and restored prairies, wetlands, ponds, and woodlands that were once commonly found on the Great Plains. A two and a half mile network of accessible trails allow you to explore all the various habitats. You can wander at your own pace and take in the sights.
And there is a lot to see—at least 125 species of wildflowers, for example, and nearly 40 species of trees and shrubs. You could spot as many as 160 different species of birds along with many mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
The park also includes several picnic shelters for those who might like to sit and enjoy some food in beautiful surroundings. A variety of amenities are available at the shelters.
Meanwhile, Chisholm Creek Park complements the Great Plains Nature Center, which offers great opportunities to learn more about the natural world in Kansas and beyond. As of this writing, the nature center is open to groups of 15 or less in response to the current public health emergency.
More Than Just a Stroll in the Park
That all might sound delightful to you, but you still may be wondering what any of it has to do with supporting your recovery. That is a fair question (and one we have tackled before). Happily, there are quite a number of benefits of getting both outdoors and some exercise.
Perhaps most obviously, heading out for an adventure in nature keeps you from sitting at home and brooding—or ruminating—a habit that can put you in danger of a relapse. And even if you are not inclined to brood, you may be susceptible to boredom, which can also undermine your sobriety. A walk in nature can be an effective cure for boredom.
In addition, you will be getting some exercise, which benefits both your physical and mental health. Vitamin D from the sun also supports your mental health, and your time outdoors may also provide a much needed boost to your immune system while also making it easier to get a good night’s sleep.
That all adds up to a pretty great return on your investment of a little time spent in a place as beautiful and inspiring as Chisholm Creek Park and the Great Plains Nature Center.
Naturally, We Are Here to Help
The Wichita area has so many wonderful things to offer—both in its urban and natural environments. But if you are struggling with a substance use disorder, it may feel almost impossible to enjoy any of the area’s opportunities because you are so focused on drugs or alcohol. At Bel Aire Recovery Center, you can change that focus through our detoxification and rehabilitation services—as well as our commitment to a continuum of care. When you are struggling with a problem, it is only natural to find someone who can help. And when it comes to substance use disorders (and co-occurring mental health disorders), we offer compassionate, expert care.