It may seem odd to think about staying busy when in recovery, but keeping your mind occupied can keep you from thinking about your problem behaviors. Whether you choose to focus on working toward goals full time or spend time doing an activity that helps you relax, you must find balance. The goal is to keep your mind on healthy things so your life can begin to change for the better. Addiction tends to keep our mind focused on a single thing, the actual addiction. If you can learn to refocus your mind and keep it busy in other areas than it will be easier to ignore the addiction. So how do you keep yourself busy and stay focused on recovery? The possibilities are endless, but a few will be shared below.
The best way to keep your mind active is to also keep your body active. Get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Take time to take a brisk walk or go on a slow hike. If the weather is rough spend some time indoors working out, doing yoga, or even dancing. Not only does this help your physical health, but can improve your mental health. Exercise has been known to help alleviate depression, anxiety, and lower stress levels.
If working out is not something you enjoy, try doing things around the house. Set a goal to get things done each day. Clean out a closet, reorganize kitchen cabinets, or even take time to clean out the junk drawer that exists in every house. Anything that requires focus can help you retrain your brain and body while in recovery.
Perhaps cleaning and exercise seem like activities that you would rather not do, even if you should. Take some time to write or paint or something to keep your hands and mind busy. If you have a hobby that has always been something you enjoyed or something you would like to try then now is the time to try. Many places offer free classes or low cost classes and activities that can get you out of the house and active. This also allows you to meet others who enjoy the activity and grow your circle of friends.
Another way to keep yourself busy is through volunteering. Volunteering has the additional benefit of helping others. A great way to further your recovery is to help others, even if it has nothing to do with recovery. If you like animals then most shelters allow for volunteers. Churches are also great places to meet people and find volunteer activities. Other programs such as adopt a highway or homeless shelters are always looking for extra help. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things and take opportunities you may not have been interested in during active addiction.
No matter what you choose, at the end of the day, you have improved your own or someone else’s life. Be proud of what you have done, even if everything does not go as planned. What would you choose to do if you could do anything? The possibilities are endless.
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