Recovering from addiction, whether it be a substance abuse or alcohol problem, can be an arduous and trying process. Completely reworking your life into something uncomfortable and different from what it was often is stressful and mentally taxing.
But keeping a positive attitude and an open mind toward learning new things can turn recovery from a lot of hard work to something that can actually be a little enjoyable.
Below are five ways that recovery can be more fun.
- Finding alternative, healthier methods of thrill-seeking.
In recovery, one of the biggest things many addicts miss is the sense of excitement a drug- and alcohol-fueled lifestyle can give. This can be addressed by finding activities, such as an outdoor pastime or sport, that can provide a natural sober thrill. This could include kayaking, surfing, and skiing, activities that people generally find exciting and fulfilling.
- Starting a hobby.
Most people, no matter how old, have one thing that they’ve always wanted to do. It could be painting or learning how to play the guitar, or even cooking. Recovery is a perfect time to focus on personal development. The belief that you have to be a certain age is self-defeating, because people are continually growing and progressing throughout their lives. Recovery is a time when someone is redesigning their lifestyle, so this is an optimal time to pick up a hobby.
- Taking a class or workshop.
In the personal enrichment vein, another way to have fun during recovery is to take a class or attend a workshop simply for the purpose of gaining knowledge. The workshop could be about building a business, or about technology or writing — basically any interest the addict had before addiction became the sole motivating force in his life.
Swimming, particularly just the act of being in the water, has proven to be a therapeutic and enjoyable experience. The feeling of weightlessness and the invigorating effect it has on the body can also be a source of recreational enjoyment. Swimming can be done at the local beach, or at the local pool. It’s a cheap activity that can be done on a regular basis as an individual or with a group of people for a fun outing.
- Planning activities with friends and family.
Addicts tend to isolate themselves from their loved ones, so that they can practice their addiction without any disapproval. The isolation also tends to exacerbate the feelings of loneliness that drove the addict to use drugs or alcohol. So it’s crucial that during recovery the addict makes an effort to engage in fun activities with the people who truly love him. This can include eating dinner together, attending plays or concerts, or just going to a movie together. Spending time together on lighthearted activities can work to promote the familial bonds that everyone needs.
With these activities, someone in recovery can work on enjoying the process and reconnecting with the important people in his or her life. Recovery is all about finding meaning and value in one’s life, and this can be done by committing to pursuing activities that are both fun and fulfilling.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Oct 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Nichols, C. (2013). 5 Ways to Have More Fun in Recovery. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/10/12/5-ways-to-have-more-fun-in-recovery/