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6 Hobbies to Help You Stay Sober


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If people recovering from substance abuse struggle to find meaning and purpose, they will also struggle to find success in recovery. Now that you’re sober, you’ll want need to fill your time with something other than drugs or alcohol. The more you can fill your life with meaning, the less likely you’ll be tempted to relapse. That’s why a new hobby can come in.

Hobbies have many benefits, and not just for people in recovery. When you take on a new hobby you’ll also find a new outlet to:

Unwind and relax
Meet other people
Discover new talents
Develop new skills
Enhance creativity
Get in better physical shape

How to Find a Hobby
Many people who first begin recovery wonder how they will fill their time. In the throes of addiction they would have had little energy to focus on anything other than drugs or alcohol.
It may have even been years since you’ve had or enjoyed any type of hobby. Here are a few methods for finding rewarding ways to spend your time:

Make a list of activities you enjoyed before falling into substance abuse. An easy way to find a hobby is to rekindle a similar interest you had before drugs and alcohol took control.
Do an internet search for hobbies and activities. Make a brainstorming list to find ones that might be fun to explore.
Experiment with hobbies by joining sober friends and family members in their favorite activities.
Think of hobbies that are both mentally and physically challenging, which would run less of a risk of becoming an
addiction substitution.

Ideas for Hobbies
There are multitudes of exciting activities you can enjoy as an alternative to using drugs or alcohol. The key to finding a hobby is to make sure it’s an activity you really enjoy. A hobby should never feel like a chore. Here are few ideas to get you started:

Exercise. Exercising is much more than going to the gym or running. Hop on a bike or a kayak, do some yoga, grab a friend for a game of tennis or golf, or pick up a solo sport like hiking or swimming. Exercising will not only occupy your time, but it will improve your well-being and release feel-good endorphins that support sobriety.
Cooking. Many people in recovery find honing their culinary skills is a great hobby. It requires attention to detail and can be a fun way to bring together new and old friends who support your sobriety. Plus, nutrition is extremely important for rebuilding a healthy body after addiction.
Photography. The world is filled with beauty, and your new hobby can be to capture that beauty on film. The best part? Many smartphones have excellent cameras so you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment.
Games. Whether you like video games or tabletop gaming, there are numerous options for people in recovery. Many cities now have board game cafes that allow you to play games by the hour and meet new people.
Volunteering. Being of service to others and helping people in need can be a hobby that really gives you meaning and purpose. You can volunteer at homeless shelters, veterans’ organizations, schools or animal shelters.
Crafting. Getting creative is a great way to stay on your path of sobriety. Painting, woodworking, painting, sculpting, knitting and scrapbooking are just a few crafts that you can explore. Don’t have any idea how to start? That’s okay! Many crafting stores have classes you can take.

People will find meaning in different ways, and people in recovery know just how important meaning can be when it comes to living a fulfilling life. Some will find that sense of purpose in religion, spirituality, physical activity or being creative. Finding a hobby that really excites you is also a wonderful way to find meaning and purpose in a life post-addiction.

Relationship Recovery: Beating Addiction without Breaking Up

Relationships are hard work. If they were easy, every relationship would last forever. Adding addiction and infidelity makes the outcome less predictable, and more challenging. All treatment programs focus on detoxification along with repairing mental and social health, and guide you in how and when to make amends with yourself and others. However, this process can be especially difficult if infidelity is involved.

The key ingredients individuals bring to a good relationship include patience, respect, good communication and lots of effort. It makes sense that this is true of relationships in both good times and bad. But once you have disrespected your partner by being unfaithful, you also need trust and forgiveness. Getting a relationship back on track after infidelity starts with pursuing both through effective communication with your partner.

Forgiveness
Forgiveness is often something your partner wants to provide after a betrayal, even if they don’t know how. It is a natural inclination for most people who have been betrayed by someone they love to want to find a way to forgive. It helps both people involved to move on from the situation. As much as forgiving shouldn’t be mistaken for trusting, it’s the cornerstone for a new healthy relationship. Until it is achieved, rebuilding the relationship can’t really begin. While the recovery path you have chosen will help you make amends, understand that the level of betrayal is going to impact that process significantly. How your partner feels is his or her reality, and shouldn’t be dismissed as exaggeration or an overreaction. Be honest with yourself about the magnitude and duration of events that led you to this point, and accept that the effects of your addiction might include you not having a full awareness of every transgression playing into your partner’s emotions.

Trust

When considering trust, it’s critical to remember that it belongs to the other person, and is built over time. It's important not to lose hope when rekindling your romance during the recovery process just because the trust isn’t there. Rebuilding trust is a lot like rebuilding a house after a disaster, cleaning up the mess is the hardest part. Make sure you know what stage of the process you’re in (cleaning up, rebuilding, or maintenance) to help manage both you and your partner’s frustrations more effectively. Be especially sensitive to their feelings about any third parties involved in the infidelity, and your continued interactions with them. If the interactions can’t be eliminated entirely, discuss what measures will make your partner feel more secure about the situation. Keep in mind that this will be a trial and error process, and what he or she thinks may work to alleviate fears may not.

Communication
Communication is a foundational element in every relationship, and is the starting point for both forgiveness and trust. People can change, and being in addiction recovery is proof. However, over time you and your partner have been conditioned to respond to certain triggers in a particular way. Whether you are having an innocuous conversation that suddenly turns tense, or you are discussing a delicate subject from the start, take responsibility for responding to your partner’s reaction in a more productive way. It’s important to find the balance between keeping the lines of communication open and avoiding the conversation escalating into a major fight. He or she may not have the benefit of a counselor, a support group, or other tools that are available to you through your recovery program to help work through these issues. If they are receptive to counseling, either individually or together, this can help improve communication. If not, don’t push. Even one big fight can impact the progress that’s been made with the relationship.

Regardless of where your relationship stands, remember that if recovery is possible, so is saving the relationship. Focus on maintaining your recovery first. You can't have a healthy relationship without having a healthy you. Focus on your relationship when both you and your partner are ready, and realize it will likely take him or her more time. Communicating and taking it slowly can ultimately help you both repair and rebuild. - Photo Credit: Pixabay.com



 

 
 

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