Hobbies are important for everyone. They are especially important for teens and adults going through addiction recovery. Unfortunately, many newly recovering addicts aren’t sure what types of activities they enjoy. Addiction tends to strip people of who they are, and it can take time to find the things that were once loved.
Let’s explore the importance of having a pastime as you enter your first months of recovery, as well as the best ones for boosting mental health.
Why Hobbies are Important
Having enjoyable activities built into your schedule is important for several reasons. First, it gives you something to focus your energy on. Whether you’re having a good or bad day, you can invest your emotions into something that brings you happiness. Boredom puts you at a higher risk for relapse, so burying yourself in the things you love can prevent this.
Second, activities keep you motivated. Rather than dreading what’s ahead of you, a hobby gets you up and out of bed in the mornings. Plus, you can get more done in your day and feel productive as a result. If you know you have to volunteer at the homeless shelter in the morning or help take care of your neighbor’s dog in the afternoon, it makes you more accountable.
Lastly, a pastime exercises the brain. It gets things moving and flowing so that you can think healthier and approach stress in a better way. Negative thinking is a big part of addiction, and it’s something to work on during your recovery. However, the only way to be successful is by attending your counseling sessions and actively working at how you approach various situations.
Best Hobbies for Boosting Mental Health
Meditation. Meditation doesn’t take long to show its effects. By practicing meditation daily, you can create happiness, learn about yourself and decrease stress.
Gardening. There’s a reason why gardening is a great activity. Not only is it something to do, but it gets you outdoors and taking care of living things. It’s wonderful to watch the fruits of your labor grow!
Dance. If you don’t feel comfortable joining a dance class, dance at home. Turn on your favorite music and start moving – it’s bound to improve your mood!
Mind-body exercises. Routines like tai chi, yoga and qigong exercise the mind and body. They are relaxing, spiritual and connect the body as a whole.
Walking/hiking/running. One of the best parts about walking or running is that you can take a scenic route. As you partake in this hobby, be sure to take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful world.
Liberal arts. Activities like art, photography and writing exercise your creative side. In fact, these hobbies have proven so successful, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy and others have soared in popularity.
As you or a loved one completes treatment, it’s a great idea to choose a few activities to participate in. These hobbies offer more benefits than most people realize. They can also connect recovering addicts to like-minded individuals, which can be the start of a beautiful friendship!
At The River Source, we help our patients develop their own interests during their time with us. To start your recovery, call us today.