Lots! Have lots of hobbies in sobriety. Especially those early days and weeks when you need to occupy your hands and your brain.
The more you learn the more you know and the more you know the more you learn. So it is the same in sobriety – the more you learn about being sober and how much fun and fuzzy sobriety is, the more you appreciate yourself and every day.
One of the best recovery hobbies is journaling and some people end up making money and careers from a single journal entry – which spirals into a blog, then a book!
We all know that when we give up drinking, we gain so much time. You can choose how to use that time – fill it with resentment and regret that you had to give up drinking or fill it with joy and newfound activities that stimulate body and mind.
The first step to ditching the drink is health: ensure that your body and mind are healthy and detoxed before you take on any strenuous hobbies. But you also do need activity and lots of time in nature to distract you towards the greater good.
Banish the Boredom in Sobriety
The worst thing you need when sober is boredom and boredom is a definite trigger for many ex-drinkers. Keep very busy in the beginning and this will be easy as all you have to do is start cleaning out your home and garden. Do a major spring clean and make space all around you – space to do yoga and other online classes; space to do writing and new courses; space to create artistically too. Space to have friends round for a cuppa tea or coffee.
Use Google and use your area to find out what is going down in terms of hobbies. Joining groups helps a lot so do it physically or online. There are many physical hobbies you can take on or groups you can join. There are many spiritual groups too, artistic groups and then there are the intelligence groups where you can choose a new course to study no matter your age or ability!
Try These Hobbies
I found this list of 20 hobbies on the UK Rehab website so try some of them out won’t you?
Active hobbies – great for mental health and physical fitness, while losing weight, anxiety, and depression along the way.
- Walking and hiking
- Joining a gym
- Joining a tennis club, golf club, of any suitable sports team
In South Africa we have Run, Walk for Life and other things.
Relaxing hobbies – great for mental and spiritual health, unwinding, and dealing with stress:
- mindfulness meditation to handle stress, and deal with alcohol cravings and/or triggers
- tai chi is a type of moving meditation for those who do not want to sit and meditate
- minimalism – reducing possessions simplifies life, thus reducing stress.
- journal writing
Mentally stimulating hobbies – exercise the brain which is like a huge muscle and can learn more and absorb more every day:
- reading every day
- part-time study
- learning a new language
- drawing or painting
- doing a course in something wonderful and eccentric such as Herbal medicine or cannabis growing or making kites…
Outdoor hobbies – the perfect way to reconnect with self in Mother Nature. Our disconnection from nature is the root of all illness and addictions.
- gardening – grow veg and herbs the natural organic way
- caving – an extreme sport involving climbing, diving, hiking, and crawling
- mountain climbing and hiking
- join a club or get out with some friends
Do it daily or weekly minimum.
Why do we Need Hobbies?
The obsession with drinking pulls the drinker away from a healthy lifestyle. Firstly, he is pouring poison down his through which is polluting his entire body. Secondly, he is not creating or thinking clearly or managing to read books clearly. During the days, the mind is obsessed with the next drink, not doing anything wonderful and unusual. In recovery, you slowly start adding hobbies to your days to fill the time you would have been obsessing about alcohol and drinking it.
What a big change. Find something to occupy the mind and the body so that you are busy! Then, when you feel better, ease off a bit. I love these 10 benefits of having hobbies while in recovery, thanks to Pinnacle Treatment Centers website:
- Rediscover Old Loves. You may find out that something you did back when you were in grade school or high school still makes you happy.
- Learn New Skills. It’s never too late to learn something new. Music, photography, tennis, gardening – anything you like.
- Make New Friends.Hobbies don’t have to be group activities, but when they are, they’re a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle.
- Restore Self-Confidence.When you learn a new skill, it’s satisfying. When you run around your block instead of stopping halfway for a breather, it feels great.
- Feel a Sense of Accomplishment.Almost all hobbies involve a product or metric you can observe.
- Make Productive Use of Downtime.When you finish work, family responsibilities, or whatever takes up the majority of your day, it’s important to have something to help pass your idle hours – mostly as a trigger-management and relapse prevention strategy.
- Remember – or Learn – Who You Are.When you were young, your likely formed your identity over time, through a process of trial and error. Guess what? You get to do that all over again when you’re sober.
- Manage Emotions. One reason choosing a hobby that involves learning a new skill is a good choice is that the process of learning inevitably presents challenges you need to overcome.
- Handle Adversity.Navigating the ups and downs involved related to your hobby – especially if it’s a sport or pastime that involves competition – can help you keep things in perspective, recognize what’s important, what’s not important, and move forward with grace – without using alcohol.
- Learn to Trust Yourself Again. Hobbies help with that process: each day you spend making productive choices and engaging in life-affirming activities, you reinforce your ability to self-manage, self-regulate, and make decisions that move you forward toward a fulfilling life.
Remember to keep connecting with Tribe Sober and read all the blogs and listen to all the podcasts. Your future is in YOUR hands only!