Many women that go to treatment for drugs or alcohol are afraid that once they quit using, they won’t have fun anymore. That just simply is not true. There are lots of activities to do that are fun and that also stay in the lines of your sobriety goals. Women in addiction recovery don’t have to sit around and be bored. Life is still full of adventure, you just have to go out there and explore it!
Once you understand that you don’t need drugs and alcohol to have fun, you’ll begin to realize your passion for other things. Whether you have lost interest in hobbies throughout active addiction or have never really been a hobbyist type of person, there are plenty of fun, sober activities you can take part in that don’t have to put your recovery efforts in jeopardy. You just have to find the things that encourage your journey and help keep your mind on sobriety.
Exercise is proven to reduce stress and promote health. Burning off energy gives the body reason to release endorphins, which provide your body with a natural high. You may feel in a much better mood after you have burnt off some steam in the weight room. Additionally, exercising can increase self-esteem since living a healthy lifestyle will give you a body you didn’t have while using drugs or drinking. Finally, during active addiction, most people don’t focus on health efforts to manage effective health. But, during detox, treatment, and recovery, you want to prepare your body for a life of health. Daily exercise can help to bring your body back to health much faster than a body that doesn’t exercise. In can help to boost your immune system which, in return, allows your body to heal from the destruction experienced throughout active addiction. If you’re serious about healing both your mind and body, exercise is a great place to start.
Utilizing activities that give you time for yourself is imperative during treatment. Not only will it provide you with something to do if you’re bored, but it can also promote self-awareness. This is important in recovery since treatment is not just about abstaining from drug or alcohol use, but also to regain knowledge of the self and why addiction formed in the first place. Acquiring a state of inner peace will allow you to stay focused on your recovery goals. Both yoga and meditation help to provide this inner peace and outlet for self-reflection by evoking mindfulness. Mindfulness is the experience of practicing being present, which allows for a person to let go of their past and eliminate worry about the future. This is extremely important for individuals in recovery who may be dealing with a number of negative emotions regarding both the past and present. And, so they may focus on their daily effort to continue with sobriety. As frequently stated in AA and other commonly used group therapy outlets, it’s best to “take recovery one day at a time”.
Learning or picking up cooking is a great activity for women in recovery. It allows them to learn how to take care of their own bodies in a healthy way after treatment ends. During active addiction, many individuals may not eat healthy meals or anything at all. This can lead to malnourishment. Neglecting proper nourishment can result in a number of symptoms which can make it harder for a person in recovery to heal. So, implementing proper nourishment does the opposite; prepares a person’s mind and body for the fuel it needs to focus on healing. Cooking can also help to reduce cravings, as it gives you something active to do with your mind and hands. After all, delicious food is always hard to argue against!
Now that you aren’t spending all your time searching for and using drugs or alcohol, you will have to find things to do with your extra time. Developing new hobbies is really helpful for women in recovery. Learn how to play an instrument or go camping with a group of recovery friends. The point is that instead of doing something that is harmful to you and your relationships, you are doing something that is productive. This will keep you motivated during recovery to stay on track because you are making progress. Additionally, learning a few new things may help you to get to know yourself a little better. Some examples of some new hobbies to explore during recovery may include:
Fishing: If you love the water, you may like to explore fishing as a hobby. It’s a great way to get outdoors to experience nature, which can also help to stimulate mindfulness and promote healing. Plus, it’s a great way to catch a free meal!
Volunteering: One of the 12 steps of AA and other 12 step programs is to give back to others. But, it doesn’t have to stop once you’ve completed the 12 steps. Consider investing some of your time giving back to others on a more permanent basis. Check out your local women’s and animal shelters, churches, and soup kitchens to jump on board the volunteer train.
Explore: Traveling the world can take your mind off of your home life and give you something to look forward to in recovery. Plus, it can provide you with experiences you may never have thought you’d have and also teach you much about the world and her people. If you find yourself bored or with little to look forward to, plan a trip!
If you are ready to rid your life of your drug or alcohol addiction, Willow Place for Women can help. Also, we help women who are suffering from eating disorders develop healthy eating habits and recover.
If you would like to learn about what our services can do for you or a loved one, please do not hesitate to reach out to us on our website or you can call us at 1-888-651-4212.
**Originally posted on November 8, 2016. Updated on June 24, 2019.