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Why It’s Important to Stay Busy in Early Sobriety

Typically there are five stages to addiction recovery: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. One of the main ways that you can stay steady with your recovery program is to consistently stay busy. Recovery can be monotonous, and even mundane. You want to busy yourself so you aren’t overwhelmed with emotion and potential withdrawal.

You can now expend that once wasted energy on something useful like a hobby, being an active member in your community, and taking a job. Here is how to stay busy and preoccupied as you take control of your health from the grasps of addiction.

Taking a new job.

Addiction is a lifelong battle, and being a contributing member to the economy can be a lifelong, fulfilling perspective. A job will also provide you a unique substance-free environment. While many people who have a job put value in amenity and privacy — there’s something very powerful about being honest with your experience with addiction and sharing your progress with trusted colleagues. Keep in mind that you want to be very discreet, with certain occupations being more helpful than others when it comes to accommodating those living a post addict lifestyle.

Exercising can do many things for those who are recovering from addiction. Not only will it keep you busy, but you’ll enjoy the unique benefits that exercise impacts your recovering body. An exercise regimen helps reduce stress, improve sleep, can further stabilize your mood, and prevent relapse; with evidence suggesting that regular exercise can increase abstinence rate by 95%.

  • Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise will have your heart pounding, increasing your heart rate for up to 40 minutes. Aerobic exercises flood your brain with feel-good hormones like endorphin and dopamine. Exercises that you can adapt to everyday life includes walking briskly, swimming, or even jogging. You can do these activities indoors or out.
  • Martial arts. Not only is this a good exercise to include in your everyday life, but it will teach you discipline and touch upon other areas of your life. The complex movements in martial arts are better for your brain, with sports like taekwondo and judo focusing on self-control and bringing together your body and mind.
  • Hiking. Hiking is a great way to improve your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Depending on your location, there might be clubs and meetings you can participate in where you will be able to hike with a group of like-minded people. Getting onto nature is a great way to clear your head, as well as give you the opportunity to gain some perspective on your journey.

Regardless of how you keep busy with exercise, make sure that you keep it fun. You do not want to uptake a fitness schedule that will eventually lead you to be uninterested. Make sure that you pick up an exercise routine that can accommodate your lifestyle and will keep you interested in the long run. Also, try to avoid the all-or-nothing mentality that many people tend to have when they start exercising. Keep it simple and avoid having a complicated fitness routine.

Cooking.

 Cooking is actually a highly involved activity — you need to gather the ingredients, cook them at the right temperature with the right utensils, then you worry if you are doing it right altogether. It’s a learning experience for yourself and for those who are going to enjoy the meal with you.

Volunteering. 

You’ve experience addiction, you know how the journey can be riddled with pitfalls. Find a cause and donate your time to it. There are countless other volunteer opportunities that are aligned with your interests. If you are not interested in volunteering for those who are currently battling addiction, there are other opportunities like joining an animal rescue group, political group, or assisting in homeless shelters.

About SeaChange Recovery

Sea Change Recovery is more than just a rehab facility — it provides individualized treatment and care to those who are battling with substance or reoccurring mental health conditions. Sea Change Recovery is a part of a fellowship of organizations that are recognized for its quality of care. To learn more about our treatment plans and center in Santa Monica, California, contact us.