Recovery is a long road paved with hurdles of all kinds.
The numbers tell us that the problem is widespread and systemic. Almost 21 million people in the United States suffer from at least some form of addiction, with just 11% on the path to treatment and recovery. It is clear that the situation is dire, but recovery programs and addiction help communities are catching up with innovative answers and patient-first approaches.
Hobbies are one of them!
They can be a great way of overcoming the difficulty and tediousness of long-term recovery once you step out of structured care. Hobbies help individuals build resilience, give them a chance to bond with people who have similar interests, and motivate them to keep going.
Hobbies in Mental Health & Recovery
Hobbies are proven to have a marked effect on mental health issues. Addiction recovery often requires a multipronged approach that involves not just abstinence from substances, but a holistic approach that combines physical and mental well-being. Improving dysfunctional mindsets requires a change in daily routine beyond guided therapy and external help and support.
Hobbies and self-directed leisure activities can accelerate the process of recovery. Benefits of meaningful hobbies include:
- Hobbies engaged in nature and green spaces help manage levels of cortisol - a hormone that regulates the body’s response to stress and aids relaxation.
- Improved social connections and community immersion through new-found friendships and engagement with people.
- Hobbies can help restore self-esteem. This is especially important for recovery after a period of poor impulse control when morale is at an all-time low.
- There are myriad physical factors such as heart and cognitive health benefits that hobbies affect positively and promote successful recoveries.
The emotional trauma and stress that comes with addiction often mean poor mental health is a part of the package. The solutions to alleviate these conditions are also linked and need to work together to break vicious circles of dysfunctionality.
We know through experience that boredom breeds evil. When fighting addiction, it is important to create meaningful activities to fill idle hours. From engaging in a long-forgotten penchant for a board game to learning to play a musical instrument you have always wanted to - there are numerous ways to enhance your inner life and heal through the meaningfulness hobbies provide.
Importance of Peer-Supported Hobbies
Peer groups can play a crucial role in the recovery process. People who can relate to your struggles and share a silent pact to recover together can be just as important as developing personal interests.
Studies have shown a positive effect on mental well-being when patients are encouraged to take up new hobbies involving group engagement. These can be in the form of hobby groups or societies that are involved in creating something - be it music, drawing, or handicraft work like sewing, carpentry, and sculpture-building. These hobbies can be cultivated along with making new friends and sharing experiences and motivations in therapy or recovery-driven support groups.
Such hobbies relate to self-directed leisure time and provide newer and healthier outlets for self-expression and creativity. They are a way for people in recovery to relax outside their usual coping mechanisms.
The Joys of Discovering New Hobbies
Rehab gives people a structure to follow, with an influx of activities that help with healthy coping strategies. Getting invested in new hobbies during this time cannot just aid your healing process but also help you prevent relapse later. Being absorbed by something helps you get to know yourself better - it will allow you to assess your strengths and weaknesses, rate your skills, and prepare for life beyond therapy.
For example, if you have a good eye and love to take portraits of people, you could create a photography project and work on building up your talents. If your hobbies encourage physical movement, joining a beginner’s sports club can help you recall how good you were in your high school basketball team. A local improvisation group. A birdwatcher’s society. A group of people who love to make bread from scratch. No activity is too small or too big.
Hobbies as Life Skills
To live an addiction-free life post-rehabilitation, it is important to invest time in life-building skills. That can be anything from cooking and budgeting to learning a new language.
There is no end to activities that can help you improve the quality of your life as well as your physical health. Some ideas are:
- Gardening - Growing plants and taking care of a life form is not just beneficial and instructive, but it also teaches perseverance.
- Writing - Putting pen to paper can be a great partner in recovery. Journaling can help bring you closer to yourself and improve clarity on underlying issues.
- Online classes - Education is a lifelong journey. Take a course in an area you’ve been professionally engaged in. Or enroll in a cohort-based reading circle that introduces you to a niche topic of interest.
- Cooking - Knowing your way around the kitchen is a must for any adult human being. Learning to cook a few easy-to-prep meals can bring joy and also save money spent on ordering food.
A Lifestyle Free from Addiction Awaits You
Studio 64 Recovery recognizes the depth of America’s addiction problems and understands that the path to recovery requires sustained effort and community building.
Our program includes regular drug testing, 12-step meetings, and individual counseling sessions. We’re equipped with quality outpatient care facilities and a holistic environment that includes hobby-building and group work.
We offer our clients a range of treatment options - from recreational methods like music and art therapy to evidence-based structured programs like cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI).
Nestled away in the private hills of Hollywood, Studio 64 can help you build the foundations for a life free from addiction.
Call us at 866-260-2374 or reach out to us online today!