Home Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 9 Therapeutic Hobbies and Activities That Will Streamline Your Addiction Recovery

9 Therapeutic Hobbies and Activities That Will Streamline Your Addiction Recovery

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When you decide that you’ve had enough and you’re ready to take control of your life back and quit your addiction, you’ve made an incredible step. But sometimes, the most challenging part of that path back to healthy living is done after this decision.

While you’re dealing with the realities of life without substance use, it’s easy to backslide. But many experts in successful rehab approaches, like

Orange County Residential Addiction Treatment Center, recognise the importance of having a hobby to distract you from your cravings and provide a purpose to move forward healthily with each day.

Hobbies can be passion-fueling, enjoyable, and, for those in addiction recovery, therapeutic. Here, we’ll share 9 expert-recommended hobbies that could help you, too, make a successful full recovery.

1. Journaling

Journaling is a hobby that has been used for centuries to help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. It’s also prized in business and creative industries as a way to boost the thought processes to sort through the mundane and reveal new insights and ideas. In addiction recovery, this activity helps you process your thoughts and feelings and put them in a clearer perspective.

2. Adult colouring

You’ve seen examples of adult colouring books online and at stores, and probably wondered why they’re such a big deal. Colouring is an excellent way to relax and restore peace and tranquillity to the body by calming the fight-or-flight responses while still giving the mind something to pay attention to. It’s a distraction that anyone, regardless of their skills or abilities, can use.

3. Music

The saying “Music soothes the savage beast” gained popularity for a reason. Listening to or playing soothing music sets your environment to relax you. Upbeat, happy music can boost your mood and make you feel better. Contrarily, depressing music can spiral your thoughts. Making music your hobby, as long as the sounds are restful or encouraging, is an easy way to speed up your recovery.

4. Nature walks

Nature is another simple and effective way to change your perspective from stressed to tranquil. If you pay attention to your environment, you can find beauty everywhere and realise all the things you can be grateful for. The fresh air and sunshine also boost your vitamin D levels, which have a strong link to your mental health.

5. Play a game

While you’re in the rehab facility and after you leave, socialising with fun activities is beneficial. Get together with friends to play a game that uses your mind (building cognitive skills) and lets you forget your worries for a while. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine!

6. Practise meditation

Meditation is more than sitting still. It’s actively working to silence your mind, freeing you from negative thoughts, distractions, and chatter. This practice takes time to grow, as we all naturally struggle with those small voices when the world gets quiet. Sit still in a distraction-free environment, set a timer for five minutes, and close your eyes, not moving until the timer goes off. As you get more confident with this behaviour, increase the timer setting until you no longer need this structure.

7. Take up cooking or baking

Do you enjoy putting together tasty treats for yourself or others in the kitchen? Cooking and baking are healthy hobbies (depending on the food you’re creating) that encourage the practice of mindfulness. You must be in the moment, paying attention to each step and knowing what you must do next.

8. Connect with a friend through letter writing

“Snail mail” may be less popular today, but it’s not obsolete. Instead, this practice is reserved for those who want to show their appreciation to another person by offering meaningful words to the recipient. Just the act of writing a letter is therapeutic, and releasing the thoughts and emotions behind the words makes it even more so.

9. Focusing on gratitude

Last on our list, but the most essential hobby you can have, is to focus on gratitude. Make a list each morning or evening (or both) of what you’re grateful for. This small, simple step shifts your thoughts to positive things and reminds you that you are more blessed than you often realise.

You can try one, some, or all of these hobbies to help you continue on the road to full and successful addiction recovery.

Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle. 

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