While recovery is a constant, continuous learning experience, it’s not necessarily a non-stop thrill ride. You’ll have plenty of down time, which isn’t always easy to handle when trying to stay sober. If not managed correctly, sometimes your free time can be consumed with temptations and cravings. However, figuring out how to spend your free time without drugs is a crucial part of the recovery process. Time that used to be spent doing drugs or drinking alcohol can now be put towards meaningful, rewarding endeavors, but only if you know how to manage your time wisely.
We often talk about how great hobbies are for recovery. They can stimulate your mind, help you find enjoyment in new things, and you might even make some new friends along the way. However, one of the most important things hobbies do is also one of the simplest. They fill time. Empty time in recovery is often difficult, because the temptation to use drugs or alcohol might come creeping back. When you’re addicted to drugs, most of your free time is consumed by either looking for or using drugs and alcohol. Hobbies can help fill this void in a real and meaningful way.
Rehab isn’t the end of your road to recovery; achieving sobriety is a long and challenging endeavor that continues long after you’ve left rehab. This is why many rehabs stress the need for aftercare programs like 12 step and non 12 step programs. These programs are designed to help you stay on track during recovery and avoid the temptation to use drugs or alcohol. These programs can also make it easy to meet people going through the exact same thing you are. With other people around, your free time will fill up with fun, learning experiences.
Find Meaning in Yourself
If you find yourself bored during your downtime in recovery, take this as an opportunity to reflect. Introspection is important in any form during recovery; you don’t need to meditate or anything too extreme, just spend some free time with no one but yourself. You’ll come to better understand how you think, and how to curb the temptations and cravings that can come with boredom and free time. Understanding yourself is as important in recovery as it is throughout your entire life, so this is a great skill to pick up regardless. Spending time with yourself can be the single most important thing you do during your recovery.
How you spend your free time matters. If you participate in activities like these, a recovery fraught with craving and temptation can be transformed into something far more enjoyable and rewarding.