Fun sober activities might seem hard to find if you’ve limited experience with them, but they don’t have to be.
Why is Finding Sober Activities Important After Treatment?
After treatment, finding sober activities is significant because too many people accidentally succumb to old habits. When this happens, you are much more likely to find yourself in the middle of social and environmental triggers that can cause a relapse. It’s very easy to fall into old habits and return to the same activities or social environments in which you participated before rehab.
Recovery is a lifelong battle, and staying sober means finding things you can do in your free time that encourage you to use the coping mechanisms and skills you may have picked up in rehab and give you the chance to find activities you enjoy that you can integrate into your free time, long-term.
How to Find Fun Sober Activities
- Use resources from your rehab facility. At Laguna View Detox, we can help you find fun things to do sober with other members of our aftercare community who have similarly taken the necessary steps to recover.
- Visit local chambers of commerce to learn about community sports teams like 50+ softball leagues or Under 40 Frisbee golf teams, community choirs, community gardening clubs, dance classes, exercise classes, meditation, and so on.
- Join a local gym. There are many different types of gyms available today that might specialize in meditation classes, chair yoga, regular yoga, strength training, and other group classes that can provide a supportive, stable environment for you to improve your physical and mental health strength.
- Go for hikes, and find local hiking groups. In any community with an outdoor park or nature trail, you can probably find groups through the local Parks and Recreation Department but like to participate in group hikes. This is a great chance to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of being outside in a sober setting.
- Try something tactile, like building birdhouses, knitting, making crafts, gardening, painting, or canning. Many craft stores have drop-in classes, and you can quickly turn to free resources like YouTube.
- Spend time with animals. Your social, sober activities don’t always have to include other people. You can volunteer your time at a local zoo or a wild animal rescue center. You can visit nature preserves in your area or just take a walk in the local park and see what animals find their way into your path.
- Invite friends over. Sometimes it’s too easy to go out with friends in an environment where social triggers might encourage a relapse. If that’s a problem for you, you can stay in and have your friends come over. You can do things like Game Nights, Movie Nights, charades, karaoke, and other types of social entertainment.
Tips for Finding Fun Sober Activities After Rehab Ends
Knowing how to find fun sober activities is important but, more important is following these tips as you find activities and start to integrate them into your recovery:
Take things one day at a time
A lot of people make the mistake of biting off more than they can chew. They get overwhelmed with the need to find fun things to do sober, so they try to front-load their schedule with an endless number of things so that they don’t have any time to think or process. Alternatively, some people get trapped in thinking about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. Trying to visualize long-term sobriety can be full of anxiety so much that it cripples any attempt to find fun, sober activities.
So keep your mind on the present, not the past, and not the future. Focus on taking things one day at a time, adding one type of sober activity.
Sober activities don’t have to be entirely social either. It is very helpful for you to develop a network of sober individuals who are also on the path to recovery. They can help you avoid self-defeating thoughts, develop good strategies, and give you social support while you engage in fun activities. However, it might be a little overwhelming to try and force yourself in social situations three or four days per week. You can easily find fun, sober activities that take on a more individualized approach like mindfulness courses, guided meditation, or even group yoga. You don’t necessarily have to socialize with other people but can focus on turning your attention inward.
Make honest goals
You might have heard people talk about setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-specific.
Specific: When you create a SMART goal, it has to be something specific, like finding fun things to do sober.
Measurable: It has to be measurable, like achieving one new sober activity each week.
Achievable: It has to be something achievable. Suddenly engaging in a ten-mile hike, mindful meditation, and community choir project on the same day or all in the same week might be a little too much.
Relevant: It also has to be relevant, which, in this case, refers to fun, sober activities. If you don’t find a particular activity fun at all, it’s probably not relevant.
Time-specific: Finally, it has to be time-specific. You set a specific timeline, such as adding one new activity every week for the next six months until you find the three activities you like best, and you can rotate into your free time forward.
As you set goals to find fun things to do sober, set honest, SMART goals. A big part of recovering is mental, and you have to acknowledge that recovery might not always be simple. You need to work to include things that you know will help you with that mental recovery and the physical recovery.
Avoid triggers. You don’t want to interact in social situations that remind you of your previous drug use or alcoholism. If, for example, you are recovering from alcoholism, don’t engage in any silver activities where alcohol is served. Similarly, don’t let depression or anger, a feeling of resentment or failure bubble up and stop you from participating in social activities. Recovery can bring harmony to your relationships, but you have to avoid isolation and involve yourself with friends and family slowly and regularly.