When you’re in recovery from addiction, it can be difficult to know what to do with your time. Boredom can lead to a relapse, so it’s important to find fun ways to fill your days when you’re not at work. Including friends and family is a good idea, but many people in recovery find it hard to connect to certain people from their past, and that’s okay. It’s important to learn to like being with yourself and find ways to occupy your mind and body in order to stay healthy.
One of the best ways to fill your time is to find a hobby that you enjoy doing–or more than one. Get creative and think about all the things you’ve always wanted to try: photography, art, writing, gardening, sewing, crafting, reading, and learning something new are just a few ways you can fill your time.
Here are some of the best ways having a hobby can help you when you’re in recovery.
It Can Keep You Social
Depending on the hobby, you may be able to do it alone or with a friend, and many activities can help you stay social. One of the hardest parts of being in recovery is feeling like you’re alone, or feeling uncomfortable around others while you’re in a fragile emotional state. Having a hobby can help you set the tone of your social encounters as well as keep them short and sweet; make a date with a friend to go for a swim or head to a DIY pottery class together. Because these activities have a specific amount of time to be completed in, you can have your fun and then head home when you’re ready.
- Swimming With Friends
- Taking A Crafting Class
- Joining A Team Sport
- Taking A Group Hike
- Playing Board Games
- Joining A Book Club
It Can Help You Make Extra Cash
Many hobbies can be taken from part-time fun status to full-on career change, but if you’re looking for something in the middle, do some research on how to take doing what you love to a new level. If you’re a visual artist or create jewelry or decor, check out how to sell your items online with a site like Etsy. You can use social media to promote and grow your business and garner help and support from friends and family.
It Can Boost Your Self-Esteem
Having a new hobby that you’re good at–or that you simply enjoy doing–can really have a positive effect on your self-esteem and can help you find things to love about yourself that you may have lost during your battle with substance abuse. Look for activities that allow you to learn and grow, such as trying out a new language or taking a class in a subject you’ve always been interested in.
- Learn A New Language
- Take An Educational Class
They Help You Cope With Stress
Having a hobby can help you de-stress and cope better with anxiety, especially if you engage in it regularly. Instead of coming home after a bad day and finding a temporary distraction in a substance, you can put your mind and body to work in an activity that promotes a positive self-image and helps you grow as a person.
They Help You Feel Good
Engaging in a hobby can help you feel better physically because it can lower stress–and therefore lower blood pressure–and gets you active in some cases, which can help you lose weight and get fit.
Try to remember that trying something new doesn’t need to be stressful. If you don’t mesh well with one hobby, move on to something else and don’t be hard on yourself. Life is all about exploring and finding the best ways to be our best selves.