The time for New Year’s resolutions is upon us!
If you are in recovery for a substance use disorder, your most important resolution is, of course, to maintain your sobriety.
Still, it may be worthwhile to make a few additional resolutions—especially if those promises to yourself can provide support for your sobriety. Avoiding boredom can be important for a person in recovery, so you might consider picking up a new hobby or recreational activity in the new year. Keeping your body and mind occupied in a healthy way can lessen any temptation to turn back to drugs or alcohol.
Need some ideas? We’re here to help!
Head to the Kitchen for Some Culinary Creativity
Sometimes we simply don’t take enough pleasure in our food—and we don’t just mean rushing through a meal without really tasting it. There is a lot of joy to be had in creating meals, as well.
Maybe you used to cook or maybe you have no experience whatsoever. Either way, there are plenty of ways to get started in the kitchen. There are cookbooks for every imaginable kind of cuisine from the fancy to the frivolous. Cooking shows on television or culinary podcasts often offer great ideas. And odds are you have a friend or family member who loves to cook and who would share their talents with you.
And cooking is a hobby that can have an extra benefit. Good nutrition is important to your recovery, and cooking for yourself (and your loved ones) can help ensure you make good food choices.
Focus on the Fun of Physical Activity
What if you didn’t think of your exercise program as exercise but rather as a hobby? Find someone to go walking or running with. Take up tennis or volleyball or bowling. Find an adult softball team (or even an adult kickball team). Join a dance class. The important thing is that you find a physical activity that feels like fun rather than work. If exercise is something you want to do rather than something you have to do, you are more likely to stick with it.
Like cooking for yourself, getting more exercise has an additional benefit for a person in recovery. Physical activity can boost your mood, provide more energy, and help you get more (and more restful) sleep. All of these things support your sobriety.
Solving the Puzzle May be an Excellent Solution
Has it been awhile since you tried a jigsaw puzzle? Maybe puzzles feel old fashioned to you. Still, there is evidence to suggest that putting all those pieces together can have benefits—including a reduction in stress and an improvement in mood.
And getting into puzzles is easy. Online, you can find puzzles with just about any number of pieces and with just about any image. And you can often find new puzzles in bookstores and used puzzles (that might be missing a few pieces) in various thrift shops. It can be a relaxing hobby that you can do on your own or with friends.
Of course, jigsaw puzzles are hardly the only puzzles that can occupy your mind and support your sobriety. You could take up crossword puzzles, Sudoku, word searches, Rubik’s Cube, or any of a wide variety of other brain teasers.
Options for Hobbies Are Limitless
It’s possible that nothing we’ve mentioned above seems like a good fit for you. That’s just fine, because the number of possible hobbies is limited only by your imagination and your willingness to try something new.
Try your hand at painting or take some piano lessons. Audition for a play or offer to help build sets for a community production. Collect stamps or figurines or action figures or baseball cards or coins or anything at all. Take up gardening or going to museums. Read comic books or romance novels or literary fiction. Find something you enjoy doing by yourself or invite others to join you.
The most important thing is that you truly enjoy whatever hobby or hobbies you decide to adopt. If something doesn’t suit you, move on to the next idea. Remember that it doesn’t even matter if you are particularly good at your new hobby. The key is to find the activity engrossing so that it keeps you focused on something other than drugs or alcohol.
We Can Help You Reclaim Your Life and the Things You Enjoy
When you are in the grip of a substance use disorder, you might lose sight of all the things you used to enjoy. At Bel Aire Recovery Center, we can help you get your life back—and help you find joy in hobbies and shared activities again. We know that hobbies can help you stay sober, and we have the skills and resources necessary to get you to a place where you can take up an old hobby or find yourself a new one with confidence and pleasure.