How Can I Develop Healthy Hobbies to Promote a Lasting Recovery?
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Managing your mental health needs in recovery looks different for everyone, and for some, it can be challenging in the beginning. Scoring a fresh start may seem overwhelming when trying to get into a new routine of healthy habits. Initially, you may only be able to focus on one thing daily, such as meeting with a counselor or something as simple as waking up early to make breakfast. In the beginning, many focus on removing old, negative things instead of worrying about adding positive changes.
Finding The Right Hobby
Picking up a hobby to focus on can benefit your physical and mental health previously harmed by stress, anxiety, or substance use. Benefits of finding a healthy hobby include:
- Stress relief
- Feelings of accomplishment or self-worth
- Provides a way to focus on future or upcoming goals
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- It allows you to see things from a different perspective
Hobbies can also ground you, focus you, and keep you safe.
Take Up Volunteering
Volunteering is the way to go if you want to do something that will make you feel good about yourself. The possibilities are endless when you look into your options to volunteer in your community. Common options include:
- Local food bank
- Animal shelters
- Adoption centers
- American Red Cross
- Faith organizations
- Disaster relief organizations
- National parks
Not only can volunteering give you a sense of purpose and redemption, but it can also help you get out and meet new people. This is an essential part of recovery because spending time with the same crowd from your past can cause you to face relapse triggers. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to connect with like-minded people. Volunteering could result in an 8.5% increase in mental health and a 4.3% decrease in depression. Recovery can have good days and bad days, but getting out and doing good deeds can help decrease those bad days.
Find Adventure Through Reading
Reading is a great way to escape and lose yourself in another world. You can choose to read for pleasure, to learn, or to connect with the author’s own story about their journey to recovery. While it may be beneficial to read about mental health specific to your personal struggles, you can still benefit from reading any story that may be of interest to you.
People often turn to books to help them relax and unwind. Reading as part of a routine can improve sleep quality. Additionally, reading can strengthen vocabulary as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
Try Your Hand at Writing
Picking up writing or journaling can help you vent or express your emotions and process your thoughts. Journaling can promote healing and create a sense of freedom and release as you explore your highs, lows, and everything in between. What’s great about this therapeutic tool is you can choose what to write about. For example, one day, you could navigate the events that may have happened in your past. On the other hand, you may write about current or future events that concern, excite, or overwhelm you. Moreover, writing about things you are grateful for daily can ensure you keep a positive outlook.
Keeping a digital or paper journal allows you to self-reflect and analyze your progress over time. Examples of potential writing prompt include:
- Writing down your goals for the day
- Creating a list of where you want to be in the future
- Writing a letter to your past self
- Writing a letter to your future self
- Writing what you are grateful for
- Writing down things that make you smile
- Writing down things that may frustrate you
Writing is a powerful tool for anyone looking to improve their mental health but doing so while in recovery requires you to process your feelings. Your confidential journal entries will help you stay honest, which is necessary to grow and learn.
Beyond volunteering, reading, or writing, you can explore things such as hiking, yoga, swimming, martial arts, and more. Reading and writing are excellent ways to rest and unwind but engaging in an activity that gets your body moving or outside is a huge advantage.
Overall, the benefits of finding a hobby in recovery are unmatched. Having an activity that you regularly take part in can allow you to focus on your strengths or can allow you to escape from time to time. Starting a new hobby can be scary or daunting at first, but if you stick with it, you’ll surely find something you enjoy.
Picking up a hobby can quickly become part of your daily routine and feel like a key element of your recovery. Hobbies promote relaxation, time to process emotions, and ultimately strengthen the recovery journey. Choosing a hobby that interests you can be your daily motivation to better yourself in many ways. Your new hobby can be a form of therapy that allows you to release and overcome bottled-up emotions that you have been struggling to express. At Alter Wellness Care, we offer a culmination of conventional and holistic practices necessary for healing. These practices allow you to explore potential hobbies. Our group programs allow you to share your experiences, make friends, and learn more about your interests. If you or a loved one is struggling to manage their recovery, the time to get help is now. For more information about our therapies or other treatment options we offer, reach out and call Alter Wellness Care at (866) 311-3510.
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