Recovery is punctuated by roadblocks, especially in the early months, but mindfully drawing on the coping skills and strategies you learned in treatment will help keep you on the path to long-term sobriety.
One important task in recovery is to redefine fun.1 Clinical experience shows that stress, isolation, boredom and other triggers can lead to romanticizing past substance abuse and remembering the fun you had while under the influence. Redefining fun is crucial for successful recovery, and engaging in activities that you enjoy and which help prevent feelings of boredom and isolation is a fundamental aspect of successful recovery.
It’s no secret that Los Angeles is filled with things to do. We’ve compiled a list of activities that you may enjoy and hobbies you might consider taking up. The important thing is to seek out enjoyable experiences, try new things and develop a roster of activities you can do for fun to keep you busy and connected.
Take Cooking Lessons
If you enjoy cooking or baking, consider taking a cooking class. A number of culinary schools in Los Angeles offer one-off cooking classes covering everything from sushi to sauces. Cooking classes are fun, and they’re a great place to meet people with similar interests.
Take Up Yoga
Yoga is a great stress reliever. It promotes balance, strength and flexibility of mind, body and spirit, which can help you successfully navigate trouble spots in recovery. If you enjoy a physical challenge, take up yoga and work to master bodily contortions you never thought possible. A regular yoga class is another great place to meet people.
Join a Book Club
If you like to read, find a book club to join. You’ll get to know new people, and you’ll read engaging books along the way. You can find a book club through online meet-up message boards, or put out the word to friends and family that you’re looking for one to join.
Los Angeles has no shortage of universities and community colleges. If you’ve always thought about getting a degree, why not start now? If you don’t want to pursue a degree, consider taking a course that interests you, such as making jewelry or other art courses, or a writing, literature or history class.
Surf or SCUBA Dive
Surfing and scuba diving are fun, challenging hobbies, and they’re healthy ones. You can rent a surf board or scuba gear in scores of places in L.A., and many outfitters offer lessons and group excursions as well.
Hit the Theaters
A good distraction and a fun cultural activity, going to the movies or a play is a much-loved pastime in Los Angeles. Hit the historic theaters on Hollywood Boulevard, or enjoy an art house play or film. You can even enjoy an outdoor movie on lazy summer evenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a history-filled place to take a friend or a date.
Join a Sports League
Whether you enjoy basketball or bowling, joining a sports league offers regular opportunities for recreation, and it’s an ideal way to meet other like-minded people. A quick Google search will put you in touch with a number of sports leagues, but a great place to start is the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, which is itself a great resource for finding a wide range of things to do while you’re sober in the city.2