Staying Busy in Recovery
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Staying Busy in Recovery

Staying Busy in Recovery

Learning how to sustain and manage a newfound life in recovery takes work. In recovery, you may begin to notice a lot of extra time in your day - you are no longer devoting this time to drink or use any substances. While it is great to be sober, not finding activities to help fill this newfound free time can become detrimental to your recovery and even lead to relapse. However, once you realize that you don't have to spend this time reliving your past, you can instead use it to look for new self-growth opportunities. Some of these opportunities can even lead to career pursuits. Learning ways to activate your motivation can help you seek new interests and hobbies actively.

Think Back to Your Childhood

After years of substance use, you might have forgotten the activities you did as a young child that you enjoyed. After using alcohol are drugs continually, you may even be feeling numb and, therefore, uncertain how different activities make you feel. Sometimes, taking the time to think back on your childhood, including what some of your dreams and hobbies were, are enough to reconnect you with something to help get you started. You might get started by talking with a friend or family member about your childhood memories and see what you discover. It is also good to think about whether you enjoyed art, music, sport, or something else. Looking into these parts of your past are perfect opportunities to reconnect you with an old passion. It is also therapeutic in the sense that you will be reliving fond memories from your past instead of giving your entire past away to your former substance use.

Implementing an Exercise Routine

A great way to fill time while simultaneously serving your recovery is exercise. Taking time to exercise, whether weight training, running or yoga, are great ways to help you avoid boredom. Exercise also helps produce endorphins, which creates an overall sense of happiness within. The process of exercising can be meditative and help overcome challenging thoughts and provoke thoughts of inspiration that can motivate you toward pursuing a new activity. Exercising just three to four times a week helps promote better sleeping habits, focus, and overall better mental and physical health. Each of these benefits reinforces the characteristics needed to maintain success in your recovery and life, helping you become more confident about handling daily challenges.

Get Outside

Getting your daily dose of fresh air and sunlight can do wonders for your mind, body, and soul. The best part is, you don't have to go out of your way to enjoy the outdoors. Getting outside can include sitting on a porch or patio while having a cup of coffee - the idea is to get some light and air. Sunlight helps produce dopamine, which is necessary for helping maintain your circadian rhythm and sleep patterns.

It is also essential to get some daylight during winter when the days are shorter. Even if you live in colder areas, take the opportunity to bundle up and enjoy a thermos of cocoa or coffee outside. Getting outside in the winter can help you fight against any feelings of Seasonal Affective Disorder you may be experiencing.

Look For Volunteer Opportunities

Nothing in recovery feels quite as satisfying as being able to give back and help someone else in need. You might join a local charity or volunteer event or even become a sponsor or mentor for another just beginning their journey to recovery. Whichever you decide, the focus should be on giving back. These selfless acts not only make you feel better but allow you to grow and expand upon your recovery network and community. If you find an opportunity that you are passionate about, it might even lead to a career opportunity. Such opportunities help give you work experience. Sometimes the education attained from volunteering, and hands-on experience is invaluable. Perhaps the best part is that you can use part of your day or certain days within the week to volunteer and fill the times you don't have anything to do.

Practicing Self-Care and Meditation

If you feel like you cannot think of anything to do, you can practice self-care. It is essential to remember to take time out of each day to exercise self-care in recovery. Activities can include hobbies you enjoy, reading, taking a bath, writing, meditation, and more - the possibilities are endless.

Meditation can help you free your mind from negative and distracting thoughts, promoting inner peace and tranquility. It is a great practice to begin your day with, as it will leave you feeling a sense of peace throughout the day. Meditation is also great before bed as it will help your mind wind down and therefore attain better rest. You can meditate on your own or participate in guided group sessions. Whichever you prefer, take time out of your day to heal your mind and body.

Sometimes early recovery can feel like venturing into the unknown; this is because you have not lived your life this way in some time. Such a venture can be both intimidating and scary, and it might even prevent you from moving forward. However, you might instead view this experience is allowing yourself the opportunity to reconnect and discover new things about yourself that you never thought possible. At START UP Recovery, we strive to help you see the potential inside and reach the places you never thought possible. With a refined staff, we are sure to help you locate and sustain the inner-motivation needed to achieve the best successes. If you are struggling to find what to do with your time, it may be time to seek help. Remember, your recovery and health should always come first. To learn more, reach out to us at START UP Recovery today by calling (310) 773-3809.

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