Finding ways to spend your time in addiction recovery can be very hard. Maybe your old habits and hobbies are too close to your addictions to continue. Finding new ways to make sure you aren’t bored is difficult but also a big part of the fun of the journey towards recovery.
An important starting place is to find yourself a support group. Whether that is old friends or new friends made in a 12 step program, a support group can help keep you busy. Being in a group with like minded individuals going through a journey towards sobriety could really help with accountability and just staying encouraged to keep on going.
One of the biggest factors of a lot of 12 step organizations is service. Not only is it great to take up your time doing something, but it helps others. You could consider being a sponsor for someone earlier in their journey towards sobriety. Paying it forward is a big part of many 12 step programs. A recent study found that over 90% of those in alcohol addiction recovery that helped others through their recovery found it easier to stay sober.
It’s definitely a no brainer that we feel good when we help others. Sometimes it is hard to let yourself do that on a one-on-one level like being a sponsor at a 12 step program. Consider volunteering outside of your 12 step group! This could be something like physical service in your community at a food bank, homeless shelter,or church. You would be hard pressed to find any of these that would turn you down for trying to help out. Consider going on consistent days once or twice a week to really fill up your schedule!
During your addiction, you likely had a hard time finding time for new hobbies. Wanting to try something new would get in the way of using. Now you have plenty of time and freedom to learn a new skill, sport, or pick up a new hobby! Many of us going through addiction recovery will pick up something physical that in many ways becomes an addiction in it’s own right. Whether that’s running, golfing, cycling, skateboarding, or whatever you might find joy in. You could also pick up the piano or guitar! Pick up the drum set you have always wanted! You could also consider painting, writing, poetry, photography, or even gardening!
One of the biggest parts of occupying your time is trying things out to make sure you are doing something that fills you with positive emotions as opposed to negative. It’s okay to get sad but the easier it is to stay happier, the easier it is to stay away from relapsing. Use your phone’s calendar to schedule your time and keep things busy. There are plenty of apps designed to remind you and keep you on time for the commitments you are making to your recovery. Consider using a small physical calendar if you don’t like using your phone!
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to occupy your time in recovery. Whether that’s in a group or on your own, your options are seemingly endless! Find some time to find what activities really suit you, and don’t forget to keep those positive thoughts!