12 Things To Do With All Your New Free Time In Sobriety
During the throes of addiction, reaching the high is perhaps the only fun an addict needs. As a result, many recovering addicts find themselves antsy with boredom once the high is removed from their days. Sobriety doesn’t necessarily mean that your life has suddenly become boring, though. In fact, sobriety can open up a world of opportunities.
Although the transition from addiction to sobriety can be a long one, the end result is worth it. Filling your free time with fun, healthy activities can make the road to recovery seem all the more rewarding. Here are 12 fun things to do during your free time:
1. Attend a Local Play
Local theater is not just for the art buffs. They actually provide an interesting way to escape reality for a bit. They are also usually set in beautiful theaters with a lot of totally tame theater enthusiasts that likely won’t pressure you into drinking or using. You will be surprised by how captivating a live play can be and the hours will go by quickly. Or, on the flipside, you may be pleasantly surprised by how awful it is and you will have a good laugh!
2. Participate in Volunteer Work
There are hundreds of different organizations that could use your help. Simply search VounteerMatch.org to find an organization that interests you and are seeking volunteers. Then, just type in your favorite interests or passions such as computers or the environment to be matched to a local to get matched to a nearby community project. So much research indicates that volunteering does incredible things to the brain, so why not help heal yourself by helping others?
3. Tour Your City
Try contacting a local tourist company to find out about their open walking tours. Walking tours are actually a lot of fun with very little effort on your part (besides the use of your feet). You can get to know your city in a more intimate and even discover new places you may want to check out. No walking tours in your area? Use the internet to discover what your city has to offer and visit your favorite landmarks in your city.
4. Play Board Games
Classic board games can provide hours of entertainment and conversation. Many of them require a lot of critical thinking skills so that you can be lost in the game for hours. The most fun are word association games, such as Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity. Call some of your sober friends up and organize a game night!
Besides the fact that food is delicious, cooking can help dissolve old, unhealthy eating habits and help put you on the right side of peak physical health. On this side of addiction, you may find that food has much more depth of flavor than you had previously noticed. Many people find cooking to be therapeutic, as well. You may even surprise yourself with amazing cooking skills.
6. Join a Local Sports Team
Local intramural groups offer a great way to get outside and get active. You can join a running club, a softball team, or even a cycling group. Yoga is also a popular sport to participate in as it helps you connect more deeply with your own body. You will be amazed at how much opportunity exists for you to be involved in group sports.
Gardening is a great hobby to busy your hands and connect you with Earth. This can help relieve tension that may be associated with your sobriety. Don’t know much about gardening? Visit your local nursery or hardware store and ask the experts. They are beyond friendly and encouraging. Gardening requires a lot of planning and patience, so it is the perfect hobby to fill up your spare time. Plus, it is incredibly rewarding when things start to bloom!
8. Visit a Museum
A museum admission is usually either free or low cost. Though some people view museums as a boring building with old stuff, they can actually be super interesting. If you don’t like art, then don’t visit an art museum. Look for a museum of natural history or a science museum, instead! There are so many interesting museums out there for virtually everyone.
9. Head Down to Your Local Community Center
If you are unsure of what to do with your new time, head over to your local community center. Usually, they provide a number of groups and organizations that you can take part of. These centers offer a number of resources for those who are working on their sobriety. In fact, they often have free WiFi, sports and gym facilities, and support groups. Though not every city has a community center, there will likely be one near you.
10. Read a Book
Reading is a great activity to stave off boredom, especially for those who are new to sobriety. Instead of escaping into a high, you can escape to a new and exciting world with a new book. In fact, many recovering addicts use reading as a way to improve their sober experience. Ask your friends and family for suggestions. Or head down to the library and spend the day looking around. Pick up a fantasy book, find something inspirational, or get a cookbook to help you in your new cooking hobby. The possibilities are endless!
11. Learn Something New
Try signing up for an adult education class, either online or in person. You may want to take a class on a topic that would help you to further your career. In this case, now may be the time to start working on a degree or certificate program. You could also take a class on something fun or something that you have always wanted to learn. For example, you can sign up for a class on painting, cooking, woodworking, playing an instrument, or anything else. There are plenty of options out there for adult education classes, even some that are free. Signing up for a class is also a great way to meet some new people, too!
12. Have A Movie Night
If you and your friends are movie-lovers, consider throwing a weekly movie night. You can choose a theme, genre, actor, or director and invite some friends over to watch a few movies. For example, you could have an underwater themed movie night and watch Jaws, the Little Mermaid, and Titanic. And don’t forget about the popcorn! If you want to make your movie night a regular event, try getting your friends more involved. Ask them to bring a food or drink with them or take turns choosing the theme.
No one says that being sober is going to be easy. However, that doesn’t mean that it has to be a totally miserable experience. It is a steep learning curve, to be sure, but there is so much to do out there other than go back to using. It may take some time to find what’s right for you, so go ahead and take your time! Above all else, take care of yourself. Don’t let the process stress you out and try to find natural ways to reduce your stress, too. Remember that sobriety is a lifelong process, so give yourself the time to get it right.