Using National Hobby Month to Fight Addiction
January is National Hobby Month!
Hobbies make you happy.
(No really— it’s actual science, but we’ll touch on that in a bit.)
I know what you’re thinking— “a made-up calendar holiday no one thinks or cares about.”
But that’s only true if you don’t seize the moment to make this January special by redefining your loves and passions.
The throes of addiction and mental breakdowns make it nigh impossible to focus on creative endeavors. Depression, anxiety, and chronic feelings of emptiness steal away even our beloved passions. (Don’t worry, your muse is still in there!)
Being emotional is tiring work.
And self-medicating only adds to the problem.
(Trust me, been there, done that.)
Transform this Hobby Month into a gateway for creating better habits that will help fight cravings and begin rewiring your brain for sober success!
8 Ways to Find Your Perfect Hobbies
“But what if I don’t have any hobbies or interests?”
Fear not! The answers are inside of you. Here are our top 8 ways to rediscover your passions and find new hobbies to fall in love with.
1. Consult Your Bucket List
Consulting your bucket list will immediately give you goals to strive for. Chances are, the experiences you want to check off your list will require careful planning, tenacity, and the ability to dive head-first into your desires.
Easier said than done, right?
If your list is comprised of costly adventures, why not choose a hobby you can make money with?
Many creative people (artists, writers, musicians, business-savvy strategists) can all find a niche in the freelancing world. Even if your talents aren’t rooted in the “creative business,” whatever your skills, you can translate them into services.
(Don’t know how? Drop us a comment below and we’ll help you brainstorm!)
Which in turn funds your bucket list adventures!
If you have things on your list such as “learn to play the guitar” or “run a 10k,” start practicing to achieve your goals! Focus your time on learning the beginning chords on the guitar, or begin jogging on a weekly basis to build up to running a 10k.
Pursuing your hobbies shouldn’t give you anxiety. Start small and watch your efforts blossom.
2. Who Inspires You?
Who do you look up to, and why?
What is it about your favorite celebrities that speak to you? Your favorite superheroes, book characters, or movie giants?
Pull inspiration from the people (or fictitious characters) you already admire.
There’s no reason why you can’t start pursuing your musical endeavors (even if you don’t want to go pro), or dabbling in the sport you love to watch.
We have one life— pursue your interests vigorously.
When I need a reminder of what I love to do I draw inspiration from Hermione Granger and double up on my reading!
Inspiration is a state of mind you can learn to induce yourself into.
3. What Were Your Childhood Dreams?
When in doubt, turn back to your childhood, before you lost your sense of wonder.
What were the things you wanted to do most in the world?
Which are you afraid of dabbling in?
That’s exactly what you should start with— because your fear means you want it most.
4. What Do You Want to Do with Your Life now?
At this point in your recovery, what are your short and long-term goals?
Do you struggle with constant cravings, learning to identify negative thought patterns, or communicating your needs to others?
Start working towards actively remedying your personal roadblocks. Work closely with your therapist or sober buddy to construct a plan to redress troublesome patterns.
For instance, whenever I catch myself speaking poorly to myself, I take a breath and say three nice things to myself. I breathe deeply and wait until I internalize those things.
It’s not enough to go through the motions, they have to hold meaning to you.
Common recovery goals include:
- Sobriety milestone markers (x months sober)
- Learning to self-validate
- Learning to understand triggers
- Learning to communicate one’s feelings without shame
- Learning how to redirect cravings positively
5. Visit Fonts of Inspiration
Don’t know where to begin?
Start browsing stores of inspiration!
Craft stores, bookstores, music stores, specialized interest shops, sports stores, and the like are teeming with new hobbies to experiment with.
Don’t be shy to ask an associate to show you the ropes of what they have to offer.
Associates know the ins and outs of their workplace (hopefully!) and can recommend what’s popular. Keep a look-out for local workshops and events inside each store— group events are wonderful springboards into something new!
6. Competitive Sports
Ever wanted to take up a sport? Here’s a list of some things to consider for men and women in recovery:
- Martial Arts
(Learn to protect yourself and embrace a mindful philosophy that will change your life entirely.)
- Track & Field (Good for clearing your mind and healthy for your body.)
- Table Tennis/Paddle Ball
7. The DIY Scene, Pinterest, & YouTube
Itching to make something, but don’t know what?
Turn to the glory of Pinterest and YouTube for your crafting needs!
When I needed a mental-health recharge I took my love for crystal healing and transformed it into a new hobby: wire wrapping crystal jewelry.
Wire wrapping took my mind off of my troubles and enabled me to create something beautiful I could wear myself and give out as meaningful gifts.
(I even started an Etsy for awhile.)
What are some of the interests you can create with?
Start with either YouTube or Pinterest with a general DIY or How-To query and let your possibilities swell.
8. People Need People
Recovery is a sometimes lonely road.
It’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals to satisfy our basic human need for interaction.
If you’re in active recovery, you may have cut out a lot of people in your life to commit to sobriety. It’s time to fill in the gaps!
Join MeetUp groups who have similar interests and pursue your hobbies with other people! There are groups for every interest imaginable.
Also, check out local Facebook groups in your area doing the things you love.
Try grabbing some ideas from this massive hobby list for adults.
What Science Says About Hobbies and Fulfillment:
- Hobbies keep you from mindless scrolling! Use your time for fulfillment.
- Increases “flow” or your aptitude for active leisure activities and skill improvement
- Hobbies help reduce stress, anxiety, and foul moods
- Hobbies help you feel self-fulfilled and are an act of self-love