Boredom is a leading cause of relapse, especially for those new to addiction recovery who may find themselves adrift without the friends they used to drink or use drugs with. When you do not have any hobbies or don’t know what to do with your time, thoughts can quickly turn to cravings for substances. But recovery is also a time to remember what used to interest you before substances entered your life.
What hobbies did you used to enjoy? Take some time to reflect on what inspires or excites you. Having a hobby, or even multiple hobbies, that you look forward to can be a sobriety-saver. It can help fill the empty hours while allowing you to develop skills and exercise your creativity. Hobbies can also give you the opportunity to connect with others who support your journey.
Of course, the number of hobbies to choose from is endless–and you can always switch hobbies if one starts to feel dull–but even so, we offer some ideas below to get you started.
Staying active is good for the mind and body. It can help curb cravings and reduce stress. Some hobbies that can keep you active include:
- Going swimming with friends
- Joining a walking or running club
- Taking a yoga class
- Practicing daily meditation
- Going on a daily hike
- Boating or kayaking
- Joining a local gym
- Mountain biking or rock climbing
- Walking your dog
Creating something yourself can be rewarding and even profitable if you decide to turn your hobby into something you can sell. Consider the following crafty hobby ideas:
- Knitting or crocheting
- Drawing or sketching
- Taking a crafting class
- Doing a woodworking project
Do Something with Friends
You may be struggling to find something you can do sober while enjoying the company of friends. There are many hobbies to take part in that do not require alcohol or other substances. Some fun sober hobbies that you can do with friends are:
- Take part in a local sport such as pickleball, baseball, or basketball
- Start a book club – you might want to consider with these books about mindfulness
- Host a weekly board game night with sober friends
- Volunteer in the community and give back to others in need
Express Your Creativity
Expressing yourself creatively can be therapeutic. There are hobbies that allow you to express your creative side, such as:
- Creative writing or journaling
- Playing an instrument or learning a new one
- Singing in the church choir
- Joining a local theater company
- Cooking and trying out new recipes to share with others
Benefits of Having a Hobby
Many recovery centers, such as Anabranch Recovery Center, encourage their clients to focus on hobbies while in recovery in order to support their mental health and relieve stress and boredom. Having a hobby can benefit those in recovery by doing the following:
- Boosting your self-esteem
- Helping you destress and manage anxiety
- Allowing you to connect with others who share similar interests
- Preventing loneliness and depression
- Giving you something to look forward to
- Making you feel needed
A Word of Caution
With someone who is recovering from substance addiction, developing a substitute addiction is always a possibility. If you find that your hobby is taking over your life, interfering with relationships, leading you to spend more than you can afford, or becoming in any way something that controls you, pause. Consider talking with a therapist or a trusted sober mentor about your concerns. When an activity begins to function as an escape from “real life,” leading you to avoid dealing with emotional or relationship difficulties rather than processing them in a healthy way, it’s becoming an addiction.
Looking for a Terre Haute, Indiana Recovery Center?
Our team of dedicated professionals at Anabranch Recovery Center can help put you on the path to recovery. We offer a range of programs to meet your specific needs, including residential treatment, detox, and a family program. If you have questions about how to start your journey to lasting sobriety, fill out our confidential contact form online.