Do you take care of yourself? How do you take care of yourself? Often, we answer the first question with, “Yes!” and the latter with, “Ummm.” Simply put, self-care is taking care of ourselves by what we deliberately do (or refrain from doing) with our own well-being in mind.
In the early stages of recovery, self-care can be extremely important. Structure, routine, setting boundaries, finding a sponsor, and attending meetings are all forms of self-care. But what about other aspects of ourselves that influence our sobriety, like our mental health? Having an outlet that is safe and healthy is vital for our mental health and learning a new hobby might be the thing!
Let’s face it, life after addiction rehab can be entirely different than it was before treatment. One of the challenges that you’ll face is how to fill your leisure time after quitting substance abuse. Finding a hobby allows you to avoid trouble by staying busy and engaging in things that make you happy.
The first step is to assess your strengths and preferences. What are you good at? What do you like? You may want to rate your skills on a scale from zero to three, with zero being, “Not at all like me” and three being, “Very much like me.” Identifying some of your strengths as well as what you enjoy doing can help you find the best hobbies or activities for you. Using your time wisely also helps you avoid boredom, anger, stress, and other negative emotions.
Whether it’s making jewelry or practicing martial arts, everyone has something they’re interested in. Follow your interests and natural tendencies, even if they seem strange, and you may discover an activity that inspires you. Here’s a list of ideas that might match your strengths and, with a little practice, could ever become your new favorite hobby!
- Learning to play an instrument
- Joining a sports team
- Painting or drawing
- Rock climbing
- Writing stories
- Joining a poetry or reading group
- Singing or dancing
About the Author
Justin Manco, CMHC is a primary therapist at Wasatch Crest. Justin facilitates individual, family, and group therapy. Justin has over ten years of experience working in the mental health field and is trained in Brainspotting, a therapeutic technique used to heal trauma.
Justin is a proud husband and father of three and has a dog named Guage. In his free time, he trains and competes in triathlons and Ironman races. Justin was raised in New Zealand and has traveled to every continent besides Africa.