The importance of having hobbies in recovery: By Olivia Cyr


Sydney Schulz on March 24, 2021 at 7:11 AM

Having a purpose that may lead to something even grander is not to be underestimated. A good hobby can drive a person to go back to study or prepare for a better job. Having hobbies in recovery gives people a new healthy focus and makes them shift toward a fulfilled, brighter lifestyle. It is one of the most important elements of the post-treatment period. Searching for the right activity takes some time and requires self-inspection, but the ice is broken once it is found. And fortunately so, because to start a journey to recovery means embracing other new beginnings, hobbies included.

Live Rite offers weekly classes and regular events to help you find your hobby, including art recovery, yoga, music didactics, and Dharma.

A healthy substitute

With the help of a hobby, a positively enjoyable activity replaces a negative one. After all, that is exactly what a hobby is - a healthy pursuit that one makes for pleasure and not for profit. Hobbies in recovery are equally beneficial as mental activity and as physical exercise.

It is only important that the motivation for this practice comes from within. Defeating boredom in recovery as well as depression, dissatisfaction, and irritability is possible if the person chooses an activity for themselves, the one 

  • they can do with a healthy dose of effort
  • that no one forced them to do
  • they are naturally inclined to or interested in.

While a combination of mental and physical activities is recommended, it wouldn't hurt if additional hobbies are introduced gradually. Too many projects at once, no matter how beneficial in their own right, can feel overwhelming and do more harm than good.

Obtaining new, polishing old skills

A successful approach to long-term recovery and aftercare includes serious work on rebuilding self-confidence. And the only accurate way to restore it is by acquiring new practical skills or improving the old ones.

Confidence takes time to repair, but every new brick in the self-esteem wall makes the construction that much stronger. If we look at small successes as the bricks, the building process provides a sense of lasting accomplishment, self-importance, and happiness.

Learning new skills through hobbies provides a challenge, one that is not that easily achievable but at the same time doesn't add pressure. Hobbies offer a way to learn through practice which in turn results in pleasure and lasting satisfaction. Most importantly, they help build new mental paths that replace the unhealthy ones.

Hobbies in recovery as a spur to action

Some hobbies focus on a person in recovery, and some help the person focus on others. Passive hobbies like painting, writing, or reading help those who aim to obtain much-needed peace of mind. However, more extroverted people may find such hobbies stifling.

It is possible to connect a hobby with volunteering and reset focus on others who might need help. A person in recovery might find great pleasure in helping others. For instance, they can help in animal shelters or local food banks. Such work helps build a satisfying bond between the person and the animals and replacing the one with the harmful substance.

A hobby can incite the urge to do something different than before. It often inspires people in recovery to change their surroundings and move closer to

  • a farm where they can grow organic produce
  • wildlife shelter so they can help treat animals
  • painter colony, making it easier to learn, work, and share experiences with others.

While getting out of the comfort zone may feel too much at first, there's no need for anxiety. Sometimes moving cross-country can be just what a person needs to begin a new, healthier life. In fact, moving far from detrimental surroundings is often even advisable. Although long-distance moves, and relocation in general, requires a lot of planning and organization, and may even be stressful and overwhelming, it still can prove to be quite helpful for recovery. One can relocate to a completely new environment and benefit significantly from the change of scenery simply if they organize timely.

Making new friends through group activities

Being a part of a group bound by mutual interest helps avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation. These dangerous feelings are triggers for relapse and, as such, a major impediment to long-term recovery. On the other hand, hobbies in recovery aim to connect the person with other like-minded people, engaging in healthy activities.

Sometimes, a hobby during recovery, such as travel blogging, takes the recoveree to another part of the country or keeps them moving. It has been noticed that moving during recovery helps the person change perspective and re-discover things they liked before. This is especially important when it comes to meeting new people outside of the usual social circle.

When choosing a group activity, it is essential to opt for the one that offers an optimal number of members allowing communication and healthy, supportive interpersonal contact. That can be a small hiking group, team sport, arts and crafts class, or a book club.

The most popular hobbies in recovery

Recoveree can always look and sign up for one of the various free online classes that provide valuable insight into some unique topics. They help direct the person toward a new healthy habit. However, it is possible and advisable to start a hobby that centers on an activity one inherently likes. Some of the activities that don't require significant financial investment and people feel naturally inclined to are:

  • Gardening. It lets the person focus on growth and positive change. Gardening helps the recoveree shift attention to taking care of something instead of being taken care of. It encourages the person in recovery to listen to a nurturing part of oneself.
  • Photography. It allows the recoveree to express their feelings by capturing scenes they find meaningful. Photography is a powerful tool that can show what is captured by the camera and what is within the photographer.
  • Arts, music, and crafts. The power of creation that comes out of artistic endeavors brings the best out of a person. Engaging in a preferred kind of art teaches patience and develops new mental paths through creative thinking. Also, it doesn't add to stress but greatly relieves it.

It is vital to add that recoveree must avoid replacing an obsession with the substance with an obsession with something else. The key is in a dynamically balanced lifestyle, where hobbies in recovery serve as a catalyst.

By Olivia Cyr


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