“Addiction recovery is easy,” said no one ever. Getting clean off drugs or alcohol is definitely not a cakewalk, but most folks who have put together some clean time have discovered that life is actually way more fun sober. If you’re newly sober, however, or even if you’ve been clean for a while but having a hard time stepping out of your comfort zone to truly explore life without drinking or using, boredom can easily set it. And boredom, or just plain old complacency for that matter, can sometimes put you dangerously close to a relapse if you’re not careful.

But guess what? All of this is great news because it gives you a great reason to find new and healthy ways to spice up your life and have fun. Oh yeah, “enjoying life and having fun sober is a really bad idea,” said…you guessed it…no one ever.

So, with that, here’s a list of six healthy and sober activities that can keep you from boredom and complacency in recovery:

  1. Rediscover old childhood hobbies. We all have things that we loved to do as kids before our addictions really kicked in. And at our core, these things likely gave us a lot of enjoyment out of life. Let’s face it, kids know how to have a good time without thinking about it. They just do stuff that makes them happy. Think about what you loved doing when you were a kid and try incorporating some of these things back into your life. Maybe you loved reading adventure books, playing music, singing, painting, or playing basketball. Engaging in hobbies that bring us joy can be major confidence boosters, and confidence is something many of us in early recovery are lacking. Also, while it’s important to take care of adult responsibilities if you have them, it’s just as important to have fun. It will also do wonders for your sobriety.
  2. Yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation are two of the very best things you can do for yourself in recovery. For starters, both of these are proven to relieve stress and anxiety which are often big time underlying issues that cause addicts to want to drink or use in the first place. Yoga and meditation both encourage a healthy body and mind by helping you to control your breathing and focus on mindfulness. These activities can actually help change your brain, and retraining the brain is a huge part of addiction recovery. You can start with guided meditations, or just listen to some soothing meditative music. Even just ten minutes a day is a great start, and you can build up to longer meditations over time. Not a yogi? There are so many different types of yoga out there that are great for beginners. Yin yoga and kundalini yoga, for example, are both very restorative practices and they’re great if you’re just starting out. As you build up a practice, you can start to try the more challenging styles, like Vinyasa or Hatha yoga.
  3. Adventure sports, anyone? Most addicts love to a good adrenaline kick, so why not feed that desire with something fun, healthy, and exciting? Sometimes sobriety makes us feel like life’s thrills have been stripped from us, but adventure sports are a great way to get our adrenaline pumping sans any chemical substances. Always wanted to try skydiving? Well, why not do it now? Rock climbing, snowboarding, surfing, and mountain biking, to name a few, are also great ways to get kick your adrenaline into high gear and satisfy your craving for excitement.
  4. Start ticking things off your bucket list. Got a bucket list a mile long? Have you ever started checking things off that list? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to go to Peru, or learn pottery, or write a book. Going through our bucket lists and checking things off not only gives us a feeling of accomplishment, but it enriches our lives. And today is the first day of the rest of your life, so why miss the opportunity to do the things you’ve always wanted to do? In recovery, people usually find that they’re far more productive than they were before they got clean. Doing things like saving up money to travel the world, writing, or learning new skills tend to come much more easily when you’re sober. It’s the perfect time to make your dream life a reality.
  5. Plan sober parties and dinners. A lot of people with long-term clean time stay sober with the help of a twelve-step program or similar, or they may have friends that they went to rehab with. When you get sober, your social network is probably going to include a lot of people that don’t drink or use anymore, so why not plan fun, sober gatherings. Even your friends who aren’t sober can have fun at your soirées. You and your sober compadres can be the ones to show others that they don’t always need to drink to have fun. To top it off, you’ll have a room full of designated drivers. It’s a win-win, and it’s a great way to enhance your recovery.
  6. Be of Service. Helping others is one of the best ways for us to get out of our heads and be of service. It’s actually one of the cornerstones to sobriety in many recovery programs. The twelfth step, for example, in all twelve step programs revolves around being of service to others. Whether that means volunteering at a homeless shelter, or helping someone who’s new in recovery. Even if you’ve only been sober for a week, you can still reach your hand out to someone who just put down the bottle a couple of hours ago. You could help save a life simply by sharing your experience and understanding.

There will likely always be the occasional hard day in recovery. No matter what. This is all just part of life, and everyone has a bad day here and there. But by finding things you enjoy doing sober and incorporating these into your daily routine, your focus will slowly shift away from thoughts of getting drunk or high. With time and a little diligence, life really does become a lot more fun in recovery if you stick around. Stay close to the people who care about you the most, including those who share this awesome recovery journey with you.

Kembali Recovery Center can help:

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, Kembali Recovery Center is here for you. Please contact us today to learn more about our four week treatment program. You never have to do this alone.

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