Author: Carolyn Rennie, Foothills Centre for Change
Addiction strips you of joy and can make you lose your passions. When you stop using drugs or alcohol, you may find you have all this free time on your hands. The free time can leave you lonely or lead to cravings. Learning a hobby, starting new activities, and igniting old passions can help avoid triggers. There is hope and there is fun in recovery!
One of the best ways to combat cravings is to get active! You can do this by working out at a gym, joining group fitness classes, practicing yoga, going swimming, dancing, or getting involved in group sports. Some towns have recovery teams such as recovery softball or volleyball leagues. Other options include getting out in nature, going on hikes, bike rides, snow shoeing, rollerblading, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, quadding, hunting, fishing, and rock climbing. The options are endless.
Another way to fill spare time is to pick up a creative hobby like arts or music. A lot of recovering addicts used to do amazing things before their addiction got in full swing and it’s important to reignite those passions. This could include learning to play an instrument like guitar or the ukulele or singing. You could get creative and do some arts such as painting, drawing, sketching, knitting, sewing, collaging or origami.
A great way to keep your recovery at the forefront is to get involved in service or volunteer work. Service can be something as simple as helping set-up chairs or coffee at a meeting or more complex like volunteering on an activities committee. Most areas or regions will have campouts or roundups that you can get involved in which are great ways to meet other addicts and bolster your recovery. There may be other activities in recovery fellowships that you can attend like beach days, fireside meetings, and karaoke nights. Alternatively volunteer work can be very rewarding such as working at a shelter, working with seniors, volunteering at a soup kitchen, working with children, or getting involved in community organizations.
The bottom line is there are lots of ways to fill up your time and recovery can be fun!