Living Well After Rehab: Turning a Hobby into a New Passion for Life
There’s no denying that living a healthy, sober life after completing a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is going to be difficult, and this fact is especially true if you spend your time dwelling over past wrongs instead of focusing on a brighter future. Many rehabilitation specialists urge their patients to take up a hobby after completing a program. This new passion or pursuit is intended to not only relieve stress, but also provide a healthy focus and alternative from falling back into an old, unwanted habit. Learn why healthy hobbies are effective and a few passions you should consider pursuing in order to remain on the road to a sober future.
Why Healthy Hobbies Work
Delving into a new hobby or pursuit can have several positive effects on your life, and outlook. Think back to the simple euphoria you felt when playing soccer with your friends in grade school, helping your mother make Sunday dinner or completing an art project for a high school class. All of these simple activities provided you with a sense of comfort and consistency. This feeling can be recaptured by immersing yourself in a new hobby during adulthood. This journey also doesn’t require expensive equipment or a huge initial investment. Even an activity as simple as bird watching or weeding your gardening can provide you with a calming sense of accomplishment and peace, which in the end is one of the most effective tools available to remain focused and free of your former addiction.
A Few Hobbies to Consider
You’ve weighed the pros and cons in your head, and have ultimately decided that taking up a healthy hobby will provide a positive outlet for your everyday stresses and frustrations. Your only choice is to either take up an old pursuit, or start with a fresh slate and a new hobby. Here are a few diversions to consider:
Cooking – Healthy eating and living a balanced life is another powerful tool, which makes taking up cooking as a hobby a win/win activity. Enjoy learning new skill set in a cooking class or simply start trying a few healthy recipes from the internet as a way to create a more well-balanced diet, and outlook.
Exercise – You might groan at the prospect of making exercise your hobby of choice, but once again this is an activity that will have a positive impact on your life in a number of ways. Aside from the obvious physical benefits, exercise also helps you redirect all that negative energy caused by stress. If possible, join or start an exercise club in your community. The club allows you to remain active while making a few new friends.
Book Club –Great literature feeds the mind and the soul, and there’s no better way to share the beauty of a good book than gathering with old or new friends and joining a club. Not only will the book provide you with a welcomed distraction, joining the club also allows you to reenter the social scene in a healthy, positive environment.
Gardening –Nothing provides a sense of peace and tranquility more than communing with the earth, watching the fruits of your labor flourish or simply getting your hands dirty. Spend a few afternoons pursuing this satisfying pursuit, lovingly tending to your garden and watching it grow into a robust, thriving entity.
Volunteering – Once again, participating in positive social interactions is a key aspect of remaining mentally healthy and sober. Volunteering through your local church or any other reputable organization is by far the best way to simply make new friends while providing yourself with a newfound sense of purpose.
Painting – Before taking up painting as a hobby, it’s important to remember this activity is meant to be fun and fulfilling, so don’t get down on yourself if your first few brushstrokes aren’t reminiscent of a young Pablo Picasso. Don’t set out to start the world on fire with your undeniable artistic gifts. Instead, think of painting as a way to transfer your frustrations, anger, sadness and stress onto the canvas.
When a Hobby Becomes a New Addiction
For the most part, your new hobby should provide you with a sense of purpose, and an outlet to vent your post-rehab dissatisfactions. Unfortunately, for many a hobby can easily become a replacement for their previous addictions. As with any other form of dependence, it’s important to realize when you’ve taken this new passion too far. If you’re worried that your latest endeavor is simply becoming an unhealthy replacement for your previous bad behaviors, speak to your psychologist or addiction specialist.
In the end, remember that this new hobby is intended to be fun, and provide sense of calm in an otherwise hectic life. If you find yourself becoming bored or frustrated with this pursuit, don’t hesitate to give it up and try a new avenue to find the peace and serenity you’re after.