4 Steps For Creating A Nature-Based Self-Care Program

Nature is endless and has endless positive effects on mental health, physical health and spiritual well being. Exploring nature and having adventures doesn’t have to be a once in a lifetime occurrence. Instead, nature can be part of your self-care program and become part of your lifestyle.


  • What Do You Like To Do? Everyone does nature a little differently. Despite the great positive benefits nature can provide, a lot of people choose not to do nature at all. For those who do enjoy nature, however, it is a way of life, like a necessity for survival. To create a nature-based self-care program you have to first look at what you like to do. What are your favorite nature activities? What are some of the things you have done in the past and would like to do again? What are things in nature you don’t like to do? You might be a surfer or you might be a hiker. You could be both.
  • What Do You Want To Try? Exploring nature and adventure is the best way to get a sense of what you’ll want to do to nourish your soul. Make a list of outdoor activities that you would like to try sometime. You can create a self-care day or weekend focused around those activities. It isn’t about the activity itself. The true self-care lies in exploring who you are, taking time for yourself, and trying new things.
  • Schedule It On Your Calendar: Life can get very busy very quickly. Doing little things each day to take care of ourselves is helpful yet sometimes it is not enough. Make sure you’re eating, drinking enough water, and taking a few minutes a day to clear your head. After that, you need to participate in self care in a bigger way. Doing the things you love doing out in nature should be like a date with yourself. Plan everything ahead of time so that you feel committed and can’t turn back on yourself. Book the tour, reserve the campsite, and map out your plans. You’ll look forward to it and be less inclined to cancel on yourself.
  • Keep It to Yourself For A While: Inviting others into the things we enjoy is a natural human reaction. We want others to feel as good as we feel when we do the things that make us feel good. Doing self-care as a group effort can be great after you’ve developed a practice for doing it for yourself. Sometimes when we invite others into our space of self care it can get a bit overwhelming. After all, we have to then deal with everyone else’s energy, thoughts, emotions, and opinions. As you are developing the precious intimate relationship with yourself, it is important to keep the practice to yourself for a little while. Create a sacred space that belongs only to you.


LEAD Recovery Center sees the powerful effect of nature on our clients when we take them out for a new excursion every weekend. From water sports to camping adventures, part of our focus on building leadership and practical life skills happens outdoors. For more information on our extended care treatment programs for men and women, call 800-380-0012.