Finding Sober Fun Activities in Recovery

Finding Sober Fun Activities in Recovery

Do you associate recovery with fun? If not, why? Many people hold to the belief that addiction recovery is hard work and no fun is allowed. Or they may consider nothing fun outside of the use of drugs and alcohol. This definition of “fun” needs revisiting. In fact, without the fun element, addiction recovery will often lead to boredom, the #1 reason for relapse to happen. Come and explore many sober fun activities to do in Orange County as recommended by Laguna Shores Recovery Center.

Redefining “Fun” Before and After Recovery

Many people with substance dependence may think of “fun” as related to the euphoric effects of drugs or alcohol. Indeed, so many people experimented with substances just for recreational purposes. But the fun soon fades away when a person develops an addiction and maybe some co-occurring compulsive behaviors. One feels the urge to constantly seek out drugs or alcohol to the extent that nothing else matters in life. 

Since substance addiction is a chronic brain disease, it changes the chemical structures in the brain, including the brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control. When the repeated use of substances controls these neurobiological systems, a person’s behaviors change dramatically. He or she may lie and deceive others to secure drugs or alcohol. There can also be impulsive or even violent behaviors. By this point, addiction is no longer fun. Its devastating effects gradually show on family life, work performance, and other relationships. 

The common definition of substance use for fun has deceived many people into this path. But there is always a point to return. Once a person overcomes denialism and begins treatment, it is time to reflect on what “fun” is during recovery. Many people shrink from associating recovery with fun because of their previous experiences with addiction. Their view of “having fun” has been narrowed down to just substance use, but it is possible to be both sober and have fun. In fact, fun is absolutely part of recovery.

Why Are Sober Fun Activities an Essential Part of Recovery?

Human beings love pleasurable feelings produced by the brain. Loving fun is part of human nature. A recovery journey without fun would be unthinkable. Most importantly, sober fun is an essential mechanism to prevent boredom. Believe it or not, boredom is the top reason for relapses to happen during recovery. 

What is boredom? Feeling bored is a universal experience that everyone experiences throughout their lives. When your life lacks diversity, desire, or engagement, then you get bored. Boredom is a discomfort of the brain’s emotional response that can be alleviated by changes in the environment. To recovering individuals, boredom is an old friend. Many people got into drugs and alcohol to escape the suffocating effects of boredom and isolation. 

People may also feel bored at different levels. When boredom is mainly a dullness or lack of challenging mental activity, it can be alleviated by more sensory stimuli. But in the most serious form, boredom can be a symptom of depression. People who experience severe boredom may develop high-risk behaviors. Severe boredom is also part of a mental relapse, which may soon lead to a full-blown relapse if there is no intervention.

To avoid falling into a severe and temping state of boredom, recovery individuals need to build sober fun activities into their recovery routines. Consider this is what the brain needs in order to continue healing. When a person in recovery loses the old type of “fun” given by drugs or alcohol, life can become very dull and uninteresting. This person may also be going through a hard time trying to repair relationships in life. These difficulties and stressors can add up to trigger a relapse in the form of boredom.

What Sober Fun Activities Can Help Stabilize Recovery?

Sober fun is an essential part of recovery progress. Your goal is to diversify how you experience fun. The brain needs a variety of experiences to heal from the negative impacts of substances. Thus it is important to find and engage in sober activities that you enjoy. When you do look into these opportunities, you will be amazed at how big the world is. Maybe it is time to pick up an old hobby or sport you used to love. Exploring new hobbies and getting to know new people would also be enjoyable.

Many treatment facilities also offer experiential therapy that can be a lot of fun. Take adventure therapy for example. You can explore nature or the wild with a group of peers who are also going through the journey of recovery. Together you will experience the healing power of being one with nature. Another experiential therapy is animal-assisted emotional support. If you love animals, explore equine therapy or other forms of animal-assisted therapy. 

Recovery may also be a time to rediscover the creative side of yourself. Many creative therapies such as art, music, and dance therapy can provide a lot of sensory stimuli. Laguna Shores Recovery Center offers a full range of experiential therapies (e.g. Yoga) and creative therapies to help people enjoy life again.

Fun is important for recovery. Recovering individuals need more sober fun to achieve well-rounded wellness, including emotional, intellectual, environmental, and financial wellness. Laguna Shores Recovery Center has all the necessary resources if you are looking for a dedicated team to support your wellness journey. Here, you will find that our experienced mental health professionals and compassionate staff know the value of positive support networks. Whether you want to explore nature or enjoy music and art, Laguna Shores Recovery Center has a full range of therapies to help you. Support from experienced health professionals is key to your recovery. Please call (866) 774-1532 to discover how you or your loved one can be part of our strong recovery community.