Is Relaxation a Thing of the Past?
These days, many people feel as though they have lost the ability to relax.
We all have so much to do, and we are plugged in all of the time. Even when we manage to grab a little downtime, we often spend that downtime thinking about all of the things we have to do. And as we go over our to-do list in our mind, we miss out on enjoying the break we have taken—and sometimes find ourselves more stressed after the break than we were before.
It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when our attempts to relax leave us more stressed rather than less. If you are a person in recovery from a substance use disorder, the inability to unwind puts your sobriety at risk.
It’s easy to see why. When you can’t escape the stress of daily life, you might find yourself craving drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate and get some relief. Even knowing what you know about the dangers of drug and alcohol use, the temptation can be a strong one.
That is why it is so important to add something to your to-do list. That might seem counterintuitive. How can adding to your to-do list lower your stress level? The key to making it work is to intentionally add specific and regular times to enjoy an engaging hobby that has little or nothing to do with your job, school, or other responsibilities.
Hobbies: Any Hobby Will Do—As Long As You Truly Enjoy It
You often hear people talk about their “guilty pleasure.” Maybe it is reading trashy romance novels or attending comic book conventions or trying to level up on their favorite video game.
We’d like to reframe the notion of “guilty pleasures.” Let’s just call them “pleasures.”
That’s the key to finding and enjoying a hobby: find something you truly enjoy and give yourself permission to dive into it as deeply as you want to. Leave the “guilty” part behind. After all, it is a sense of nagging guilt that often makes it so very hard to enjoy taking time out for ourselves, right?
So no matter what you like to do to relax—from jigsaw puzzles to rock climbing or anything else that you love—get in there with gusto. And put time to enjoy it in your schedule—not so that relaxing becomes some sort of additional obligation, but so that your personal time is protected in the same way that a weekly staff meeting at work might be marked out in your calendar so nothing gets scheduled at the same time. Time to truly relax is easily as important as that weekly staff meeting.
Hobbies Can Help You Build a Healthy Social Life
There are, of course, plenty of hobbies you can pursue on your own. But many activities are more fun when more people are involved. Finding folks who share your interests is a great way to build up a new social life that is disconnected from the one you had when you were drinking or using drugs.
Whether you find a role-playing game community to join or take a cooking class or decide to try out for a play at the local theater, you will encounter people who enjoy the same sorts of things you do, and that can make the activity in question even more fun. Developing this healthy social life also supports your ongoing sobriety.
We Can Help You Reclaim Your Sobriety
When you are struggling with a substance use disorder, it can seem as though you are permanently stuck in a trap of your own making. Cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and more prevent you from leaving behind the drugs or alcohol even though you know you should and may genuinely want to. The situation can be quite discouraging—to put it mildly.
But you can escape the trap. The key is getting the help you need.
Wooded Glen Is Always Ready to Help
At Wooded Glen Recovery Center, we offer medically supervised detoxification followed by a rehabilitation program that provides strategies, resources, and support so that you can begin your recovery journey with hope and confidence. During treatment, we will also address any co-occurring mental health disorders that may be intertwined with your substance use disorder.
We bring to the table compassion, expertise, experience, and a commitment to personalizing your treatment plan so that it meets your specific needs. When you are ready to reclaim your sobriety—and your life—we are ready to help you accomplish this essential goal.