Being in recovery is like being tossed at sea for a long time, not really sure where you are going or if you’re going to make it out alive. So when you do finally recover, it can be exciting but also extremely scary. You basically have to re-learn how to live life again, which includes developing a new routine and filling it with healthy and productive hobbies you enjoy. Finding a hobby can help keep you focused on recovery and distracted from negative thoughts and behaviors that can lead you back into addiction. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from, and you’re bound to find one that you feel a connection to.
The Importance of Having a Hobby in Recovery
Escaping your addiction is a good start, but in order for your life to have purpose and meaning, you must pursue something enjoyable. Finding a hobby that you will enjoy is one of the effective ways to fully recover. Not only do hobbies bring fulfillment and joy to your life, but they also go a long way in improving your mental and physical wellbeing. Finding the right activity to do can also prevent you from relapsing, and participating in these activities is the key to your success.
What are hobbies? A hobby is defined as any activity that people do for fun and not due to (or dependent on) their occupation. Although there are some hobbies that can be profitable, stick to the ones that you will enjoy doing first rather than thinking about how you can profit from it and you’ll be much happier.
Benefits of Having a Hobby
Having a hobby is not just a good way to spend time during recovery, but it can also be beneficial to you. Learning new hobbies can:
- Promote relaxation.
- Destress and unwind after a long day.
- Allow you more opportunities to meet new people and be involved in the community.
- Help you discover new passions.
- Help nurture your hidden talents that you were not aware of.
- Allow you to develop new skills.
- Provide a way to earn an extra income on the side.
- Offer a fun and exciting way to spend your time.
Hobbies to Choose From
Now, there are plenty of hobbies that you can try and you don’t have to stick to them if you don’t find them interesting. Here are some ideas to get you started in finding what you enjoy:
Spend time in nature – many recovering addicts discover that being outside and connecting with nature is a great way to ground themselves, relieve stress, and find peace. It is also a good way to fill in idle hours that you might have. Spending time with nature can mean going camping, hiking, swimming, mountain climbing, boating, playing outdoor sports, or simply just taking a light stroll around your neighborhood. These activities are all great hobbies that you can enjoy solo or with company. It is also a good way to battle that loneliness and boredom you may feel during the early stages of your sobriety.
Take martial arts class – throughout your recovery journey, there may have been times where you felt uncontrollable anger and powerlessness. In some circumstances, these feelings of unchecked rage can cause a person to become physically violent with their surroundings or even other people. Practicing martial arts can help a person channel that anger into movement in a healthy way through control and discipline. It offers a way to release the pent up negative emotions you may be battling with, without losing control and becoming a risk to oneself or others. There are tons of different variations of martial arts out there, so you can try them all to see which one suits you best. There’s karate classes, boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and many others, so do some research to decide which one appeals to you most.
Learn how to write – writing can be a very good outlet for you to express your feelings, especially if you keep a journal. It is a good way to process things that have happened during the most difficult times of your life. Creative writing classes can also be a fun option, and may introduce you to new people who share a similar interest. Give it a try, who knows, you might just awake the author in you!
Meditation and yoga – another fun way to engage your body and mind is through yoga and meditation. Yoga teaches you to focus on being mindful of your movements, and in incorporating meditation, you can learn how to calmly process your thoughts. Many experts believe that these are essential tools to a healthy recovery and sober living. Keep in mind that there are a lot of different styles of practice when it comes to yoga, so you can really customize your practice to work for your needs.
Volunteer – did you know that when you help other people, it makes you feel happier as well? One of the best ways to do this is through volunteer work. Volunteering can help you incorporate the things that you love to do, while helping other people at the same time. If you are someone who wants to help out others then this is a good hobby to try. You can also choose the places or work that you want to volunteer in. Helping other recovering addicts is not the only volunteer work you can do. You can choose to volunteer at an after-school program if you love kids, volunteer at an animal shelter if you love animals, or whatever volunteering programs that you find interesting and are passionate to do.
Learn photography and other visual arts – one of the most awesome ways to express yourself is through visual arts. It is not only artistic but can also be therapeutic. If you haven’t done anything like it, it’s not too late to start now. Enroll in an art class where you can paint or draw, learn how to use a camera and capture beautiful images, or if you don’t have one, try using a phone camera to start yourself into this hobby. There are tons of fun classes out there for pretty much any visual arts or creative endeavor you can imagine. Creating something with your own two hands is fun and rewarding, which is an invaluable feeling during the early stage of your sobriety. This can help stave off feelings of worthlessness.
Cooking – learning how to cook may be something you haven’t thought about as a hobby, but a lot of people consider cooking to be an art. Not only does cooking help provide you with nourishment through the food you prepare, it also offers a way to get creative and try new things with your dishes. Perhaps you even forgot what a home cooked meal tastes like, especially during your addiction days when it may have been difficult to care for yourself properly. Learning how to prepare a meal, picking up the right ingredients, learning the procedure on how to cook a dish etc. is a powerful form of self-care. You are learning something new and that is crucial during your early days of sobriety. If you don’t know how to cook, you can always sign up for a cooking class or even watch how-to videos on YouTube that could teach you how to whip up a dish. Take small steps, and know that you don’t have to rush into cooking big meals. Remember, cooking is an art and a practice, so it takes a while to get the skills down. Don’t get too discouraged if something doesn’t come out right, cooking is all about experimentation! That’s a big part of what makes this hobby fun and exciting.
They Help You Stay Sober
The post-treatment program stage is one of the most difficult times to be in as a recovering addict, as you must learn to rebuild your life from the ground up. Finding new hobbies to keep you occupied can prevent you from relapsing. They also provide a distraction from the discomfort during the early stages of your recovery. Not only will hobbies keep you busy, but they will also give you a sense of accomplishment and a purpose. Don’t be afraid to try a variety of different things, and maybe even things you don’t think you’ll enjoy at first. You might be surprised by what sparks your passion!
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