Sometimes distractions can be a good thing. The initial stages of recovery can deplete all of our energy and emotional strength and take an enormous physical and psychological toll. It may very well be all we can do to focus on maintaining abstinence at first. Eventually, however, it will get easier and we will inevitably find ourselves starting to reconnect with the world around us. We will also find that embracing new hobbies and reigniting our passion for some of our past interests will sometimes be the key to staying on track, particularly during our more vulnerable days going forward.
Hobbies allow us to keep ourselves busy, create new social connections, build our self-confidence and have something to focus on during the more difficult days of the recovery process. They can also grow into enduring lifelong passions and careers under the right circumstances. Whether it’s something more occupational in nature (playing an instrument, drawing, creative writing, etc.) or something more holistic like yoga, meditation, Pilates or anything else, hobbies can be a lifechanging force that help us maintain our recovery and enrich our lives in various other ways. It’s also important, however, that we make time for other elements of our recovery, like therapy and 12-Step meetings.
Whether we’re going back to that one thing that made us happy prior to our substance abuse or we’re picking up something entirely new, it’s never too late to establish a hobby. Many of us actually develop new interests during treatment through different occupational therapies to which we’re exposed during our programs. Some of us may never even have dreamed of taking up something like yoga, but when it becomes a fundamental part of our treatment and recovery, we can’t help but integrate it into our everyday lives. We have to leave ourselves open to new things if we’re going to move forward.