Addiction rehab can become a sort of safe space for those in early recovery, especially when they are concerned about living outside the four walls of a facility. For some, it provides safety and structure and for others, it’s exciting to move on and move out, in order to get on with their recovery. Sober support systems and aftercare programs are crucial for every person who goes through treatment, regardless of where they fall on that spectrum. Everyone needs support in recovery. The best aftercare programs cannot keep people from relapsing but they provide a guided pathway to help prevent it and support the continued recovery. One of the best things people in recovery can do is find sober hobbies and fun leisure activities to help them cope.
There are those who may find filling time in recovery challenging, as many filled much of their time in the pursuit and use of substances. For many, there are fewer (or no) parties to attend or events to go to; and the familiar help alcohol or substances provided during social interactions is now gone. All the people, places, and things that felt known to someone before recovery can be triggering. With this in mind, it helps to recreate a list of activities and places that avoid these triggers and foster new interests. As a relapse prevention tool, a social network boosts people’s confidence and sense of connection to a clean and sober network that aims for the same goals in recovery. Rehab feels safe for some people because they have learned to trust others again and their support is now always close at hand. When that gives way to ‘real life,’ the other side of recovery, free from these new safe friends being so close, it feels more daunting. At first, it takes getting used to but people adjust once they step out and begin to make some new sober friends. Some key things to keep in mind:
- It takes time to build a sober support
- Self-help and recovery groups are a great option
- Emotional and social support is key
- Sober living is helpful for people who need more structure after rehab
Finding mutual groups to belong helps individuals in recovery. Women, especially, often find connecting with other women boosts their confidence and helps them open up about struggles but also find people to have fun with. Within these groups not only are those in recovery able to find support but lend it to others as well, enriching the experience. It also helps put things in perspective so life does not feel quite so overwhelming at that moment. Giving back to others who are not as far along in recovery can be helpful as well as serving with animals, taking care of kids, or giving back in other ways to the community. Being of service is fulfilling to each individual and it’s from within these support networks that many get their first opportunity to do so.
When women are rebuilding their lives in recovery, they often seek out new friendships. Sober relationships are different than ones that happened during addiction in a person’s life. They are not focused on how to use each other for what they can get. It is a mutual respect that each person is on a journey and is working to stay sober the best they can. Starting from this place gives them equal footing on which to start building community with one another.
Find New Hobbies
Hobbies give people a way to spend time in fun and inventive ways without compromising their sobriety. Boredom and lack of structure can be difficult for those in recovery to navigate, and hobbies can mitigate both of those issues. Using time wisely and having useful ways to spend idle hours help keep away some of the challenging moments, especially in early recovery if someone hadn’t rejoined the workforce and has extra time on their hands. The key is to find hobbies and activities that are enjoyable. Some of these might include:
- Arts and crafts
- Physical activities
- Survivalist skills
- Rock climbing
- Stamp collecting
- Communication skills
- Helping others
- Connection with others in sobriety
- Musical instruments or jam sessions
It may take some time to find what hobbies are more interesting than others, being open-minded and willing to try new things is helpful. Try engaging activities that encourage good feelings, like things that spark humor and laughter; consider a local improv group or do stand-up comedy. Make new friends doing something that feels engaging and interesting. Hobbies are going to look different in sobriety than they did with addiction. Maybe comedy clubs, bars, or lounges are not safe spaces anymore. They are likely not safe spaces while a person is new to recovery. After a while, it just depends on the person what they feel safe doing and how they feel safe doing it that will open up doors of connection for them.
Fitness and Health
One big way people love to meet others is through fitness and health. Wellness is so crucial to having a great mind-body-spirit connection. In recovery, the body is adjusting to life without the use of substances, and it can take months, or in some cases, even years to feel physically well and whole again. In the post-treatment withdrawal process one might experience anxiety, nausea, feeling sick, and other ways the body continues to detox for some months after rehab. Adequate nutrition helps fight inflammation and infections. Healthy eating and fitness can help a person feel and it can really help with balancing mood. It can be great to find other individuals with these interests as they can encourage and help with accountability.
Fun, healthy activities help people stay on the road to recovery. It helps to attend individual therapy as well if needed. A therapist can assist in helping work through any barriers that might exist that makes it difficult to be social or interact with new people comfortably. Be open-minded and willing to try new things, this is essential when rebuilding a life focused on recovery.
Casa Capri is designed for women who are struggling with addiction to find hope and a purpose. We understand the challenges women face in recovery. It can be difficult for women to find people they can relate to in recovery but hobbies and creative endeavors often bring women together. Consider giving us a call if you are ready to try something new for your recovery: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon is the founder and CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, a leading California addiction treatment center created just for women—by women. Melissa is a licensed clinician and has stayed on the cutting edge of women’s treatment since 2006. Because of her own beautiful recovery story, she is proud to be among a small group of trailblazers since founding Casa Capri Recovery for Women in 2011, leading the way for other women to join them in this otherwise male-dominated industry. She is considered an advocate for the recovery community in the truest sense, standing up to discrimination and legally fighting for the rights of sober people in recovery to live in peace. To learn more about advocacy or if you’ve experienced discrimination, you can reach her at email@example.com. Check out casacaprirecovery.com for more information on our program, or please give us a call at 844-207-4880.