In the early stages of sobriety, you may find you have a lot of free time on your hands that needs to be filled. It may be time to learn some healthy hobbies. Having a healthy hobby can be beneficial to your recovery process. Many treatment centers integrate hobbies and creative activities into their programs for this very reason.
People who go through detox and treatment may suddenly find much free time at hand without drugs and alcohol to occupy their time. In a way, hobbies are used as alternatives to drugs and alcohol. Early sobriety needs to be strengthened by healthy activities such as meditation, mindfulness, and healthy hobbies. Finding new hobbies can build your concentration, do away with boredom, and be healing.
Healthy Hobbies Rebuild Your Concentration
Hobbies can make your brain focus and engage with the creative process. Learning the practice of making something beautiful or useful can force you to live in the moment, which is incredibly beneficial. Yes, it takes patience too. A concentrated mind is also a patient one.
Through concentration on small tasks, hobbies can make new brain connections and enhance natural positive feelings. You regain a sense of control when you repeatedly do something with expected and ever-improving results. To a certain extent, doing these tasks can re-train the brain to find pleasure and satisfaction from sources other than drugs and alcohol. There can also be moments to connect with oneself. When you’re concentrated on your new hobby, and it’s only you and the potter’s wheel or the rock wall or the yoga mat, your mind can uncover things you didn’t know about yourself. Under the influence of drugs and alcohol, people tend to experience a kind of emotional numbness, even towards themselves. It takes intentional concentration to get that connection back.
Healthy Hobbies Do Away With Boredom
If you are in recovery, avoiding boredom is a big part of staying sober. Having nothing to occupy yourself can be a trigger for cravings and relapses. Especially in early sobriety, try to engage with people and avoid isolation-induced boredom. Learning new hobbies can be a great way to build new relationships in your recovery community.
Finding new hobbies can also build social skills. Even if your hobby is a solo endeavor, you can always find people, online or in person, who share a love of your chosen hobby. You can talk about techniques, successes, and failures, even share resources with others who are invested in similar things. This way, your passion for your hobby grows along with social aptitude. Then you have a network of people you can reach out to for suggestions or company when you feel boredom settling in.
Seeking Out the Healing Component of New Hobbies
Some healthy hobbies have a higher potential for healing effects than others. Some of these include outdoor sports, meditation, nature walks, and yoga. These activities are known to de-stress and center the mind and the body. Educate yourself on how stress builds up and why these activities can release the pressure.
Healing can also be a deciding factor when you choose a hobby. Be aware of hobbies that might work the opposite way. For example, comfort eating or binge eating do not bring healing. You do not want to substitute substance addiction with another addictive activity. Even many healthy hobbies, such as dieting or physical exercises may develop into compulsions if not done in moderation. Again, the key is to use healing as a final goal.
Lastly, developing healthy hobbies should not just be a phase. Ideally, they will grow into a new lifestyle for you. By adopting these hobbies, you are re-inventing your life. Once you find a hobby that inspires you, commit to it for the long term.
Practical Suggestions for Developing Healthy Hobbies
There are many hobbies you can choose from, like painting, pottery-making, music, cooking, crafting, woodworking, knitting, photography, film-making, learning foreign languages, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, and even home repair. The list goes on and on. The important thing is to try new things. There may be things that you thought were interesting but out of reach. Try it out! If your first attempt isn’t successful but you enjoyed it, try again. After all, practice makes perfect, and practicing your hobby is, in fact, participating in the hobby.
You can make this journey fun by exploring different cultures and how people do things. Visit museums and galleries might give you some artistic inspiration. Create a blog or vlog explaining how different places do similar hobbies to yours. Join a book or hobby club so you can engage with other people with similar interests. Concerts or charity events can help you grow into community services. Seek volunteer opportunities to serve others. The bottom line is to try new things until you find something you love enough to put your free time toward doing it.
Healthy hobbies makes up a healthy lifestyle, which helps you maintain the fruits of early sobriety. When you have a healthy hobby to occupy your time, your sobriety becomes easier to maintain. Hobbies allow you to build concentration, defeat boredom, connect with others, and heal your life. There are many resources and support groups in the recovery community to assist you. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our licensed mental healthcare professionals and therapists will coach you on this exciting journey, from detox all the way to finding a hobby that speaks to you for lasting recovery. If you need assistance for mental health or addiction concerns, our complete medical and residential facility offers a range of treatments, including diagnosis, behavioral therapies, 12-step programs, and treatment plans. We are the ideal recovery community you are looking for. Call us at (866) 906-3203. We are eager to help you plan every step of your way.