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For many people in recovery, boredom is a core relapse trigger. As a result, learning to have sober fun is incredibly important if a person wants to be able to sustain their recovery. For some people, it’s difficult to imagine having fun without drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons.  Some people are so used to drugs and alcohol being their only form of excitement. Others are in a position where all their friends are still in active addiction or simply don’t have addiction issues and can socially drink.  Whatever the reason, they just cannot imagine having fun sober.

Develop a List

So, how does a person begin to address boredom in recovery? One step at a time! Begin by developing a list of different activities that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. Speak with friends, family, therapists, and sponsors to get ideas of activities to put on the list. You can also search online for ideas of fun sober activities. Visit the tourism website for your local area to see what events local groups are promoting, or try a website like meetup.com to join groups according to interest like a runner’s group or rock climbing. Over time, you should have a list of a variety of activities including outdoor activities, arts and crafts, sports, music, and social activities. Then, challenge yourself to try at least one activity on your list per week. After a few weeks, you will have hopefully found some sober activities that you would like to engage in on a regular basis, and begin overcoming your boredom.

Reflection

Another way of finding hobbies in sobriety is to reflect on the things you used to like to do before you started using drugs and alcohol. If you can’t re-engage in the exact same hobby, can you get involved with something similar? For example, if you played sports growing up, can you join an adult league now? If you used to go horseback riding, can you get involved at a stable again?  You don’t have to start from scratch when searching for hobbies you enjoy in recovery.  You can go back to what you know you liked to do before you started using substances.

Choosing the Right Sober Living Facility

A third way of developing hobbies and having fun in recovery is by living in a sober living facility.  Sober living facilities often organize outings for residents to prevent boredom and provide an opportunity to have some fun. When searching for a sober living residence, make sure to ask what types of events and activities are planned for recreation and how often these outings occur. If you’re already living in a sober living residence, speak with the other residents and the house manager about any recreational activities or outings you’d like to see happen for your house.

Exploring new activities while re-engaging in old hobbies is a great way to keep busy and have fun. Since boredom is such a major trigger in recovery from substance use disorders, it’s important to keep yourself occupied with hobbies and activities you enjoy.  If you are struggling with boredom in your recovery, try out some of the above suggestions to begin having a more fun and fulfilling recovery.