Long term recovery from addiction can often be a difficult and hard battle to fight, taking strength and perseverance on the part of the addict. It takes courage first to admit to being an addict, and then to continue the daily struggle against the addiction and the accompanying toxic behaviours.

Spending time outdoors in nature can be a powerful way to source the peace and serenity needed for long-term sobriety. Self-care is an critical aspect of recovery, and immersing yourself in the beauty of the outdoors can be an important tool in your self-care program.

Being present

Spending time with nature presents a wonderful opportunity for you as a recovering addict to get out of your head and be in the here and now. It allows you to develop that essential serenity, and slow the mind’s constant churning. The beauty of the outdoors can re-direct your focus from the past and the future, and take you to a more mindful and present place.

Exercise while outdoors

Physical activity is necessary for all of us. Engaging in some physical exercise while spending time outdoors expands the benefits of being in nature while also improving your health.

Join a hiking group or go solo

No matter which you choose, Calgary is surrounded by world class hiking spots in Canmore and Banff and the surrounding areas. Many hiking groups are open to new members and can easily be found online, or go on your own and enjoy the quiet of spending time with yourself in the beautiful areas we have been blessed with. Becoming part of a hiking group will also give you the chance to make new friends with healthier lifestyles than the people you likely spent time with during your active addiction.

Go for a walk

If hiking doesn’t appeal to you, or you’re physically not able to participate, walking is one of the best exercises. Calgary offers many walking paths along our rivers and in city parks. Start up a daily routine and find a nearby one that makes it easy for you to keep to your schedule. Even if you can’t make it every day, walk in your neighbourhood.


Like hiking, there are also many running groups that can easily be found online and it’s an exercise you can also easily do from your home. Calgary’s walking paths are also open to joggers and what could be more peaceful than running alongside one of our beautiful rivers.

Spend time outdoors with your children

If you have children, take them to a park or if they’re old enough, they can hike with you. As an addict, making amends is critical to your recovery and taking the time to be with your family and be present is a powerful amend.

The recovery journey is an opportunity to do things differently and to live life in a new way. Healthy long-term recovery involves trying new ways to live life on life’s terms and to substitute healthy behaviours for toxic ones.