5 MIN READ | Positive Psychology

Adam Mulligan

The Importance of Recreation in Recovery: Finding Happiness and Balance in Life After Addiction

Cite This
Adam Mulligan, (2022, September 20). The Importance of Recreation in Recovery: Finding Happiness and Balance in Life After Addiction. Psychreg on Positive Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/importance-recreation-recovery-finding-happiness-balance-life-after-addiction/
Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s easy to get caught up in the seriousness of life in early recovery. We are working hard to stay sober, rebuild our relationships, and establish a solid foundation for our future. While all of these things are important, it’s also important to find time for recreation and fun. In this blog post, we will explore why recreation is so important in recovery and offer some suggestions for things you can do to add balance and joy to your life.

What is recreation and why is it important in recovery? 

In recovery, we are working to establish a new way of life. We are learning how to live sober, how to build healthy relationships, and how to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

The process of building a new life can be daunting and even a bit overwhelming at times. It’s important to remember that part of taking care of ourselves is making sure we have balance in our lives. Just as we need time for work and time for rest, we also need time for play.

Recreation is an important part of maintaining balance in our lives. When we take time out to play, we reduce stress, increase our happiness, and boost our overall well-being. Additionally, recreation can provide us with an outlet for creative expression and allow us to connect with others in a fun and relaxed setting. In short, recreation is good for our mind, body, and spirit.

What are the benefits of recreation?

Recreation is often thought of as a leisure activity, but it can actually be quite beneficial for those in addiction recovery. Studies show that recreation can help detox and rehab patients in a number of ways. Here are some of its benefits provided by addiction counsellors from The Hermitage Centre:

  • Reduces stress. When we’re feeling stressed, our natural inclination is often to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. However, this can obviously lead to relapse. By participating in recreational activities instead, we can effectively manage our stress levels without resorting to substances.
  • Improves mental health. In addition to reducing stress, recreation can also improve our mental health by increasing happiness and preventing depression. One study even found that people who participated in recreational activities were less likely to develop dementia later on in life!
  • Boosts self-esteem. When we’re struggling with addiction, it’s common for our self-esteem to take a hit. Thankfully though, participating in recreational activities can help us feel good about ourselves and improve our self-image.
  • Connects us with others. Addiction can cause us to isolate ourselves from the world around us. However, when we participate in recreational activities, we have the opportunity to interact with other people and build meaningful relationships.
  • Promotes physical health. Finally, recreation is important because it promotes physical health. Exercise releases endorphins – the “feel-good” chemicals – which help improve our moods and give us energy. Furthermore, being physically active helps reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes.

Suggestions for recreational activities in recovery

There are endless possibilities when it comes to finding recreational activities that are enjoyable and supportive of your recovery. Here are a few ideas to get you started

  • Get creative with arts and crafts. Many addiction treatment programs place a strong emphasis on recreation and the arts. These activities provide a much-needed sense of joy and balance in the lives of those in recovery. They also help to build self-esteem and foster a sense of accomplishment. Whether you’re painting, sculpting, or simply creating something beautiful out of everyday objects, the process of making art can be enormously satisfying.
  • Take up a new hobby, like gardening or hiking. For many people in recovery, taking up a new hobby can be a great way to explore new interests and find a healthy outlet for time and energy. Gardening and hiking are two popular hobbies that offer many benefits for people in recovery. Not only are they physically active pursuits, but they also allow for time spent outdoors in nature, which has been shown to have a calming and grounding effect on the mind.
  • Find a support group to connect with others who are going through the same thing. The recovery process is one that is seldom linear. There will be days when you feel like you are on top of the world and others where it feels like you are barely hanging on. In the latter days, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is where a support group can make all the difference. When you connect with others who understand what you are going through, it can help you to find hope and perspective. In addition, a support group can provide accountability and encouragement as you work towards your goals. Although it may be tempting to go it alone, recovery is often more successful when it is done with the help of others.
  • Volunteer your time to help others in need. Volunteering your time to help others in need is a great way to get involved in your community and make a difference. It can also be a great way to get some exercise, learn new skills, and have some fun. So if you’re looking for a way to give back and make a positive impact, consider volunteering your time. You may just find that it’s one of the most rewarding things you ever do.
  • Spend time with loved ones and friends. The support of family and friends can be vital during this time, and recreational activities can provide a much-needed respite from the stress of early sobriety. Spending time with loved ones can also help to remind you of the things that are most important in life, and it can provide a sense of connection and belonging.
  • Listen to calming music or read positive books. Listening to soothing music or reading uplifting books can help to relax your mind and ease your anxiety. In particular, classical music has been shown to slow down the heart rate and reduce stress hormones. Reading can also be an effective way to de-stress, as it allows you to escape from your current situation and immerse yourself in another world.
  • Pamper yourself. Melbourne premade volume lashes specialists note that taking care of yourself is essential to the recovery process. One way to promote self-care is by indulging in some makeup and beauty treatments. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to make yourself feel more beautiful. Just a few minutes of pampering each day can make a big difference in your overall outlook on life.

Closing thoughts

Recovery is an ongoing journey that requires hard work and dedication, but it’s also important to take time for yourself to enjoy life outside of sobriety. Pursue your hobbies and interests, spend time with loved ones, and get out in the world to experience new things. When you find happiness and balance in your life away from addiction, you’ll be better equipped to handle any challenges that come your way during recovery.


Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle. 


Psychreg is mainly for information purposes only; materials on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Don’t disregard professional advice or delay in seeking  treatment because of what you have read on this website. Read our full disclaimer