What you do with your free time can have a big impact on your recovery from a substance use disorder.

If you spend your free time ruminating about the past or worrying about the future (or both), you are risking a relapse. If you spend your free time hanging out with people you hung out with while you were using drugs or alcohol, you are putting your sobriety at risk. If you spend all of your free time alone, you may be undermining the foundation of your sobriety.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to spend your free time—several of which actually support rather than weaken your efforts to maintain your hard-won sobriety. 

Let’s take a look at three of these sobriety-supporting activities.

An Engaging Hobby Supports Your Sobriety

Do you have a hobby? Given how busy our lives are, it can be difficult to carve out time for an engaging hobby that you truly enjoy. It may feel like a waste of precious time. Or you might be mildly embarrassed about your hobby and thus less likely to keep up with it.

In answer to the first objection—that a hobby is a waste of time—we would argue the reverse. A hobby that you find interesting and engrossing is a wonderful way to give yourself a break from the rush of day-to-day life. It can lower your stress levels and support your mental health—which in turn supports your sobriety. 

One way to combat the notion that your hobby is a timewaster might be literally to schedule regular time for it in your calendar of choice. Once a hobby is in your calendar, it is as important as anything else on your schedule.

But what about your nagging suspicion that your hobby is kind of embarrassing? We encourage you to avoid letting other people—or yourself—yuck your yum.

An Interesting Club Supports Your Sobriety

Were you part of any clubs when you were in school? Maybe the chess club or the drama club or the Rubik’s Cube club? There’s a tendency to leave clubs behind when we leave school, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

For example, there are a host of service clubs—Optimists, Rotary, Kiwanis, and more—that meet regularly. Many of these club meetings include a meal and a presentation by an interesting speaker. It can be a great way to expand your social circle. 

It is also possible in some communities to find clubs for adults focused on, say, pickleball or biking or birding or what have you. These sorts of clubs can help you find folks who are interested in the same sorts of activities you enjoy. 

Whether you join a service club or an activity-based club, you will support your sobriety by holding loneliness at bay as you do something you enjoy.

A Positive Cause Supports Your Sobriety

Maybe you love animals and would enjoy volunteering for an animal shelter. Perhaps you would like to support an arts organization as a volunteer. Maybe you have a heart for helping the homeless and others in need. Perhaps you would find satisfaction in volunteering to help raise awareness about an issue or a cause that is important to you.

When you volunteer, you help others while also helping yourself. Acts of service are a way of giving back to your community—and the positive feelings that result serve as a support for your sobriety. Volunteering is a win-win for those in recovery as it provides a sense of purpose while also making a real difference for others.

Getting Sober is the First Step Toward Reclaiming Enjoyment in Life

While you are under the ongoing influence of drugs or alcohol, it becomes increasingly difficult to find joy or pleasure in much of anything. Your whole life is reduced to drugs or alcohol, and very little else seems to matter at all.

But regaining your sobriety gives you the opportunity to regain that sense of joy and purpose that makes life worth living. At Wooded Glen Recovery Center in Indiana, we can help you get—and stay—sober so that your life is once again your own.

We offer medically supervised detoxification, a robust approach to rehabilitation that also addresses any co-occurring mental health disorders, and a continuum of care that ensures you can begin your recovery with confidence. 

If you are ready to get started on the project of securing your sobriety, we are ready to join that club. It is, after all, the best cause we can think of.