Substance use disorders (SUDs) take up a lot of time. They are essentially an extremely negative hobby. One of the signs that someone is abusing drugs or alcohol is loss of interest in hobbies the person once enjoyed. That hobby was replaced with another one – substance use.
A person with a SUD spends hours each day performing activities that are related to the addiction. They seek out the substance, they use the substance and they recover from the use.
This shift in hobbies is a clear sign that addiction sucks the life out of things you love.
Healthy hobbies are beneficial for everyone, but they are especially helpful for people that are enrolled at an addiction recovery center. People in addiction recovery benefit in a few key ways when they pick up a new hobby.
Hobbies Keep You Busy
As the saying goes, idle hands are the Devil’s workshop. When you stop using drugs and alcohol you’ll have more free time on your hands. Since boredom can be a precursor for relapse, a hobby gives you something productive to do when you aren’t at the addiction treatment center.
Keeping your mind busy is equally important. A hobby can help distrupt addictive thinking patterns simply by providing a distraction so you aren’t left alone with your thoughts. A new hobby also gives you a definite goal to work towards and activities to look forward to, both of which keep your mind preoccupied with the present.
Ask your addiction treatment team for suggestions if you’re having a hard time coming up with a hobby to try. Some addiction treatment centers hold regular events to expose clients to new activities that might peak your interest enough to become a new hobby or even career.
Hobbies Help You Connect With People
Building healthy relationships is a critical part of addiction recovery. Making the decision to abstain from drugs and alcohol means abstaining from certain people and places as well. You’ll lose a lot of connections, but the disconnect from negative relationships is necessary.
New connections need to be made, and a healthy hobby is a way to do that. Having a shared interest brings people together. In an addiction treatment center you can see how that can be a bad thing in a person’s life if the shared interest is unhealthy or dangerous. But at our Dallas addiction center we also get to see how positive it is when the new hobby is healthy. Instead of encouraging negative behavior, the connections that are made with the new hobby support positive behavior and choices that help in recovery.
Hobbies Reflect and Reinforce Your New Lifestyle
Choosing healthy hobbies is a choice that reflects your new lifestyle that’s free from addiction. It’s a clear signal that you’re ready for the dramatic shift to sobriety. The more you take part in healthy hobbies the more it will reinforce your lifestyle choices and recovery so that relapse is less likely.
Healthy Hobbies Bring Happiness
Depression is a common co-occurring mental health disorder for people who are battling addiction. Like boredom, unhappiness or discontent can increase the risk of a relapse. It won’t fix all of the contributing factors, but choosing a hobby that you enjoy will help bring more happiness into your life.
To find a hobby that brings happiness, think back to your younger years and what brought you enjoyment. There’s a good chance you’ll enjoy something similar as an adult.
Hobbies Can Build Skills and Confidence
Addiction has a way of making people feel helpless. People with SUDs often question their self-worth and are very critical of themselves. Their confidence was replaced by dependence on a substance.
A distinct benefit of having a hobby in addiction recovery is that it can help boost confidence while building new skills. Seeing the end product or achieving a result is tangible proof that new skills are being formed. For example, joining a bowling team can increase physical activity, which is a known confidence booster. You’ll also improve your hand-eye coordination with each frame. You know that you are making these gains because your body mass index is lower than before and your bowling score is much higher.
As you learn new skills and improve there’s no shame or regret like there is with substance use. When a hobby is healthy and poses a bit of a challenge it provides a sense of accomplishment. Each achievement increases self-esteem and provides motivation to keep achieving more in recovery.
The holistic treatment plans at Lighthouse Recovery’s Dallas addiction centers encourage clients to find health hobbies. Our addiction experts understand the importance of having a hobby in recovery that can help the client build the healthy habits, relationships and confidence that leads to long-term recovery.
Replace addiction with a new hobby that supports sobriety – start by scheduling a free assessment.