Sobriety can be a lonely experience, especially if you are new to addiction recovery. Weekend guides do not include sections listing the top sober activities. On the contrary, we are encouraged to buy alcohol and seek our entertainment in places that place a strong focus on adult beverages.
Much of our social life centres around substance use. Not only is alcohol use socially acceptable, but it’s also expected in many circumstances. People who become intoxicated are seen as funny, confident and friendly. Those who turn down a drink are frequently ridiculed. With so much pressure to drink or have a puff of a joint in social settings, it may seem challenging to figure out how to have fun without alcohol and drugs.
What makes it even more difficult is that for people who are fresh out of rehab, unused expanses of time can be terrifying. Inpatient rehab is highly structured: every moment of the day is accounted for. Even your recreational time is carefully planned to harmonize with your time spent in therapeutic activities.
Now that you are home and in charge of your own timetable, weekends and evenings can seem overwhelming. And if one of your old friends knocks on your door and invites you to go out for “just one drink,” the temptation may seem overwhelming. By filling your time with activities that promote long-term sobriety, you can make it a lot easier on yourself.
What Are The Best Sober Activities For Me To Pursue?
Now that you are in recovery, your life is not going to look the same as it did when you were using drugs or alcohol. Like other elements of recovery, it will take a bit of time and effort for you to become accustomed to doing different things. But you could well find that before long, your new activities will be an essential part of your life.
Attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting may not, at first glance, sound like anyone’s idea of a good time. But some of the people at your support group meetings will become an essential part of your social life. This is why it’s one of our top sober activities for residents in Canada and the USA.
This is a setting where you can feel free to be yourself without fear of judgment from other people. Instead of mocking you, your support group friends will congratulate you for not drinking or using drugs.
Not only are support groups a necessary regular activity for many recovering addicts, but they can also be a great fall-back for those days when you need to do something with your time. Instead of accepting that invitation for a drink, why not go down to your nearest meeting where you will be safe while the craving passes?
Physical exercise is one of the top sober activities for many recovering addicts. By joining a sports team, you can stay healthy and enjoy other benefits including the following:
- You will meet a new group of people who have an interest in common with you
- Team sports provide opportunities to build collaborative skills that can benefit you in other areas of your life
- Team sports are goal-oriented: setting a goal and then attaining it are good for self-esteem
- Your team will not win every game, and you will be able to learn from the losses and move on surrounded by supportive teammates
- People who belong to sports teams generally follow a healthy lifestyle, and they are unlikely to pressure you into using alcohol or other substances
Have you always wanted to learn how to paint, sew or dance? Have you been meaning to brush up on your cooking skills or learn how to change a tire? Many community centres and adult learning institutes offer very good evening and weekend classes in a variety of skills.
Like sports teams, these classes offer the added benefit of putting you in contact with people who are interested in similar things to you. What makes this one of the top sober activities is that having regularly scheduled classes gives you a reason not to use drugs or alcohol. Making a commitment to show up for class is a great way to develop accountability – and you get to learn something new in the process.
Take A Drive With Loved Ones
If you are looking for worthwhile activities that promote long-term sobriety, time with loved ones is at the top of the list. There are many ways to do this: a picnic in the park with your children, a weekend in a country bed-and-breakfast with your spouse or partner, or simply a drive in the country. This is an option that works for everyone.
For those who like to plan, one of the top recommended sober activities is to book a party area in a park and organize a gathering for extended family and friends. Those who prefer to wing it can simply get into the car with their family, grab food at a drive-thru, and find a scenic place to eat.
Attend A College Sports Game
If you are a sports fan but you want to avoid mainstream arenas that sell beer, see what sporting events are happening at your local college.
The level of college gameplay is very high. Remember that the major sporting leagues get their new talent from colleges. But many college sports venues do not serve alcohol, so you can get the quality sporting event without the temptation.
Several studies conducted all over the world have shown that generosity is a predictor of happiness. This includes generosity of time. Those who volunteer for a good cause are more likely to have higher levels of self-esteem and contentment than those who don’t.
This is a great way for you to give back to your community. Working at a food bank or volunteering at a community fundraising event can go a long way to contributing to your healing. You can fill up your time, make the world a better place, and connect with some great people.
Enjoy Your Own Company
Being with people can make it easier for you to enjoy sober activities at night and over the weekend. However, you must learn how to value the time spent by yourself. Typically, time spent at an addiction treatment centre can equip you with the skills to enjoy time on your own. But, there’s more you can do.
Take up some hobbies you can do alone, such as writing, art, or playing the guitar. This builds peace within yourself, and it gives you a refuge in times of stress.
Other Tips For Making Weekends And Evenings Easier
Knowing how to have fun without alcohol and drugs is important. By following these tips, you can enhance your enjoyment and improve your chances of sobriety.
- Avoid places that are centred around alcohol, such as bars, some restaurants, and casinos.
- Where possible, avoid contact with people who are primarily a negative force in your life.
- Have someone you can call who will “rescue” you from uncomfortable situations if needed.
- If you are at a party, immediately get a non-alcoholic beverage. If people see you already holding a glass, they will not be inclined to offer you alcohol.
- If someone at a gathering does press a drink on you, simply set it down and walk away.
- Ask your loved ones to role play potentially awkward situations with you. Practice refusing a drink, arriving at a dinner party, and so on.
- Set boundaries with your friends and family members. Let them know what you need – and what you don’t need – as you continue your recovery.
What To Do In The Event Of A Relapse
Every recovering addict is one incident of substance use away from a relapse. If it happens to you, simply pick yourself up and carry on with your recovery. Relapse does not mean you have failed. It does not mean your addiction treatment did not work. It is only a temporary setback, one that you can learn from.
Not everybody achieves lasting sobriety on their first try. There is no shame in returning to rehab if that is what you need. At Addictions CA, we welcome anyone who needs help, whether it is their first, second or tenth time in rehab. Our customized addiction treatment program will help you get back on track. When you leave us, you will be stronger, and ready to enjoy some top sober activities without needing drugs or alcohol. To get started or learn more, call us at 855-601-0555.