Now that you are sober, life probably looks a bit different to you. That is entirely true of all who are now living without addiction. But today is the time to do some things that you have never done before. It is also the time to have some fun, be active, take care of yourself, and renew your mind, body, and spirit. If you’re like many who are in recovery from addiction, you may have forgotten what “fun” means, let alone what taking care of yourself means. So, let’s take a look at some wonderful ways to get that “me time” you’ve been putting on the back burner for so long.
- Get a New Hobby – You’re probably saying that your wallet is not full enough to pay for hobby supplies, tools, or materials. If you are, then you have never visited Pinterest. Most of the artsy crafty pins are simple and use what you already have in the house. Other sites that have ideas for fun projects are Instructables, eHow, Hometalk, and DeviantArt. A few examples of the types of things you could try are:
- making DIY furniture
- learning origami
- teaching a class yourself
Hobbies are an excellent method to structure your time. If you are feeling bored or unproductive, hobbies can help you stay on track during your recovery time. Hobbies can also make you as a person more interesting. It is a solid connection to others who have the same skills or like the same free-time activities. Connection is critical for healing. And teaching a class yourself will certainly improve your self-esteem, ego, self-image, and courage.
- Volunteer – Doing something for others is one of the top ways to get happy. But those in recovery need to take an extra step. Make what you do for the world something dynamic and unexpected, such as:
- tutoring a child
- joining a charity organization
- raising money and collecting personal items for the homeless in your city and delivering the items in person
Loneliness is one of the major triggers when it comes to sobriety. Loneliness and social isolation are affecting a vast number of Americans today. Volunteering takes you outside yourself and builds your social network.
- Try Something New – This is where you are going to be asked to get out of your comfort zone and do something that is a little scary to you. When such a task has been achieved, the inside you gets braver, calmer, and more centered.
- try skydiving
- ride in a hot air balloon
- consider rock-climbing
- take swimming lessons if you have never swum
- learn to dance
- see the aurora borealis
Trying new things makes a person more able to retain positive emotions and ward off negativity.
- Do Something You Have Never Wanted to Do – This suggestion is not meant to cure any phobias you have but is asking you to once again step outside the boundaries and see if you do or don’t like a certain option.
- with supervision, hold a tarantula
- attend a church service of a denomination you have never before visited
- go to an opera if you never have before
- leave a particularly nice tip anonymously
- run a marathon
Attempting something you have never done before takes courage. Most folks in recovery are quite cognizant that fear is their enemy. Trying something new on a fairly regular basis is one way to hone your bravery skills.
- Relax – This advice is based on the biography of Sophia Loren, an Italian movie star from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. She advised that every week everyone (men and women alike) should, “Take a Sophia Day.” By that statement, she meant:
- stay in your pajamas all day
- stay in your bed if you like
- take no visitors
- stay off the phone (but now she would add your tablet, computer, television, and smartphone)
- eat what you wish
- meditate on only good things
The opposite of stress and anxiety, both of which are toxic for those with addiction backgrounds, is relaxation. Scientists have discovered that relaxing actually decreases the effects of stress and anxiety on both your mind and your body.
- Plan a Trip – Take a trip with a friend or a significant other to the nearest festival coming up on the calendar. The experience of planning something fun with another person always lifts the spirit, and then, there’s the festival itself. Try to learn something you did not know. Play games on the way.
- find the nearest festival
- put the date on your calendars
- decide what you’ll wear
- take a picnic lunch that you make yourself
Looking forward to and experiencing a trip builds creativity, relieves stress, increases happiness, and helps make and maintain close bonds.
- Plan a Party – Don’t plan just any party, but one that is highly unusual, festive, and personal. Let’s use a friend’s birthday party as an example.
- have a crown ready for your friend
- make mustache props for your selfie photo booth
- make all the decorations and the cake on your own
- plan games to play
- do things that are only done at children’s parties like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, a piñata, favors, do the limbo
The benefit from this suggestion is fairly easy to figure out. Naturally, being around your friends is stress-relieving, increases your social activities, and ups your happiness factor. (Sober partying, of course.)
- Take Care of Yourself – Get a massage, a new haircut, a pedicure, a new running suit, some sleep. Take a long, hot shower, exercise, try laying off sugar for a week, read a book you’ve wanted to start, consider meditation. In other words, do what you want to do with no guilt or fear.
Self-care is especially relevant for those in recovery. After you have entered recovery, you will find that taking care of your emotional, spiritual, and physical health is what predicts whether you continue in your new wellness state.
- Laugh – Hard to get a good laugh these days? Here are some laugh-filled suggestions:
- watch a good old sitcom you think or know is funny
- call a funny friend and bring up a hilarious situation you were in together
- catch up on some of the most hysterical viral videos
The statement “laughter is the best medicine” is most certainly accurate. It stops distressing emotions; helps you relax; shifts emotions, and improves your connection to others.
- Consider a Pet – Not everyone possesses the resources to have a pet, and, unquestionably, not everyone is a pet person. But the choice to bring a pet who needs a home into your space is one that, in most cases, you will never regret. Maybe you could start with a small iguana or some fish?
Pets can improve your health and increase beneficial emotions. Pets can:
- build your social network
- ease you out of isolation
- assist you in beginning a conversation with another human
- raise your levels of serotonin and dopamine without taking any harmful drugs
What you do to make yourself happy, in the end, really depends on you. Take the first step and let it grow from there. Those who have done this will tell you that you will never regret it and your continued recovery will be smoother. Contact us now to learn more about various addiction treatment & rehab options.