7 Satisfying Hobbies To Try in Addiction Recovery
Are you in recovery and realizing that you don’t have any hobbies? It’s easy to lose old interests when you’re caught up in addiction, and it can be hard to decide what to do with yourself once you’re clean. Having hobbies in recovery is really beneficial – it takes your mind off cravings, gives purpose to your downtime, and reminds you that it is possible to have fun without chemicals.
If you’re short of inspiration when it comes to sober hobbies, the suggestions below will help. Try to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things – you never know where you might find your passion.
1. Playing an Instrument
Even if you’ve never picked up an instrument in your life, learning to play music can be a great form of self-expression in recovery. With such a wide range of instruments to choose from, it’s easy to choose one that suits you. If you want to let off some steam, a drum kit could be ideal. If you’re keen to learn how to be patient and focused, guitar or violin could be perfect.
There are tons of free music lessons and tutorials available online, so you won’t need to pay a fortune to get started. Once you’ve learned a few basic chords, try playing with friends or as part of a band – this is a great way to connect with others and improve your social skills.
Books can serve a myriad of purposes in addiction recovery. If you’re feeling down about your situation, some simple escapism through a great fantasy or sci-fi novel could be just what you need. If you’re struggling to stay motivated, reading inspiring books about real people who have overcome personal struggles is a great tool. If you’d like to learn more about why you ended up using drugs, books on the psychology of addiction can be really fascinating.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to what you read in recovery – just avoid books which could trigger cravings, especially if you’re newly clean. If you don’t like reading, give audiobooks a try instead – many services offer a free trial which is easy to cancel.
3. Cooking and Baking
There’s nothing more satisfying than enjoying a meal you created yourself, and eating well is a great help when you’re in recovery. Pick up a few recipe books at the library or store, or find some recipe blogs online. Bookmark the dishes that catch your eye and commit to testing a new one at least once a week.
You’ll discover tons of delicious new foods and feel good about learning a new skill. For a more social experience, you could join a local cooking class, or arrange a regular potluck with friends. If you really take to cooking or baking, you could even turn it into a new business venture.
Getting exercise is great for your mental and physical health in recovery, but you might struggle to get motivated. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s lots of fun and doesn’t feel like a chore. If you’re not ready to start hitting the gym at 6 am each morning, a leisurely Saturday morning swim might be more appealing.
If you live close to an area where it’s safe to do so, swimming outdoors can be a real thrill – ideal if you want a more intense experience that reminds you how good it is to be alive. If you’ve never learned to swim, it’s never too late to take lessons. Learning new skills is one of the best way to feel happy and accomplished in recovery.
5. Writing a Journal
Whether you’re an aspiring novelist or not, writing a journal is a great way to process your thoughts and feelings in recovery. If you’re part of a 12-step group, you might already be journaling as you move through the steps. Even if you’re not, using a journal to write down hope, fears, and goals is a great way to stay present in your recovery. If there’s an issue you’re struggling with, writing about it can help you to gain clarity and figure out a solution.
Try keeping a notebook by your bed and writing one page in the morning, and another before bed. You could even experiment with poetry, songwriting, or short stories.
When you’re trapped in active addiction, it’s easy to stay stuck at home, never really exploring your local area. Geocaching is a fun way to start getting out and about again, and you might discover some hidden gems right on your doorstep. Geocaching is a real world treasure hunt that involves finding ‘caches’ by following coordinates on your phone. When you find a cache, you might find a little gift inside – and there’s usually space to leave your own ‘swaps’ behind. It’s free to download the Geocaching app, and most areas have tons of caches just waiting to be found.
Meditation is a lot more than just a hobby, and it can be really beneficial when you’re in recovery. Meditating doesn’t have to mean sitting cross-legged while chanting a mantra, and it’s really easy to get started. Simply download a meditation app or look for a guided meditation video, find a quiet place to sit, and listen. You’ll be directed to focus on your breath and let any thoughts that pop into your head gently subside.
Immediately after meditation, you’re likely to feel calmer, more relaxed, and more positive. If you practice regularly, you might notice that you’re less reactive, have better relationships, and feel happier. Meditation doesn’t have to be a huge commitment – even five minutes a day can make all the difference.
Making your addiction recovery feel fun and fulfilling is essential if you want to succeed. Picking up even just one or two new hobbies could make all the difference to your mental state, so give the suggestions above a try. For additional details and resources to help with your addiction recovery, read more here.