You have been through treatment and you have heard time and time again that being bored or having time on your hands can easily lead you back down a road that you don’t want to take. So, what do you do? How do you avoid a relapse that may occur simply out of boredom?
Getting a hobby will help, believe it or not. By diving into something new, you are doing something wonderful for yourself. Amongst other things, you are:
- Minimizing chances for boredom
- Gaining motivation
- Avoiding isolation
- Meeting new people with your new (and positive) interests
So, what are you waiting for? Oh, yes – you need some ideas to get you started on your journey with your exciting hobby! Try some of these on for size or at least use them to get yourself brainstorming on what interests you!
Learn an Instrument
Music can be powerful. Because of its calming and relaxing ability, many people use music as a temporary escape. So, think about this – if listening to music can have that effect, what can playing music do for you? With practice and determination, anyone can learn to play an instrument.
This is a wonderful hobby to pick up while jumping into your new sober life. Music can give you a focus, it can be challenging, and it is rewarding. Your new instrument will submerge you into a new group of people with similar interests. Seeing as though you will be looking for new friends when you enter sobriety, music could be a nice bridge over…
So, choose an instrument – piano, guitar, saxophone, flute, drums, etc. – and get started!
Get in Shape
Exercise is good for you. It releases adrenaline and endorphins which naturally make you feel better. Finding an activity that you enjoy can get you active, give you something to positive (and good for you) to do, and place you around like-minded individuals.
While there are all kinds of ways to get in shape, choosing to join team support will up the chances of meeting new people and give you a chance to engage the competitive spirit.
Some of the most fun – and active – team sports are:
Even joining a running team or a community bicycle riding group can be rewarding.
If team sports are not your thing, that is ok too. You can still work on getting your body healthy without being part of a team.
There are always people who need help. In fact, we all do it from time to time. And, yes, even you. Volunteering your time can be rewarding. Giving back to others and seeing people smile because of your kindness can do wonders for your soul. It just makes you feel good, plain and simple. And, if something makes you feel so good, why not do it? And then do it over and over and over again?
Joining a non-profit organization or just occasionally volunteering your time there will allow you to surround yourself with good people – people who want to make a difference. A few ideas of how you can volunteer your time are:
- Check out your local soup kitchen. These facilities generally offer a hot meal to those who need one. Volunteers can help with the preparation of the meal, serving the food, cleaning, and interacting with the patrons.
- Volunteer your time at your local food pantry or food bank. These facilities act as grocery stores for those in need. Food banks usually need assistance in collecting, organizing, and distributing food.
- Find a part of your community that could use some cleaning up and gets to work. You can look for groups that already do this or you can start your own. Place flyers up to get others involved. Pick up trash, repair broken mailboxes, paint park benches, and garbage cans, etc. If you live near the beach, a beach cleanup does wonders for sea life. Take pride in your community.
- Look for your local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. This organization builds houses for those who qualify. Volunteers come together and, regardless of skill level, work together to create a final masterpiece.
Doing something purposefully that you know will positively impact someone else’s life can leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. Can you imagine making this a hobby?
Learn a New Language
While this doesn’t have the warm factor that volunteering does, learning a new language is something that you can immerse yourself in that is positive and can engage your focus and mental abilities. As an adult, it is not easy to learn a new language — it requires much dedication and time. Therefore, if you are looking to stay occupied and not fall victim to boredom, this could be a productive hobby.
Meeting and conversing with people of diverse backgrounds can help you perfect your newfound knowledge. And, who knows – maybe your new language skills can lead you to a visit to a faraway land one day!
Take Cooking Classes
Now that you are sober and in recovery, you have learned how important healthy eating habits are. A good hobby to pick up would be to take cooking classes – and then start cooking! You can learn new techniques, learn how to pair foods, and even learn about how to make a healthy meal taste good.
Cooking brings people together. Bring friends, family, and co-workers together to mingle over your healthy home-cooked meal. It occupies your time, you are doing something good for your body, and you are surrounding yourself with positive people. It’s a win-win-win!
Your time is now. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the rate of relapse for substance abuse is 40-60%. Don’t fall into that statistic. Find something you love and make it your hobby. Surround yourself with others who share the same interest and let yourself grow as your perfect it. You have worked too hard to enter sober living – keep your motivation going with a new hobby!