A sober life does not mean a boring life. The only reason why you might be thinking this way is because you equate having fun with being high. And if you can’t get high anymore, then how are you supposed to have fun?
Remember that this way of thinking will change over time, and you will begin to associate fun with new, healthy activities such as going to the movies or volunteering your time. So go easy on yourself and realize that your mind and body are still healing.
In the meantime, fill out your calendar with rewarding, fun activities. Large chunks of time can lead to boredom, and boredom can be a relapse trigger in early recovery. The good news is that there are plenty of activities to keep you busy and smiling.
Below are seven of our personal favorites.
1. Arrange a House Crawl
Forget the pub crawls. A house crawl includes a group of houses that provide a course of food. The first house serves an appetizer, the second serves a salad, the third the main course and the fourth dessert. The last house is where everyone relaxes, watches a movie or plays a game.
2. Visit a Comedy Club
Want a few laughs on the house? A comedy club presents a great opportunity where you can sit, relax and enjoy a show without the urge to drink or use drugs. Comedy clubs sell food and nonalcoholic beverages, so treat yourself to that instead. Just be sure to research the club online first or attend an earlier show, as some serve alcoholic drinks.
3. Join a Sports Team
Sporting leagues are always looking for players, and it doesn’t matter if you’re good or not. Adult teams are more for fun than competitive play, anyway. Being on a team gets you working with others, establishing healthy bonds and burning calories.
4. Attend a Sporting Event
If you don’t like to play sports, then check out some minor league teams in your area. Tickets are usually affordable, and the close proximity means you can attend more games with less hassle.
5. Become a Member at a Community Center
Community centers such as the YMCA are great places to fill your time. Most have a small membership fee, but they include everything such as access to swimming pools, basketball courts, workout facilities and even daycare for the kids. Also inquire about yoga classes at a reduced rate and support groups.
5. Sign Up for a Class
Individual activities are just as important as group ones. You need time to get to know yourself again, so sign up for a class at your local library, community center or park district. Ideas include cooking, painting or scrapbooking.
6. Fine Tune Your Skills
Practical skills are also a good thing to focus on right now, so consider a computer skills class, first aid and CPR class or resume writing workshop. By brushing up on these skills, you can become a better candidate for certain jobs, too.
7. Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering doesn’t just fill up your time; it also gives you a sense of purpose. Discover volunteer opportunities in your area and start making a difference. As you donate your time in the long term, you may be given additional responsibility.
There are endless ways to keep yourself busy in early recovery. Of course, don’t overdo it, otherwise you may end up tired and stressed. Rather, make sure that you don’t have blocks of time unaccounted for and that you are continuously trying new activities to keep your mind stimulated and your body active.