Making the transition from a party lifestyle, where your main “hobbies” were centered around drugs or alcohol, to a sober life, isn’t always easy. Most of us had no idea how to have sober fun, or how to fill our time in productive and healthy ways. But it is important to find activities you enjoy. Not only does it help to develop your sense of self, as a newly sober person, but it also helps to distract you from temptation. The more time you spend sitting around and feeling bored, the less attractive a sober life might seem. Further, when you are busy and engaged in healthy, positive activities, you will be less likely to experience full blown cravings or temptations to go use. Here, we have a list of several options for when it seems like sober fun just isn’t a possibility! The important thing is to be open-minded- you never know what you might enjoy until you give it a try.
- Hiking.Hiking is a great way to improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health! There are many great hiking spots in the MD/DC/VA area, from easier treks to more experienced, and most of them offer beautiful scenic views. Getting out into nature is a great way to clear your head and gain some perspective. The exercise is great, and will get the endorphins flowing, which will make you feel happier. But beyond that, being in nature has a way of reminding us that we are but a small part of a much greater whole. The sounds of birds, rushing water, and quiet serenity are great for meditating and working on our spiritual fitness.
- Museums. Museums aren’t for everyone, and depending on where you live, you may not have many options. But DC and Maryland are full of museums for every interest- art, history, and more! Museums are a great way to pass the time on a rainy afternoon, and many of them offer free admission. Spending a few hours in a museum will expand your knowledge, and allow you to begin narrowing down what your interests are.
- Cooking. Cooking is a great way to invest your time when you get sober. When most of us get to recovery, we are pretty sick. Health and nutrition have never taken a particularly big place in our lives prior to sobriety. There are many different cooking recipes and videos online that make preparing fresh, healthy meals easier than ever! Cooking can even be meditative- the prep work takes time and improves focus. The end result is a delicious meal that you can be proud of, and that will contribute to your physical and mental health! And as an added bonus, cooking is a great activity to do with friends! Then you can all share the resulting meal together. If you’re financially able to, you could even get people together to take a cooking class!
- Game Nights. Game nights are a great way to work on increasing your social circle and having a great time in sobriety! Get a bunch of other people from your recovery circle together for a game night! Stock up on snacks, and get out those board games! Provided you aren’t insanely competitive (like this writer), games can be a lot of fun and help you pass a Friday or Saturday night! It’s almost guaranteed that someone has some games lying around, whether they are older games like Monopoly, or newer games like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity! You can also pick up games from thrift stores or Goodwill at great prices! If you’re extra motivated, you can even make little prizes for the winners, such as coffee gift cards or baked goods!
- Volunteering. Our final suggestion is to find a cause you are passionate about, and donate your time to it! There are countless volunteer opportunities depending on your interests- animal rescue groups, civil rights groups, political groups, women’s groups, homeless shelters, elderly assisted living facilities, and more, all need volunteers to operate efficiently! The opportunities are endless. Websites such as volunteermatch.org are great for helping you find local vounteer opportunities based on your interests, skills, and availabilities. Further, volunteering is a great way to get out of your own way. A cornerstone of addiction recovery is learning to take an active and loving interest in the well-being of others. Volunteering can help you contribute to something greater than yourself, and can get your mind off your own struggles. Our problems can often feel momentous, but spending time with people in need can really help put things in perspective, and make us more grateful for what we do have.
No matter what you do, make sure you are active and engaged in activities that aren’t surrounded by temptation! Ask around- other people who have more time in recovery than you are a great resource for sober activities. Ask if you can come along to their next outing, or organize something yourself! You will be better for it- spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Help is Available
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, the professional staff at Serenity Acres is ready to help. Call today for your free confidential assessment, to see if inpatient treatment may be the answer you are looking for: 1-800-203-2024.