Having the time to rest and recharge in recovery is important. On the other hand, having too much downtime can lead to boredom. Without something to focus on, you’re at risk of filling that extra space by relapsing.
Idle hands in recovery can reach for addictive substances, which is why staying busy in recovery can be a great way to help you stay sober. Additionally, you could find something that can hold your focus as well as introduce a sense of fulfillment or purpose in your life.
Fortunately, the world is full of activities and experimenting with all of them is a lot of fun. Even so, we do have some suggestions.
Why Staying Busy in Recovery is Necessary
Filling your life with different activities may seem like busywork, but staying busy can make all the difference when it comes to sobriety versus experiencing a relapse. Without anything to occupy your attention and time, you could find yourself experiencing a level of boredom that you’re not prepared for, which can potentially trigger a relapse.
Having purpose promotes resilience as much as finding something that you enjoy can help you stay sober.
Ways to Stay Busy
Now that you know how important it is to keep busy, here are some ways to fill that space:
Find a Hobby
Finding a hobby is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself busy. Best of all, there are many things that those idle hands of yours could do, from woodworking to photography, from board games to book reviews.
Making something you love to do part of your daily routine makes you look forward to each day. Further, people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from the symptoms and diagnoses that are commonly observed in those who are less fulfilled, including general stress and depression. Not only does having a hobby give you something to do, but it can also simply help you to feel better overall.
Give Cooking a Try
Cooking is a unique activity for a hobby because it really rewards your time and effort. But the act of cooking itself can be fulfilling too.
Cooking has other advantages as well, including making sure that you eat a nutritious diet. In fact, one hospital has even begun to offer cooking classes tailored to people in recovery; additionally, the classes are designed to teach them the importance of healthy eating for maintaining your physical and psychological health. If you don’t want to take a class, then you might consider finding a cookbook and making some of its recipes as a short-term goal.
Learn a New Skill
Learning is another way you can keep busy. The act of seeking information can also offer you immense satisfaction.
Plus, there’s always something new to learn and many avenues by which to learn it. If you don’t have the time or funds for continued education, you might consider online classes or even just reading books and watching tutorials. You could accidentally discover your next passion!
Whether it’s playing a new instrument, taking art classes, or reading about interesting subjects, there are so many different ways you can enrich your life. In fact, you could share your new expertise with others. Not only could you take pride in finding new information but also find joy in the act of spreading it. Gathering some expertise can make you more confident in the knowledge that you already have.
Tap Into Your Creativity
Similar to having a hobby, engaging in more creative pursuits can be a huge source of fulfillment and purpose. As well, it offers a channel through which to express your feelings. Having an outlet not only fills your time but is very healing emotionally; in fact, creative expression can decrease anxiety, stress, and mood disturbances.
Regular exercise is a great way to stay sober. It can be a great solution for when you’re experiencing boredom. Additionally, keeping yourself active has proven to elevate mood. Exercise can boost your well-being, self-esteem, and self-efficacy while reducing substance use. Thus, it’s a particularly good way to stay sober.
Spend Some More Time Outdoors
You don’t necessarily have to be active to be outside. In fact, sometimes it’s nice just to relax outdoors. Whether you’re lounging or being more active, being outside in the sunlight boosts your body’s supply of vitamin D and stimulates serotonin production, which, in turn, brightens your overall mood.
Outdoor environments can stimulate in other ways as well. For instance, colorful flowers create pleasing visuals that can make you feel happier, less stressed, and possibly even more relaxed.
Renew Your Faith
For some people, recovery would be unattainable without their faith. After all, it’s no coincidence that so many recovery programs have such a strong religious component. For instance, though it’s largely a social organization, Alcoholics Anonymous may be best known for the importance of spirituality in the twelve-step method of recovery.
Volunteer in the Community
Helping others can be very fulfilling and is surely one of the reasons why around 25 percent of American adults are donating time and energy to causes that they believe in. One study found that volunteering actually can increase a person’s happiness and mental health. .
Keep Yourself Busy with Silicon Beach Sober Living
Creating a daily routine by setting specific goals is an effective way to hold yourself accountable while also filling your schedule and giving structure to your life.
Filling your life with activity is one way to stay sober, but for some people, more support is needed. Whether you need a Los Angeles IOP or you’re looking at sober living homes in Los Angeles, Silicon Beach Sober Living offers clients high-end recovery-focused transitional living homes that make transitioning from treatment to recovery as smooth as possible. For more information, call our toll-free number and speak to one of our intake coordinators.