Therapeutic Things to Do to Keep Your Mind Off of Drugs
Finding ways to keep your mind off of drugs and alcohol following addiction treatment is essential to overcoming cravings and preventing relapse. Engaging in new activities with friends and family is one of the healthiest ways to protect your sobriety in early recovery. Consider adding some of these strategies to your new sober lifestyle.
Fill Your Time with Enjoyable Activities
Replacing old habits with new ones takes time, but opening your eyes and making room in your life for new hobbies and activities will help you heal and establish new connections between those activities and feeling good. You can teach your brain and body to look for the natural endorphins that come from exercise and creative pursuits.
Consider exploring some of these activities to keep your mind off drugs:
Express Your Creativity
Draw, paint, or do crafts, even if you don’t think you are artistic. The purpose of these activities is not just to create a masterpiece; it is to remove the mind from the stresses of daily life. Hours can go by while you work on a project like these, during which you will probably not even think about using.
Meditate or Relax
Meditation is not always a static activity done by trained yoga masters. Meditation is self-therapy and can be as simple as focusing on a single point in space and practicing deep breathing. Other relaxation techniques are available that will help you get started with these beneficial and mind-clearing practices in a way with which you are comfortable.
Exercise and Explore
Heading to the gym will give you a daily buildup of mood-boosting endorphins, as well as burning calories and building a strong body. Taking a hike in nature or biking through a park gives you a feet-on-the-ground connection with the beautiful places nearby. Making an effort to explore in an active way combines the benefits of both into a new habit that makes you stronger every day.
Start Writing, Blogging, or Journaling
Releasing the past is made easier when we express what happened in words. By writing down your feelings about the past or future on paper or a personal blog, you have the opportunity to gain perspective on yourself. A concrete thought in a journal is also something you can look back on and then celebrate how you moved forward from that dark point. Many therapists and sober living programs recommend journaling as part of the recovery process.
Make Things Grow
Starting and tending a garden is a relaxing and physically active hobby that puts you back in touch with the land around you. Pulling weeds and digging are great for working out frustrations and watching vegetables or flowers come to a fruitful bounty, as a result, are good for the mind. Adding these homegrown vegetables to your family’s diet is an added bonus to your taste buds and pocketbook.
More Ways to Keep Your Mind Clear
- Learn to play an instrument
- Go fishing
- Join a sports team
- Go swimming or surfing
- Try sailing or kayaking
- Take a rock-climbing class
- Join a poetry or book reading group
- Start singing or dancing
- Read or listen to audiobooks
- Visit an arts and crafts shop
- Learn a new language
Other Empowering Ways to Stop Thinking About Drugs or Alcohol
There are also life strategies that will propel you forward into a life that is not dependent on drugs, eventually making staying sober a daily habit that does not need to be your only focus. Empower yourself with these new ways to tackle life’s challenges.
Find a Sense of Purpose
As you step out into a new way of life, finding meaning and purpose in your daily activities will help you stop thinking about drugs or alcohol. Some of the best active ways to do this include:
- Volunteering at homeless shelters, pet rescues, or environmental cleanup efforts
- Pursuing a new job or career opportunity and getting the associated training to succeed
- Helping family, neighbors, or friends with challenging tasks or chores on a regular basis
Seek Solid Support Systems
In almost every part of the country, you can find sober support groups and community resources to help you in your journey. Engaging with sober people who want to help you succeed, and leaning on a sponsor or mentor when you feel tempted to use drugs, is a proven way to overcome challenges. Be sure to find a strong recovery community in your area and spend time with supportive people in your own circle.
Create Structure and Order
Within a treatment program or sober living facility, there are scheduled and structured daily tasks to help keep you on track. Whichever of these activities you choose to add to your post-treatment plan, create a calendar or schedule and be accountable to yourself for following it.
Some of the factors to consider when structuring your life may be:
- Getting up and going to bed at the same time each day.
- Setting aside time for cleaning, laundry, and household chores.
- Eating and exercising on a regular schedule.
- Making support groups and 12-step meetings a priority.
- Establishing regular time-slots to try new activities and expand your world.
Set Goals and Plan to Achieve Them
Before you can start on a new regimen of healthy activities and purposeful work, you may need to identify what it is you wish to accomplish. Knowing what your personal goals are is the first step to achieving them. Here are some examples of achievable goals you might set to enhance your physical and mental health during recovery:
- Enrolling in a vocational program or another educational opportunity
- Investigating sports teams and clubs in your local area
- Creating a budget for both money and time
- Developing a plan to take care of outstanding bills or legal issues
- Staying in contact with local addiction treatment programs
Eat a Healthy Diet
Focusing on learning about healthy eating, shopping for ingredients, and learning to cook nutritious and delicious meals is a great way to get your mind off other things. The natural pleasures of eating and the creativity of trying new recipes and flavors are positive and empowering ways to restore your body from the damage caused by substance use.
Very often, those who are in the grip of addiction do not practice good self-care, and they do not eat well or exercise regularly. Restoring these essential parts of wellness to your lifestyle is a worthwhile focus following addiction treatment.
Consider a Change of Scenery
Maybe there isn’t much to do in your local community, or the associations you have built with drugs or alcohol leave you with no new places to visit. Your circle of friends might be a source of temptation to relapse.
If this is your situation, you may want to consider moving or relocating to a new city or spending some time in a sober living home to remove these influences from your daily environment. Make sure the place you are moving to has the resources and opportunities to enrich your life and help you stay sober.
Find a Way to Give Back to or Help Others
Helping others in recovery is part of the healing process for many individuals, and it may help you stay sober yourself. Volunteering at a homeless shelter or place of worship and making a positive difference in the world will help you shed feelings of guilt or remorse. Getting involved in your local community and remaining engaged with your recovery community will open the doors to these empowering opportunities.
Have a Safe Home Base at All Times
There is no substitute for a safe and sober place to live as the starting point for these life changes. If you are or a loved one is still struggling with addiction, consider RECO Institute in Delray Beach, Florida as that stable platform for change. Our luxurious sober living homes are set in vibrant communities full of fun activities and sober events. Call us today to explore addiction treatment options that focus on your individual needs and interests.