If you’ve given up drugs or alcohol you may find that there’s a big void left in your life. The time you spent being occupied by your addiction probably took up a lot of time. Your whole life probably revolved around your substance abuse problem. From finding drugs or a drink, being high or drunk, or recovering from a bender, you probably didn’t spend much time doing anything else. And when you weren’t drinking or getting high, you were probably thinking about it.
Since you spent most of your time thinking about drugs or alcohol, it didn’t leave much time for anything else. Family, loved ones, jobs, school and other things that are important to most people probably fell by the wayside. You definitely didn’t think about things like interests and hobbies. Your interest was doing drugs or drinking.
Now that you’re sober and you’ve gotten your life back on track, you may feel a void. You may be at a point where you are reestablishing key parts of your life, such as relationships, your career or school, but you may still feel something is missing. Life is made up of many things – family, friends, doing work you find meaningful and taking part in activities that you enjoy. If you, or a loved one, need a Raleigh alcohol rehab center that you can trust call Legacy Freedom today to learn more.
Benefits of Hobbies
Many people forget the benefits of having hobbies and how important it can be to your mental and physical wellbeing. Many studies have been done that say hobbies can have many different benefits.
For instance, hobbies can:
- Lower stress levels
- Boost self-esteem
- Expand social circles
- Improve social skills
- Help solve problems in other areas of life
- Create a sense of normalcy
- Increase mood
- Prevent isolation
- Increase motivation
- Prevent relapse
Hobbies are also just plain fun. Taking the time to do something you like for the simple fact that you enjoy it is reason enough. Part of recovery is learning to take care of yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally. Giving yourself the time to do something you enjoy can help in each of those capacities.
Dangers of Boredom
One of the dangers many people in recovery face is boredom. You may feel a void where your addiction was because it was the thing that occupied most of your time. When you get bored, you tend to get anxious and may do things you shouldn’t do. While it may not lead to drinking or doing drugs again, it could lead to other unhealthy activities. People who struggle with one addiction can be more likely to develop other addictions. Food addiction is common among people in recovery because they replace drugs or alcohol with food.
Some people may replace their substance addiction with sex. This can lead to behaviors that can cause health risks such as STDs or HIV.
People can also experience symptoms of depression from boredom and isolation. It can also lead to romanticizing the past and making those times you were drinking or doing drugs seem like “good times” that you may want to return to because you thought you were happy. Having these feelings can lead to relapse.
It’s important to find meaningful things to help combat boredom and give yourself a sense of purpose. Sure, you can spend two hours playing video games every night or binge watch Lost on Netflix, but what good is that doing you? Are you learning new things, flexing your creative muscles, meeting new people, or seeing things in a new way? If not, you’re missing out.
How to Find a Hobby
There a million things you can do; it’s just a matter of finding one that you enjoy. If you had hobbies before addiction, you can return to those. If it was an activity that required skill, you may find that you are not as good as you once were. Don’t worry, though. Most skills are like muscles, they can be trained to be strong again.
If you have never had a hobby before, you may need to brainstorm a few ideas. Start with your childhood. Did you enjoy a particular subject in school more than others? Were you involved in a sport you liked? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but have never tried it? Now’s the time. Don’t be afraid to take risks. These are healthy risks that can yield positive results.
Here are some more questions to ask yourself:
- What makes me happy?
- What outdoor activities do I like to do?
- What do I do with friends that I enjoy?
- What have I always wanted to learn more about?
- What is there to do in my city?
There are different types of hobbies, from physical activities to ones that require personal reflection, to ones that will put you in social situations. You can pick what you feel most comfortable with and then go from there. You’re not limited to one hobby, either. You can have many interests that satisfy different aspects of your personality.
Physical activities can be individual or with a group. You could join a gym and work on getting in shape. If you join a group, such as CrossFit, you can get in shape and make workout friends. You can also join an adult sports league for softball or kickball. Exercise caution when choosing one of these groups, because many are social groups that revolve around drinking more than the actual sports.
If you want to flex your creative muscles, you could take up drawing or painting. You can take a class, then do it on your own. You can also take up a craft such as knitting or crocheting. They can be helpful in keeping your hands busy when watching TV, which could be a time when you feel anxious because you can’t have a glass of wine or a beer.
Sometimes getting dirty can be fun. Gardening or planting flowers can be fulfilling as you see your plants grow. Learning to cook, or expanding your culinary skills can also be a fun way to spend time and learn something new. There are lots of recipes and videos online that can walk you through it, or you could take a cooking class.
There are many possibilities for you to try. You can pick one and see if you like it. If you don’t, there’s no harm. You may have to sift through a few before you find something you truly enjoy. Once you do, you’ll wonder how you spent so much time not doing it.
Outstanding Outpatient Raleigh Alcohol Rehab Center | Legacy Freedom
Recovering from addiction is hard, but you can be successful if you have the right guidance. If you’re considering getting treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, give us a call at Legacy Freedom of Raleigh. Our caring admissions counselors are waiting to discuss your options. We offer outpatient therapy to help you with recovery from drugs or alcohol in a safe, caring environment. Our holistic approach to recovery will show you ways to live life without the crutch of your addiction. We do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach, so your treatment plan will be customized to you. Call us today so we can discuss how our Raleigh alcohol rehab center can help you.