For people who have become addicted to a substance or who are perpetually abusing a substance, thinking of things to do other than use the substance can be difficult. After all, addiction, by definition, is something that consumes your thoughts and desires. When you are addicted, your world revolves around indulging in your addiction. A majority of your thoughts, time, money and energy are devoted to your addiction. For this reason, it is not surprising that you cannot get your mind off of it long enough to imagine how else you could be spending your time. Below are some ideas of how to reconnect to more purposeful activities and pursuits that will be challenging enough to keep you occupied but that will be therapeutic enough to keep you happy.
- Become involved in the arts. Addicts frequently have abilities that lend themselves to the arts. Not always, but often, the same personal qualities that lead a person to experiment with an addictive substance or activity are the same qualities that lead them to be experimental with their creativity and imagination, making them gifted in the arts.
- Take up an enjoyable hobby. Finding the recreational activity you enjoy the most can be a very important tool to your addiction recovery. A rewarding hobby has numerous benefits for your mental health, and can even turn into a vocation or career.
- Find a way of helping people. For those who love to connect with others, it can be very rewarding and meaningful to reach out to those in need, perhaps even to those who are not as far along in their own addiction recovery.
- Return to school. Continuing in ongoing education or pursuing an education in a new field is very mentally invigorating and stimulating for many people. In addition, it creates many opportunities for the student.
- Undergo a career change. Not everyone chooses the career that is most sustainable to them on the first go. If your work is leaving you unsatisfied, start over in a new field to keep life from becoming stagnant and to keep addiction at bay.
- Exercise and do physical activities. Exercise will restore your health from the ravages of addiction and challenge you to meet fitness goals.