How Can Hobbies Help With Self-Improvement And Staying Sober
Self-Improvement And Staying Sober Go Hand In Hand
If you struggle with either of these issues, it can be hard to figure out the best approach to give up your drinking habit.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to stopping drinking, of course. But, many people find that they can benefit from starting a new hobby.
Read on to learn how taking up a hobby can help you get or stay sober and continue on your journey toward self-improvement.
The Importance of Hobbies for Sobriety
Why are hobbies so helpful to people who are trying to get or remain sober?
There are a few reasons why many people who struggle with alcohol abuse benefit from taking up a new hobby, including the following:
When you’re trying to overcome alcohol addiction (or any addiction, for that matter), it’s best to avoid boredom at all costs.
If you’re bored, you’re more likely to reach for a drink or head out to a bar, just to pass the time.
Hobbies make it easier for you to avoid boredom. If you have spare time on your hands, you can simply turn to your new hobby to keep you occupied.
Make New Connections
Sometimes, the hardest part of staying sober is learning to deal with peer pressure from your friends to drink.
If you’re having a hard time saying no to your friends, it might be time to start making some new social connections.
Hobbies give you an opportunity to meet new people with whom you already have something in common.
Even seemingly solo hobbies (knitting, painting, cooking, etc.) can take place in a group setting, too. All it takes is a quick internet search to find local classes or meetups designed for people who enjoy the same hobby as you.
Keep Your Mind Busy
It’s easy to slip into unhealthy thought patterns while you’re working on getting or remaining sober.
Many hobbies are great for keeping your mind busy so that you avoid these unhealthy or unproductive thoughts.
Thinking about your hobby also helps you learn to set goals and gives you something to work toward.
If you’re trying to learn and get better at a specific skill, for example, you have less time to think about mistakes you’ve made in the past or the urges you have to drink again.
Improve Your Self-Image
Struggling with sobriety can take a serious toll on your self-image.
It’s easy to get down on yourself and feel frustrated about the challenges you’re facing as you work to overcome alcohol addiction or abuse.
Taking up a hobby and giving yourself goals to work toward can help you feel more accomplished and better about yourself in general.
Manage Stress in a Healthy Way
A hobby also gives you a healthy outlet to deal with stress.
If you used to reach for a glass of wine or head to the bar when life got hard, try to take up a hobby instead.
In the same way that hobbies help you avoid boredom, they also help you avoid drinking when you’re stressed out and need to relax.
Doing something you enjoy can bring about the same positive feeling you experience when you have a drink. But, unlike with drinking, participating in your hobby of choice won’t come with any undesirable consequences.
How to Find a New Hobby
As you can see, there are lots of reasons to consider taking up a new hobby. But, how do you figure out which hobby is right for you?
Follow these steps to simplify the process of finding a new hobby:
Think About What You Used to Enjoy
When you’re trying to find a new hobby, it’s helpful to look backwards and think about things you used to enjoy.
You can consider activities you enjoyed as a child or just the activities you enjoyed in the last few years but didn’t keep up with.
Did you enjoy art? Hiking? Lifting weights? Crocheting?
Whatever your hobby of choice was in the past, what is holding you back from taking it up again now?
Consider Your Personality
Before taking up a new hobby, it’s good to think about your personality and the types of activities that will pair well with that personality.
For example, if you are an introverted person, a hobby you can do on your own like painting or hiking might be more suitable.
If you’re an extroverted person, a group-centered hobby like a cooking class or group fitness class might be a better option.
Talk to Your Friends About Their Hobbies
If you’re still drawing a blank and aren’t sure which hobby is right for you, talk to your friends or family members to see what they enjoy.
Maybe you can tag along with them to their favorite yoga class or volunteer with them at their favorite charitable organization.
Even if you don’t enjoy that particular hobby, maybe you and your friend can find something else that you like to do together instead.
Don’t be Afraid to Experiment
Finally, remember that it can take time to find the right hobby for you.
If one hobby isn’t fun or you find that it causes you more stress, it’s okay to give it up and try something else.
Don’t let other people convince you that you ought to stick with a hobby if you’re not really enjoying it. Do what you like and what makes the most sense for your personality and lifestyle.
Looking for More Self-Improvement Tips?
Taking up a new hobby can be a very helpful step in your sobriety and self-improvement journey. It can keep you busy, improve your sense of self-worth, and teach you to manage stress more effectively.
But, sometimes, you need additional help to overcome your addictions once and for all.
If you think this might be the case for you, you might want to consider working with a one-on-one sobriety coach.