One of the best ways to maintain sobriety is to mindfully keep busy with healthy new hobbies and activities. Before recovery, much of your time and energy was spent finding and using drugs or alcohol, or recovering from their effects. Redirecting that time and energy to healthier pursuits helps to reinforce your commitment to sobriety. You’ll keep busy, while feeling good both mentally and physically. Take a look at the list we’ve compiled for some great ideas.
Helping other people is a great way to feel wonderful naturally, while you do some good for others. Volunteering can be as simple as helping out at a food pantry or soup kitchen.1 You could also mentor children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Giving your time to a charity, like Goodwill or Salvation Army, are also worthy causes. No matter what you choose, volunteering your time will be rewarding and beneficial to you and those you help.
Art therapy may have been one of the nonverbal ways you explored the “inner you” in treatment. Why not continue this therapeutic form of creative expression, while also having a bit of fun? L.A. is a mecca of creative expression with lots of choices. Look into classes for sculpture, painting, floral design, sewing, knitting or pottery. You don’t have to be super-talented, so don’t be discouraged if you’re not—just have fun with it!
The coastal location of L.A., along with beautiful weather all year round, makes it a perfect place to learn how to sail. Take private or group sailing lessons. Learn your way around a sailboat while you spend time in the sun and surf. Sailing is a great way to stay or get into shape. You can soak up the sun while making new friends. If you really like the nautical life, you could join a sailing club.
Los Angeles is home to many scenic and peaceful public gardens. Enjoying a day in the company of beautiful trees and flowers is a fun and relaxing way to spend time. There are about 15 botanical gardens in and around L.A. to visit.2 They run the gamut from Japanese-themed to encyclopedic. The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens has several themed gardens, a conservatory, an extensive art collection and illustrated manuscripts.
Have Your Own Film Festival
The film industry dominates in L.A., so there’s no shortage of movie buffs. Have your own film festival with friends. Gather a sequence of movies in a single genre or that feature a particular actor or director. Have some friends over, and ask each one to bring food or snacks. Discuss the merits of each film before viewing the next one.
Feeling Good Everyday with New Hobbies
You’ll maintain good physical and mental health by enjoying life through activities and hobbies. Keeping busy leaves addiction little room to coexist. When you take care of yourself, you won’t want to abuse yourself. You’re motivated to stay sober to enjoy the fun you’ve planned through your new hobbies.
When you engage in pleasurable hobbies, develop your creativity and form relationships with people based on respect and mutual interests, your choice to stay sober remains safe and strong.