Outdoor recreational treatment uses physical activities to help people overcome emotional challenges. Many treatment centres include outdoor activities into their programs, but do outdoor activities help depression in troubled teens?
Do Outdoor Activities Help Depression?
Today’s teens face challenging times. Many teens feel pressure to fit in at school and on social media. Others have family problems that impact their daily lives. As a result of these problems, many teens become depressed and anxious.
If you have been searching for a way to help your depressed teen, outdoor activities can help. Just being out in the fresh air can boost a person’s mood. Participating in outdoor activities can build self-confidence and self-esteem.
Therapeutic outdoor activities include swimming, hiking, horseback riding, playing sports, making art, dancing, and running. One activity isn’t better than another. For best results, participants should engage in activities that are right for them.
Benefits of Participating in Outdoor Activities for Depression
Many teens spend most of their time indoors. Artificial light and indoor air contribute to teen depression and anxiety. According to a Harvard study, walking outside for 15 minutes can reduce the risk of depression by as much as 26 percent.
When it comes to mental health, participating in daily activities can pay dividends. This is especially true when people engage in activities in nature. Outdoor activities can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Physical activity can disrupt negative thoughts and release endorphins.
As a result of participating in outdoor activities, your teen may sleep better and have more energy. Activity builds resiliency in teens. This helps them cope with their problems in a healthy way.
How to Overcome Your Teen’s Resistance to Outdoor Activities
When a person is dealing with mental health issues, performing activities can be challenging. Everything feels impossible. It isn’t uncommon for depressed teens to object to any solutions that might make them feel better. How do you overcome these objections?
Be patient with your teen. It takes time to work through mental health issues. Your teen may object to your suggestions. Respect your teen’s reasons for resisting outdoor activities. These may include feeling overwhelmed, tired, hopeless, and physical pain.
Invite your teen to go for a quick walk outdoors. If your teen declines your invitation, walk alone. Develop your own exercise habit. This will help you handle the stress of caring for a depressed teen.
If your teen walks with you, keep it short. Your teen doesn’t have to walk for hours to experience its mental health benefits. A 5- or 10-minute walk can provide a mental health boost.
Do Outdoor Activities Help Depression? Venture Academy Has The Answer!
At Venture Academy, we understand the impact that depression can have on your teen. From sleepless nights to lack of interest, it can change a person’s outlook on life. If your teen is having behavioural problems, we can help.
We serve troubled teens in multiple locations throughout Canada. Our centre offers treatment programs that address sex habits, substance abuse, and electronic addiction. Parents reach out to our behavioural health team when their teen has issues with anger, lying, respect, and depression.
If your teen is experiencing behaviour problems or acting out, help is available. Venture Academy offers a supportive and safe environment that promotes recovery from such issues. Our residential care facility can help your child. Contact us online or 866.762.2211 to speak with a representative of our behavioural health team for immediate assistance.