Living Free of Substance Abuse
Many adjusting to a new lifestyle in recovery wonder how they will ever have fun without drugs and alcohol. Addiction once wound itself so deeply into so many social situations. Now, enjoying life sober can seem like a foreign concept. It can be difficult to remember a time when going out and having fun didn’t mean “being under the influence.” Though it may be different now, your new way of life will be made better by new experiences.
After realizing the value of their newfound sobriety, many people are typically dedicated to finding alternatives for fun and entertainment. Even those who are at first reluctant to participate in sober activities eventually begin looking forward to new social involvement.
While in rehab, especially in residential treatment programs, it’s normal to interact with other sober individuals. Here, it’s possible for recovering individuals to take part in sober activities without added pressure. In rehab, it’s easier to avoid the lifestyle that contributed to your substance use disorder.
However, it’s just as important to have a healthy social life after completing your regimented treatment program. Now is the time to be open to new experiences and find sober ways to occupy your time. By incorporating the trigger prevention lessons and coping skills you’ve learned in rehab, you’ll have some freedom in choosing sober activities.
If you are having trouble figuring out where you fit in now, don’t be afraid to ask for direction. Treatment centers want to see you rise above your addiction. This includes leading a healthy and fulfilling life. They understand that each client needs to be cared for individually, and this includes introducing new ways to have fun and find joy, after rehab.
Getting Involved Contributes to Developing Sober Habits
What is considered fun for some may not be as appealing to others. Being part of a sober community doesn’t mean having to like what other sober people like. Some new sober activities you may really enjoy and look forward to each day. However, others may not meet the level of entertainment it takes to keep you interested. Keep in mind that this is okay.
What is considered an acceptable sober activity isn’t finite. The only requirements are that:
- You remain sober while participating
- You enjoy yourself
- The activity is legal and not causing harm
- It contributes to your life in a positive way
Within these parameters, the vast amount of possibilities are virtually endless. If you have a new idea that seems to be working for you, pitch it to a friend. You’d be surprised by how many people are looking to try new sober activities.
However, if you are just beginning the search for some sober fun, you have come to the right place. Rehab treatment center leaders have asked around the recovery community to find what many others are doing in their downtime. In fact, we have included a number of sober activities to look into. Take the time to put together some options to include in your aftercare plan. Some of them might just be perfect, while some will be a definite no. That said, don’t knock it before you try it. Most of these sober activities are fun for everyone!
Join a Team, Play a Sport
You would be surprised at the number of local leagues and sports activities available for adults. Why not take part in a local bowling league or flag football team? Physical activity is a great way to bond with others while keeping your mind occupied. Sports teams often frown upon substance abuse within the league.
There is typically no requirement to actually be any good at it, either! That makes it the perfect pastime and sober activity to participate in with peers.
Look into a Trial Gym Membership
If you don’t feel you can physically keep up with a sports team, start working on your form by joining the gym. Many local gyms offer a trial period before having you make a full-time financial commitment.
This is perfect for those who are just beginners or scoping out the scene. Some people take this sober activity very seriously, and there are places specifically designed for that. Others are just there to burn off some stress and go about their workout leisurely. Some facilities cater more to women, while others appeal better to groups of men. No matter what you’re looking for, there is surely a gym out there that will work for you.
Working out helps you feel better mentally and physically. Try different workout regimens until you find the right fit. Once you do, you’ll have a sober activity that pays off in more ways than one.
Explore Different Cultures By Taking a Dance Class
If you’re interested in an alternative to the gym or team sports, sign up to take a Zumba or ballet class. You can bring a friend or family member along to keep you motivated. You might even meet a new dancing partner there!
Guided Meditation and Yoga
Meditation is a particularly rewarding sober activity, especially for those who have busy or demanding schedules. Taking a bit of time out each day to relax and unwind or prepare for upcoming obligations will significantly reduce stress. Suffering from addiction can be a traumatic life event in itself. Along with proper trauma care, taking peaceful time to yourself is very valuable.
Whether you have an hour or only five minutes, incorporating meditation or yoga into your day will certainly pay off. Many places even offer guided meditation in outdoor groups. Yoga instruction can be found just about anywhere these days, and it helps to develop patience and self-control.
Participate in a Craft Event
If you prefer mental stimulation to physical activity, take part in a crafts event near you. Many places offer you the chance to take painting lessons, build pottery, or engage in some other creative effort. Some crafts can even be sold at local markets or street fairs for a profit. Crafting is a great way to explore your inner artist and keep busy.
Boost Your Education Status: Take an Online Course
One of the greatest things about the internet age is that you can find online classes for just about any interest. You can take a programming class, learn to make YouTube videos, or work on your writing skills. Put your brain to work and gain a sense of accomplishment that could even lead to expanding your options in the workforce. After or during long-term drug rehab, you know you are capable of dedicating time to a worthy cause. Knowledge is the one thing no one can take away from you. Acquire as much of it as you can.
Plant a Backyard Garden
Don’t have a yard? How about a porch? Designate a corner by a window and create your own indoor paradise. Work on your green thumb by planting flowers and other plants around your yard. If you live in an apartment, build some planters to place on your windowsill or back patio.
Rainy Day? Binge Watch a TV Show!
Catch up on your favorite shows and movies when the weather is bad. These days, you’re only a click away from watching TV and movies whenever you want. Take some time to catch up on all the seasons of the popular TV show you keep hearing about. Start from ground zero on a film series you have yet to watch. When the storm clears, get back out there and enjoy the outside world. Until then, it’s okay to get lost in your favorite fictional world to pass the time.
Cook a New Dish
Are you tired of relying on takeout for your meals? Take control of your cuisine and get creative. Sign up for a cooking course at your local community college. Learn to make everything from breakfast basics to exquisite desserts. There’s nothing like impressing others with your culinary art and having a tasty treat as a reward.
Play the Part: Act Like a Tourist
Through sober eyes, your hometown may seem totally new to you. Take advantage of that and act like the newbie you feel like! Take some time to visit the local sights you may typically ignore as a local. After detox, you are gifted with a new perspective on life. Go view an exhibit at a museum, visit a theme park, or pay respects at a local memorial. You never know what new adventures you may find right in your own backyard.
Challenge a Friend to a Sober Game Night
Invite family and friends over to play board games or card games. A little healthy competition is a good thing. Show off your newly acquired culinary skills or indoor garden in the process! Be sure to have plenty of nonalcoholic beverage choices, and maybe some healthy finger foods.
Volunteer at a Local Charity
Many organizations like homeless shelters, homes for the elderly, and hospitals need help throughout the year. Giving back allows you to focus on the needs of others instead of your problems. Even though there may not be any physical payment for your efforts, the experience is surely rewarding. When you practice gratitude and kindness, others will appreciate you and your capabilities.
Learn a New Language
Talk about expanding your social circle! Think about how many new people you can get to know by communicating with them in a foreign language. You can do this online or through a local college course. Group therapy was great for meeting others experiencing life the way you have. Learning a new language could expand your world even more. Keep your mind engaged by learning how to understand foreign movies without subtitles. There are so many options out there.
Get Out of Town and Take a Trip
It doesn’t matter if it’s just one state over or across the sea. Change up your scenery by going somewhere you haven’t been before. This doesn’t mean leaving it all behind; it’s more like taking your sober activities to the next level. If you don’t feel quite comfortable with a totally new experience, Try going somewhere you’ve gone before. This time you will definitely find new sober activities to participate in, and it may be comforting to know where you’re going.
Keep a Journal
This is a great sober activity that is very personal and rewarding. Write down your thoughts, make lists, keep reminders, or just jot down the things for which you’re grateful. This is a good way to manage your feelings about addiction in a healthy way. In cases of dual diagnosis, a journal can also be a great log for reference.
When discussing the hardships of additional psychological illness you may be experiencing during rehab or after, jot these feelings down. You could even utilize your new indoor garden as a safe and quiet space to gather your thoughts and record them.
Work on Organizing Your Environment
Whether you’ve always been a neat freak or a total clutter nut, it’s never too late to improve. Say goodbye to the annoyance and stress of not being able to find what you need. Empty that junk drawer and put it back together with order. Match that bag of socks that have been growing in a pile in your closet. Throw away what you don’t need. Clearing the clutter leaves more room for new and improved space that will make you proud.
Put Aside Time to Call Family Members
If you are lucky enough to have your older relatives still with you, reach out to them! If not, call those family members who support your recovery journey and share with them your multitude of accomplishments. They will be proud of how far you’ve come and look forward to getting frequent updates. Broken family relationships will soon begin to heal, and for those that don’t, you’ll make new ones. You’d be surprised at how many people were rooting for you behind the scenes and have been looking forward to spending quality time with you.
The Importance of Sober Activities
Staying occupied with sober activities after an intensive outpatient program will help avoid temptations. Empty time with nothing to enjoy could lure you back into substance abuse. Many of these sober activities are already implemented in rehab treatment programs, but others may be up to you to discover. Phoenix Rising provides clients with a variety of support options. The goal is to help you get and stay sober, free of the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Be creative and find what works for you. If none of the above sound fun, try and create your own entertaining sober activity. There may be others who feel the same, and your innovation can be valuable to many around you.
Being Sober Isn’t the End of the Fun, It’s the Beginning
While it may take some time to get used to new sober activities, in the end, it’s much better than the alternative. If left untreated, substance abuse will eventually take everything from you. If you know someone having trouble adjusting to their new sobriety, suggest some sober activities that you can enjoy together.
Most importantly, if you or someone you care about is suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol, be sure to get them help today. A bright new future is ahead, and rehab and treatment centers are equipped and ready to help. Don’t wait until it is too late to experience the rewarding life that a sober future can offer. Develop and look forward to a new way of life that starts today. Reach out now.