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The beginning of recovery, for most people, is anything but fun. It’s hard to navigate your new reality and altering old behaviors and lifestyles. Although early recovery poses many challenges, it is possible to have fun while sober. Yes, it may take extra effort to find new ways to have fun that don’t involve drugs or alcohol, but in time you’ll be having fun without even trying. Here are some ways you can begin to redefine your idea of “fun” in sobriety.

Finding Fun in Sobriety

Let Go of The Past

If you keep focusing on how much fun you used to have while using drugs and/or alcohol, you will never be happy in recovery. Romanticizing your past substance use will make everything you do sober seem dull by comparison. If you find it particularly difficult to move on from this, try to remember the negative consequences of your drug and alcohol use. It is completely normal to find it difficult to redefine fun in sobriety, especially at the beginning of recovery, however, it is important to remind yourself why you’re sober and focus on the present moment.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

While trying to find new ways to have fun in recovery, it is important to keep an open mind. Activities you may have not enjoyed while you were using or simply never tried may end up being of interest to you now. Being willing to say “yes” to new experiences is essential in redefining fun in sobriety.

Listen to Yourself

Listening to yourself is integral in finding out what fun in sobriety means to you. What fun means is different for each person. Spending time to discover what interests you is important in redefining fun in sobriety. If you’re struggling to find things you’re interested in, practices like mediation, mindfulness, and visualizations can help you understand yourself and what you enjoy more intimately.

Involve Others

Yes, redefining fun in sobriety means discovering what fun means to you, however, this does not mean you have to be on the journey alone. Many other individuals in recovery are experiencing the same struggle when trying to redefine fun in sobriety. Finding other people to take part in activities and try out new things can make this process more enjoyable. Moreover, involving other people in this journey can result in lifelong friendships and a support system that may make remaining sober much easier.

Activities to Try When Redefining Fun in Recovery

Here are some possible activities to try out when you’re trying to figure out what fun in recovery means to you:

  1. Get active: Try something that involves your whole body. Taking part in sports or working out can be a great hobby that is also amazing for your mental health.
  1. Use your hands: If you’re the creative type, finding a creative outlet may be essential for having fun in sobriety. Trying out painting, knitting, or even sculpting may be a good idea when redefining when fun means to you in recovery.
  1. Spend time with animals: Animals are a great way to connect with nature and yourself. Volunteering at an animal shelter or offering to walk your friend’s dog can be a great way to spend some time outside, be of service, and get to further connect with yourself and nature.
  1. Take a trip: Sometimes a change of scenery is just what you need. If you are able, traveling can be an amazing opportunity to see the world and discover yourself further. Whether you’re going on a road trip with some friends or flying to Europe, traveling can offer you a break from regular life and give you some perspective.
  1. Enroll in some classes: Now that you’re sober, it may be the perfect time to discover new academic interests. Whether this means enrolling in a few courses online, at a college, or furthering your education in other ways, your sobriety offers you a new opportunity to find what you are passionate about and to learn more about it.
  1. Hang out with sober friends: Just because you’re sober now doesn’t mean you have to drop your friends who are not sober. That being said, creating friendships with other sober people is a good idea in maintaining your sobriety and in finding new ways to have fun in recovery. Hanging out with other people experiencing the same, or similar challenges can help you feel less alone and more willing to try new things.

Redefining Fun in Recovery with Design for Recovery

With the help of Design for Recovery and its residents, you can begin to redefine what fun means to you in sobriety. Design for Recovery helps their residents stay sober through one-on-one mentoring, weekly house gatherings, employment support, money management, family outreach, and foundation based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Design For Recovery can help you develop a base of skills and tools to thrive in society while also providing you with opportunities for leisure activities, community support, and employment. At Design for Recovery, you can discover what fun means to you in recovery while safeguarding your sobriety.

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Edited by: David Beasley

David Beasley - Design for Recovery

David Beasley is a certified RADT (Registered Alcohol/Drug Technician). David, moved to California from North Carolina after many failed attempts to get sober.

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Charley earned his Masters of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).He teaches mindfulness to both adults and children in group setting such as schools, corporate workplaces, and medical treatment facilities.

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