For many of us in recovery, leisure or free time used to mean a time for “bad behavior”. It was the time I personally would abuse alcohol.
Once I got clean and sober, it became very important to find new activities to occupy myself. That void needed to be filled with healthy pursuits or boredom and subsequent isolation would inevitably result in relapse.
Now in early recovery, some of my time is used constructively – tending to family and other issues and focusing on recovery-related activities. Work and/or volunteer positions are also important for my self-esteem and feelings of productivity.
But also crucial to my new sober lifestyle is balance and in order to find that balance, I needed to find ways to have fun safely in sobriety.
It is sometimes difficult to participate in certain activities because of financial shortfalls or other obligations, but with a little creativity, I have found things to do that are free or cost very little. Hobbies such as reading (I recommend getting a library card – what a great way to spend some time!), exploring the City and doing arts and crafts that interest me are some examples.
Whatever safe activities that we in recovery find to do, we should try to have fun with them – they can be both interesting and rewarding and help stave off that feeling of boredom and isolation.