It’s not uncommon for recovering addicts to become complacent or even bored in sobriety. You may get into a monotonous cycle of attending meetings, hanging around the same people and feeling less vigorous than the first couple years of sobriety.
The key to keeping things interesting is balance. Think of your life as a pie chart, sliced into the areas in life that are important to you. In order to live a well-rounded life that can keep you rolling steady throughout recovery, you must strive to keep every slice of the pie stimulated and “full.”
These 5 tips can help you stay engaged and avoid burnout during recovery.
1. Embark on a Spiritual Journey
Recovery is a journey, not a one-stop-shop. Besides getting sober, it may also be about enlarging your spiritual life. If you’re already affiliated with a religious or spiritual group, continue to grow in that. If not, you can explore meditation, Qi Gong or going on a spiritual retreat. Ask yourself what kind of experiences you want to have and begin to explore the possibilities.
2. Take a Class
Have you dreamed of going back to school? Then by all means, do so. Complete your G.E.D., get a degree or pursue another one. Take art history just for the fun of it. Learn how to sew or make model airplanes. Perhaps you want to find out how to get your business off the ground or expand on the one you already have. Whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to know about, keep the door open for learning. You’ll be glad you did.
3. Get Active
Start doing yoga, going to the gym or hiking. Most of all, start having fun. If you’re not enjoying life or recovery, then what’s the purpose of embarking on this journey? In this life, you have to become an adventurer. Join an online community like meetup.com to discover countless activities going on in your area. You’ll be amazed at the sheer amount of things you can do. If you’re a foodie, they’ve got you covered. Don’t want to hike alone? There’s a group for that as well. The opportunity is out there—you just have to go out and find it.
4. Find a Cause
Things don’t change while you’re sitting on your duff. If there is a cause that is near and dear to your heart, get involved and volunteer. Not only will you help advance this cause, you’ll also feel good about yourself. Some say that volunteering is the true medicine of the soul and afflicted heart. If you’re ever feeling down or depressed, help someone and see how your feelings change afterwards.
5. Pursue a Hobby
Do you draw, cook or build unique software? Good. Everyone should have a hobby because it expands you creatively and spiritually. If you don’t have one, try going to trade shows when there’s one in town and discover a new hobby. You can even try your hand at painting, writing or gardening. Just create something that is uniquely you. Another benefit of hobbies is that it releases you from order and the need to be perfect. When you are engaged in creative acts, you get to live in that moment completely free. To some, this is the epitome of experiencing life fulfilled.