Once a person has beaten drug and alcohol addiction, the next quest that lies before them is staying sober and maintaining their new-found abstinence. In the constant quest for betterment and personal life improvement, recovering addicts are challenged on a daily basis to hold to their commitment to freedom from addiction. Some days, this is harder to do than others. Some days require more persistence and a greater level of diligence and commitment.
When people fall prey to an addiction, part of what predisposes that could simply be an addictive personality. An addictive personality is a trait where a person is simply naturally predisposed to engaging in addictive activities or habits that could lead towards substance abuse. This is the norm for them, the standard so to speak. To avoid diving off the deep end and falling in with substance abuse through a relapse, recovering addicts need to find other, healthier, more positive activities that they can get hooked on that benefit them, not which detract from them.
Healthy Activities that Lead to a Sober Lifestyle
There are lots of things a recovering addict can do to stay sober. To a large degree, it depends on their interests, on their lifestyle, and what they would truly find enjoyment in. Listed below are a few activities that recovering addicts should consider:
- Physical Fitness. Drug and alcohol abuse has a definitive, negative toll on a person’s health. Engaging in physical fitness as a part of one’s recovery program is a great way to heal the body while also giving an individual a positive and worthwhile activity to devote time to. There are hundreds of different ways one can partake in this, from gym workouts to dance classes, Yoga to Pilates, outdoor activities to sports.
- Health and Nutrition. Another valuable endeavor for people in recovery is to pursue healthy eating and nutrition. Eating bad foods and high-sugar, high-fat foods is actually a relapse risk factor, as such foods trigger the same dopamine releases that drug use does. Recovering addicts should consider committing themselves to healthy eating as a valuable and worthwhile activity. Such a positive habit would not only have good, healing effects on the person in general, but it would help them stay sober too.
- Recovery Community. Perhaps one of the best ways to prevent a relapse is to engage in a recovery community of some kind and to really commit to an ongoing pursuance of recovery. Some studies indicate that people who take part in outpatient, follow-up care of some kind are twenty-five percent more likely to maintain recovery than people who do not. There are several different types of recovery communities, from Twelve Step groups to one-on-one counselors and therapists, church gatherings and educational sessions, all purposed towards helping people build stability and freedom in their recovery path.
- Volunteer in the Community. During the course of time spent as an addict, all a person did was likely take, take, take from the family and from society in general. When a recovering individual begins life anew, they need to focus on how they can help others. After years spent hindering others, “reversing the flow” has unlimited benefits for people in recovery. No matter what kind of volunteering a person does, any time spent volunteering is time well spent.
- Find Artistic, Creative Hobbies. People who turned to drugs and alcohol often did so because they could not find a way to express themselves. The cravings and “daily-use” part of the addiction may be gone now for someone who is in recovery, but the difficulty in expressing oneself may still be there. To avoid a relapse, one should engage in activities of which they are very fond. One should find a hobby or interest that excites them, something they can get as passionate about as they once were about drugs or alcohol.
- Find and Engage in a Thrilling Career. Whether already involved in a career or not, people in recovery should make it a point to commit to a career they can feel truly passionate about. Staying sober from drugs and alcohol is all about pushing away from drug abuse, away from alcohol abuse, and supplanting the need for substances with a need for success and happiness in other areas. This is a valuable mission. Diving into one’s career and pursuing positive activities is conducive to sobriety. Backsliding in life, being a couch potato, and not doing anything more than the bare minimum needed to survive is not helpful.
People need to take care to find things that they can do that help them stay sober. This is not a battle they have to fight alone. In fact, any addictions expert will tell a recovering addict that they should try to make recovery as easy for themselves as possible, to reduce stress and to make life happier. Part of this can be accomplished by simply diving into activities, passions, interests, lifestyles, and careers that are geared towards sobriety and healthy living, not relapse. When recovering addicts do this, they stand a chance at making lasting, positive change in their lives.