Recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a lifelong commitment. Navigating an entirely new world, it can often be difficult to remember what life was like before you were in active addiction. Things like meeting friends at a restaurant, getting outdoors and exploring or taking on a new hobby might not be second nature to you anymore. Having fun and trying new things that bring you joy are a HUGE part of recovery. Not only is it exciting to take on new interests, but your recovery is dependent on you living abundantly in this new chapter of your life. Having fun plays a big role in that abundance. No matter where you are along your journey, it’s important to find new ways to have fun. We’ve put together ideas to inspire you to find new ways to enjoy yourself and others; keep reading to learn more.
Why Is It Important To Have Fun In Addiction Recovery?
When you are newly in recovery from SUD, many of the things you thought you enjoyed doing before are no longer an. Some of the friends you used to hangout with may still be in active addiction and the restaurants you would go to with them were places where you were likely to not be sober. Whatever the case, it’s important to create new friendships, hobbies and routines that support your long-term recovery. One of the most important things you can do is find new ways to have fun that keep you excited and engaged in your social life.
Options are essentially limitless, but it can be hard to think of brand new hobbies and activities to try. It can also be a bit scary to step out of your comfort zone. Just remember that almost everyone feels nervous trying new things, and it’s what makes it so rewarding when you find an activity that you end up loving. To make it a little less daunting, we made a list of activities that we think you’ll love. And if the activities below don’t speak to you, connecting with a CPRS or recovery community group is a great way to find something that will.
How To Have Fun In Addiction Recovery
Get Outdoors – Being outside and in nature can be extremely grounding. Whether it’s going for a walk, hike, swim or bike ride, there is always more to explore outside. Wondering where to go? There are always trails nearby – even if you’re in the middle of the city! Check out AllTrails for a complete map and trail locator.
Try A Creative Outlet – Getting creative and trying a new form of art is a great way to express yourself. A lot of people that use art as a creative outlet find it helps with stress levels and overall mood. There are no limits to what counts as creative – painting, writing, singing, drawing, pottery, dancing and the list goes on.
Get Some Exercise – There’s a reason why so many people rely on exercise as a key tool in recovery. Exercise not only helps create a foundation for a steady routine, but physical activity stimulates chemicals in your brain leaving you happier, more relaxed and less anxious (Mayo Clinic). Exercising is great for your body and mind, and for many is the consistency that they need in each day. Read more here about the benefits of exercise in addiction recovery.
Take A Trip – Is there somewhere you’ve been wanting to travel to? Looking for a short getaway? Take a day trip, or even a weekend escape! Being in a new environment can be exciting, and there will always be unique opportunities for exploration. If traveling to another state or country isn’t an option, keep it simple and affordable – head upstate for a change in environment.
Spread Your Social Wings – You may have lost some friends when you started your recovery – many people do. It’s difficult to say goodbye to an entire piece of our lives, even if we know it’s no longer healthy for us. The positive side to this is that you’ve just made so much room for new friends to enter into your life. Find some friends who are also in recovery and check out some community events! Kyros sends out a weekly download on our recovery community – sign up for our newsletter and stay in the know with social events.
It Might Take Time
Having fun in addiction recovery might not come naturally at first, and that’s okay. However, developing new social interests by branching out and trying new things will help you find interests that you find exciting! The key is to continue to discover what you enjoy, and have fun doing what you love. We’re so excited for you to continue this journey, and to start having fun in your recovery. Keep it simple, and let yourself enjoy it!
Want To Connect With Someone In Recovery?
If you’re having trouble deciding what the first step to take is, or just looking for support – look no further. Peer Recovery Specialists (PRSs) have been in your position before, building a completely new life as they began their journey. Talking to a PRS who has recovery experience can help you feel supported as you navigate through this new territory. Get connected with a PRS now here!
All Trails. “Find Your Outdoors.” All Trails, 2022. https://www.alltrails.com/explore?b_tl_lat=45.09149592950584&b_tl_lng=-93.52642529296855&b_br_lat=44.87950808655097&b_br_lng=-93.00457470703107. Accessed 20 December 2022.
Mayo Clinic. “Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity.” Mayo Clinic, October 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389#:~:text=Exercise%20improves%20mood&text=Physical%20activity%20stimulates%20various%20brain,and%20improve%20your%20self%2Desteem. Accessed 20 December 2022.