One common reason people resist getting addiction treatment is that they’re afraid life will be boring after rehab. However, learning to have fun in recovery is not just a wellness strategy but one of the most important factors for long-term success and sobriety. A fun-deprived recovery regimen, no matter how healthy it otherwise appears, is bound to fail. Therefore, you should become part of a strong, fun-loving sober community for long-term success.
Can Recovery Really Be Fun?
What is your definition of “fun”? Think back on your time in active addiction; back then, fun may have been associated with substance use. Fun was the pursuit of artificially induced sensations and pleasure, nothing else.
Now that you are in recovery, how would you redefine “fun”? Experiencing sober fun includes all activities that bring a natural sense of pleasure, relaxation, and excitement. Once you think through this redefinition, you may realize how necessary fun is. The success of recovery is secured when your brain’s pleasure center heals in a natural, substance-free way.
Stress is the opposite of fun and can be a trigger to relapse. Believe it or not, when you were using substances, the fun of using was likely accompanied by stress because your brain was taught to feel pleasure in an artificial and addictive way.
Fun Sober Activities
When you spend quality sober time with good friends, eat good and healthy food, make art, or play music, your brain can feel more relaxed, and your stress hormones can decrease. Anything that makes you relax without triggering addictive impulses is a good sober fun activity. These activities help you rebuild a healthy mind-body connection.
These natural ways of having fun can also feel clarifying. With mental clarity, you can be fully aware of the choices you make. As a result, you are fully present with family and friends, and you create warm memories together. This was likely not the case when you had a different kind of fun with substances. Once you experience this kind of clarity, you can be confident that you can have a good time without drugs or alcohol.
Sober Fun Reduces Stress
Stress management is a core ingredient of healing an addicted brain. When you experience natural means of pleasure, certain neurons in your brain light up. These neurons release natural doses of dopamine to other neurons, reshaping the neurological structures of the brain.
In recovery, simply abstaining from substances is not enough. Without finding healthy ways to replace substance-using activities, you may get bored. You need sober fun because that will distract you from boredom. Boredom is a widespread trigger to relapse. After detox and treatment, you will likely have a lot of time at hand. If you are not doing things that make you feel focused and happy, that void in time could make you vulnerable to relapse.
Can Too Much Sober Fun Do Harm?
In recovery, you need to do everything in moderation. When you engage in a certain sober activity for too much time, such as physical exercise, that can also become an addictive habit. Believe it or not, your recovering brain tends to find new replacement addictions. Even if they don’t involve substances, they can still become unhealthy.
It is good to implement a variety of fun sober activities. For example, if you enjoy playing video games with friends, limit yourself to doing that once a week. Unfortunately, many people gravitate toward new addictions such as food, sugar, caffeine, TV, social media, workouts, and more. The bottom line is this: carefully plan out sober fun activities with various options and balance.
Sober Fun Tips You Can Use
Many people think of sober fun as doing group activities, such as hiking or social events. But, of course, sober fun offers so many opportunities to socialize with friends old and new. However, you can always have fun on your own. For example, plan a weekly trip to the library and discover a new author. Visit local museums or learn a new solo hobby.
To make this sober fun search more “fun,” you can be creative. For example, have you always delayed recording an album or making a scrapbook of good memories? Recovery is a great time to do those things, finally! After you complete these passion projects, you can build a website or find a place to show off. Some people even discover second careers while doing these.
The best sober fun activities are the ones that allow you to reconnect with yourself and then others. You may first rely on them as distractions, but as you get absorbed in the fun of them, you can rediscover a kind of pleasure that is more rewarding and formative for your future.
When stress and boredom accumulate, the risk of relapse is real, even for people who have achieved years of sobriety. Relapse prevention should be your constant mode of life. Among the most common relapse prevention techniques is finding sober ways to have fun. Laguna Shores Recovery offers an individualized approach to treatment, followed by a strong alumni program to help you continue challenging urges and cravings and maintain a fulfilling sober future. We plan many sober social events that allow our clients to have fun. Our staff intentionally cultivates a fun-loving culture here. To find out more about our treatment programs or how we can help you have fun in recovery, call us at (866) 229-9923 today.