Sober Hobbies to Keep Your Mind and Hands Busy

Too much spare time can be dangerous for a person in recovery. While holistic rehab will teach you how to develop healthy habits that you can carry into your new, sober life, you will be left to your own defenses much of the time post-recovery. Filling the time with healthy, mind-enriching hobbies will keep you busy and distracted from thinking about drugs or alcohol.


Exercise comes in different shapes and sizes, and there are plenty of ways to get your body moving at a pace you can maintain and enjoy. The following activities require a full mind-body presence, excellent for someone working to rebuild a healthy, substance-free body.

  • Dancing: Fast-paced, demanding, and potentially done with a partner, dancing makes you sweat and smile.
  • Swimming: Let the water wash over you and calm you as you strengthen your body doing laps or free style.
  • Cycling: Get where you’re going or just cycle to anywhere in a sport that forces you to push your body in a good way.
  • Tai chi: Slow, deliberate movements make you more aware of your body and its majesty.
  • Yoga: The art of breath work plus movement makes you feel grounded, centered, and balanced.
  • Martial arts: From jujitsu to karate, this hobby promotes concentration and strength.

Creative Work

Everyone has their own definition of creativity. Think about the art you have always loved or what you might like to try to express yourself and create a thing of beauty. Art therapy is a major part of holistic rehab, a great place to get started with your creative preferences.

  • Cross stitch: Unlike its sister craft, knitting, cross stitch requires you to closely follow a pattern and stay focused on the work at hand.
  • Collage: Whether you’re painting or cutting images out of magazines, the art of collage lets you put together a message using your preferred tools.
  • Creative writing: Many people prefer to use words to express themselves, but instead of writing about yourself, fictionalize your work and see what develops.

Calming Activities

Calm activities don’t mean you aren’t busy. Doing something calming is a great way to be gentle to your mind and keep your sober efforts working.

  • Fishing: Nature + peacefulness—no wonder this is a popular hobby! Studies show that fishing helps work through the pattern of everyday thinking, allowing you to diligently focus on one mind-clearing task.
  • Journal: Whether you write about your day, list positive things that happen every day, or have another method for journaling, putting pen to paper keeps the mind and soul occupied.
  • Meditate: This isn’t the easiest practice to adopt at the start but, over time, meditation can give you hours of peace and grounding.
  • Volunteer: Doing things for others is an excellent way to get the focus off yourself. Volunteer to help the demographic that appeals to you most, whether seniors, homeless, foster kids, or otherwise.

Mentally Stimulating Hobbies

If you are seeking a sober hobby that will pull you in completely and demand serious concentration, any of the following will distract you from whatever else your mind may be considering:

  • Crosswords: Whether you cut out the crossword from the newspaper or buy a book of them, this hobby will keep you thinking and scribbling.
  • Sudoku: Are numbers your thing? Stock up on Sudoku books that let you put pencil to paper and get engrossed in logic.
  • Jigsaw puzzles: Choose the most challenging puzzle you can find without it being too difficult and leave it out to work on whenever you need a distraction.
  • Learn a language: Online language programs stimulate the mind and your confidence when you learn to speak even a few phrases in another tongue.
  • Cook a new meal: Following a fresh recipe keeps your mind busy and fills your stomach with healthy food.

Enjoy Down Time

It helps to keep a list of things to do when you’re feeling at loose ends, and perhaps your hobby isn’t accessible at that moment or calling to you.

  • Binge-watch a show: Ideally, choose a show that’s funny so you can laugh, stop thinking about recovery, and enjoy some pure entertainment.
  • Read an engrossing book: Look at the bestsellers list and take recommendations to find titles that will keep your mind busy and make the hours pass by.
  • Take a nap: Recharge your body whenever you need it. Self-care is essential to recovery.
  • Call a friend: Always have at least one person ready to talk when you need to talk.

Recovery is about learning how to enjoy the little things again, without drugs or alcohol as an accompaniment. Being good to your mind and body is critical to recovery, and while keeping busy is important too, you don’t have to run yourself ragged or overstimulate your brain to stop from using substances. It’s critical to recognize what your body needs when it needs it—and having a long list of sober hobbies and activities gives you options from which to choose every single day.

Learn about Beachside Rehab in West Palm Beach, Florida, a respected facility that offers inpatient and outpatient detox, rehab, and holistic recovery. Call today at 866-349-1770 to speak with a trained admissions counselor.



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