One overlooked result of sobriety is an abundance of free time. When one is in the depths of addiction, everyday life becomes consumed by substance abuse in some way or another. Whether abusing drugs, seeking access to drugs, or habitually telling lies to loved ones, addiction can be extremely taxing on a person’s time and energy. But once the hurdle of substance abuse has been overcome, the former addict is left with an uncharacteristic amount of free time. This can be a dangerous shift, as former addicts often revert to old habits simply for a lack of plans on how to fill their empty schedule.
Don’t let free time be a source of harm for your sobriety. You worked hard at overcoming your addition, so there is no good reason to succumb to your temptations simply because you have more available hours in the day. Many people yearn for free time, and you should value it as well by pursuing a hobby you have always dreamed of.
Make a List of Likes/Dislikes
One of the first things people say when searching for a hobby is, “I don’t know what to do.” That’s fine. There’s an easy solution to that. Make a list of your likes and dislikes. This will help you identify what your passions are. Visualizing this step is extremely helpful, especially if you have difficulties identifying ideas off the top of your head.
Pick One and Find a Hobby that Fits the Description
Once you have completed this step, review your list to find what you’re most passionate about. Which bullet point makes you light up with excitement? Your answer (or answers) should provide a general area to pursue. Next, find a hobby that fits the interest you have chosen. For example, you might have listed traveling as something you enjoy. While world travel may not be in your budget, you might visit a website like Meetup to find other people who like to explore the city you live in. Alternatively, you may have chosen exercise as an area of interest, which could lead you to pursue hiking as a regular activity to improve your health and overall mood. These are just two among many options at your disposal.
Set out a 30-Day Plan – Then change if necessary
Once you’ve decided what hobby you want to pursue, lay out a course of action. Give yourself enough time to experience the hobby in earnest. Don’t make a hasty decision to quit and try another option. Commit to learning and experiencing your hobby of choice wholeheartedly. One month is an appropriate time frame to allow yourself a to decide whether or not your chosen hobby is suited to your needs and personality. If you find that you still don’t enjoy it after 30 days, reevaluate your list and consider alternatives.
Here are a few popular hobbies that you might want to consider in your search for a new use of your time.
Volunteering is a worthwhile investment of time and effort. It allows one to give back to the community and help those in need. Volunteering can be as simple as helping out at a soup kitchen or as involved as mentoring in the Big Brother program. Whatever it is you choose, you’ll find volunteering your time to be rewarding and beneficial.
Learning is a passion and skill that can never be fully completed. Keep learning. Find a local community college or learning annex and sign up for a class. This will give you structure and occupy your mind with something constructive. The class could be something you want to learn like a foreign language, or it could be something that you want to advance your career, such as a finance course. There are an abundance of options, each of which can expand your mind and serve as a fulfilling means by which to invest your time.
Exercise is a great hobby to pick up. There are many varieties of exercise and which help occupy your time, enhance your health, and clear your mind. At Prominence Treatment Center, you have access to fitness activities which you can extend these beyond your stay. Some people like the tranquil practice of yoga. Others prefer to pound the pavement and run. Find the exercise that best suits you and get into a routine.
Cooking is a wonderful hobby that anyone can enjoy. Our personal chef prepares all the meals at Prominence Treatment Center. It is here where you can learn healthy eating habits and excite your pallet for your own creations.
Cooking classes are a fine hobby as there are many different options available to you. Local restaurants often have classes taught by their own chefs, local schools offer more formal course options or you can take online cooking classes that allow you to progress at your own pace. If you decide that cooking is your hobby of choice, you will have few problems finding a teacher.
The art therapy courses at Prominence Treatment Center are also a popular choice. They are a great alternative as they allow addicts to express themselves in a non-verbal fashion. This outlet of emotion can be healthy and beneficial during the recovery process. Participation in art classes occupies your time, helps you express your emotions and contributes to a long, sober life.
The bottom line with identifying a new hobby is that it’s your choice. You have the freedom to find what excites you. Follow these steps and consult our suggestions to find a hobby that fits your needs and prevents you from relapsing with drugs or alcohol.