Addiction is a brain disease that can affect a person’s daily life in a number of ways. The effects can affect almost every aspect of life including relationships, careers, and typical routines. However, one thing that most people don’t think about addiction affecting is a person’s hobbies and interests. During active addiction, individuals will often lose interest in things they once enjoyed. So, during addiction treatment, it’s important for individuals to learn how to take an interest back in things they once enjoyed. And, moreover, to find new hobbies and interests that can help them stay motivated for long-term sobriety. But, how does one go about finding new interests during and after their time in treatment?
The Importance of Finding New Hobbies and Interests
Once drugs and alcohol can no longer fill your time and energy, you’ll need something to take up that time and energy during recovery. This is why it’s important to find things you enjoy during and after addiction treatment. When you learn about new things and engage with novel experiences, you give yourself the opportunity to utilize coping skills you’ve learned about and practiced in treatment in real-life settings. Plus, you’ll learn how to lean on these things during times of struggle so that you can gain the encouragement you need to obtain lasting recovery.
But, finding new hobbies and interests can be a struggle for some during the process of treatment. So, it’s important to understand what can help with obtaining some new hobbies and interests during newfound recovery. Some things you can do to help obtain new hobbies and interests may include:
Being Willing to Try New Things and Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you’re not willing to try new things and maybe even feel a bit awkward at first, you’re not going to get far when it comes to gaining new hobbies, skills, and passions. No one is good at anything when they first start, so even hobbies that require a bit of skill aren’t something to shy away from. Furthermore, you may not have an interest in finding new activities to enjoy. And, that’s normal for people in the early stages of recovery. You’re still learning about who you are as a sober person. But, it’s important to look past where you are at the moment and work towards who you want to be. So, don’t keep yourself from doing something new, even if it’s something you may not think you’ll like. Who knows – you may just find a new passion in something you never saw yourself doing!
Remember that Nothing Good Happens Overnight
It’s easy to give up on something new if you’re not good at it initially. So, don’t forget that you may not be good at something right away. And, to give yourself time to develop the skills needed to enjoy certain hobbies. Every interest takes some time to get used to, not to mention to get good at. But, if you give yourself time to learn and get better, you may find that you’ll enjoy certain things even more as time goes on. Therefore, if you’re thinking about starting a new hobby, don’t expect to be an expert! And, give yourself the time it takes to not only get accustomed to what you’re doing but time to determine if you really do or don’t like spending time with that certain hobby.
Try New Things with Peers in Your Addiction Treatment Environment
It’s sometimes easier to try new things with the encouragement and support of a friend. And, who better than a peer in treatment with the same goal as you – sustaining recovery? When you find a friend to try new things with, you can hold each other accountable to continue searching for a shared interest until you actually find one. And, then, you’ll have someone to encourage you once you do find that shared interest. So, don’t hesitate to ask your sober friends what they like to do for fun and if you can join. Or, if they’re also looking for a new interest so that you can search together!