Michigan Recovery – Looking Forward to Summer

Michigan recovery summer flowers in boxes

It feels safe to look forward to summer now!

Our winter was long, and spring in the Midwest always brings a mixed message of warmer days and sleet. But part of Michigan’s charm is that blaze of blue sky after a stretch of gray days—the contrast of technicolor after sepia. And now that it’s unlikely we will get another snowstorm, we can look forward to summer. There is so much to love about summertime in Michigan. And the brain and body health benefits are significant, encouraging us to embrace the outdoors! For those who have been to Sanford Behavioral Health for treatment, Michigan recovery is a bonus that can safeguard wellness in the long term.


Michigan Recovery  – Looking Forward

Whether it is an upcoming vacation, summer in Michigan, or something as simple as a walk in the evening after work, anticipating something positive is good for mental health, especially during difficult times. It can be a positive energizer that counteracts boredom or anxiety, so go ahead and think about all the things you will do on your summer vacation.


1. Looking forward to spring, summer, or a boat ride increases positive thinking and positive outcomes.

Yes, mindfulness and living in the moment are important, but anticipating something positive in the future can get us through the humdrum day-to-day and provide happiness, incentive, and hope. Indeed, positive thinking produces positive thinking; we begin to notice opportunities all around us. It seems safe to look forward to summer now! Click the link below for ideas on how to anticipate ten wonderful things.

Looking Forward – 10 Ideas to Anticipate

young girl looking outside window


2. Walking, hiking, or sitting on a bench in nature improves mood and mental health!

At Sanford Behavioral Health, excursions allow our clients to experience real-life exposures in the safety of treatment. Excursions provide authentic opportunities to unpack feelings and triggers. They also rekindle or develop new interests that help make long-term recovery manageable and fun. We recommend walking excursions while in treatment and long-term recovery. With 101 Michigan state parks covering 360,000 acres, there is a lot to explore. Click the link below to see our favorite jaunts (or places to sit on a bench and watch the birds)!

Happy Trails – 5 Favorite Michigan Excursions

saugatuck dunes path


3. Summer recovery has special meaning in Michigan.

One of the great things about recovery from a mental or substance use disorder is the ability to appreciate the little things – the lack of urgency. It’s the simplicity of a well-stocked backpack. The sound of a woodpecker’s beak against a pine tree. Smelling summer wind across a freshwater lake. A glimpse of eaglets in their nest. In the same way, a gorgeous Michigan summer day is better because of the long winter that came before it; life in recovery is more vibrant because of the dark days. After the pandemic, we can all use a physical and mental health boost. If you live where we live, get outside and experience it. Let’s re-engage in the world with hope, enthusiasm, and full contact. For more on the benefits derived from summertime in Michigan, click the link below:

6 Reasons a Michigan Summer is Good for Your Mental Health

Onaway State Park


4. Lake Michigan is an ever-restorative place to enjoy a summer sunset or an icy dip.

Why do we gravitate toward water? Why is it so hypnotic to watch the waves? There is a reason every stretch of waterfront is laden with houses and parks – it’s where we want to be. Those who live near the ocean swear by the healing powers of the salty sea. And there is nothing more soothing than a long stroll on a deserted beach. We have 8 reasons Lake Michigan can improve mental health in the link below.

8 Reasons Lake Michigan is Good for Your Health

Lake Michigan 4


Sanford Behavioral Health – Michigan Recovery and Beyond

At Sanford Behavioral Health, excursions are opportunities for our patients to experience real life in the safety of treatment. For us, excursions are anything from planting geraniums, to attending 12-step meetings, to disk golf and ice cream cones. Our residents might go on a grocery store excursion for example. This could be the first time a patient with a substance use disorder shops without buying alcohol. Similarly, an eating disorder patient may practice ordering in a fast food restaurant. Excursions provide authentic opportunities to unpack their feelings and triggers in the safety of treatment.


Everyone’s recovery is unique (some people don’t like nature), and the multidisciplinary staff at Sanford  understand that mental health treatment is not a sterile process. That treatment includes evidence-based programming and a variety of real life excursions and exposures to real world situations. Recovery is lifelong, it might as well be filled to the brim with awesome experiences. Happy summer excursions!


If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, eating disorders, or co-occurring mental health conditions, don’t wait to change your life – click the link below to speak with an admissions specialist about our programs.

Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as an addiction, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving all of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s facilities in Greater Grand Rapids is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a psychiatrist-led team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient, and telehealth patients. For more information, visit www.sanfordbehavioralhealth.com.