How Could Hobbies Create Harmful Habits?

When it comes to recovery, you should understand how important it is to keep moving forward. Finding activities that take your mind away from thinking about drinking or doing drugs is the goal. After years of abuse, your body needs to reconnect the mind and the body. Some people in recovery find success in music, writing, or painting. Others find it in biking, hiking, and meditation, while others find it in both. Once you understand that having a drink or using a drug is not an option, you can direct your focus toward hobbies that you would like to pursue.

While most hobbies are relatively harmless and even beneficial for your health, sometimes– especially early on in recovery–some take their pursuit too far. The hobby, in turn, replaces the addiction and causes a craving. While it may not be a drug or drink, a hobby could negatively interfere with your life. When choosing a hobby that is right for you, you will also want to look out for hobbies and habits that could hurt you.

Addiction Substitution

You want to stay away from activities that operate on instant gratification and impulse—these will ultimately do you more harm than good. These can include online shopping, gambling, playing video games to excess, surfing the internet, stress eating, and even overdoing it in the gym or outdoor activities. For example, you may be someone who loves to go for runs. A run is a great way to benefit the body and mind, but eventually, some individuals can end up craving the euphoria to a harmful extent. Many people become addicted to running, and this can become very unhealthy, very fast. Excess running could lead to joint and spinal problems, weight loss, and even organ malfunction if you’re not allowing your body the proper time to recover. It can also advance the aging process. S the point is that you don’t want to depend on one activity to aid your recovery. Finding multiple outlets and switching things up should be the focus.

Finding a Hobby

When first considering a new hobby, you will want to consider how meaningful it is to you. Something you can be passionate about will offer you mental and physical growth, challenging you to expand your skills and abilities. A useful hobby will reinforce good habits and lead to confidence in self and better problem-solving. Avoid hobbies that involve creating patterns around impulse and short-lived joy.


Try to think about what you once enjoyed doing before your addiction. Did you want to play an instrument? Pursue a degree? Learn how to swim? Write a novel? Start your own business? No? Then perhaps a brainstorming session is needed. Try writing down every activity that comes to mind—there are no wrong answers here. Once finished, filter the list to the ones that jump out at you. These hobbies might be a good place to start. Understand that finding a meaningful hobby is a process of trial and error, so try to stay hopeful that if one hobby does not work for you, that’s perfectly okay. Remain willing to experiment, and you will find the hobbies that work for you.

Fear of Boredom

After a couple of days deciding what hobby to use to help fill out your day, you might be growing weary. You might feel that you cannot do something you want to do, or you feel forced to do something you do not want to do, or you’re just not interested. Boredom is a common occurrence that happens among those in recovery, especially when they are just beginning.

While it is not a comfortable feeling, stay the course. Avoid pitfalls like depression, comfort eating, irritability, and resentment. Remember, your choice to seek sobriety is the best choice you will ever make—it just takes patience to find how to do that. If you feel bored and isolated, this is an excellent time to reach out and not indulge or pursue negative thoughts. Talk to a friend from your support group or a family member that you trust. Talk about your concerns, talk about anything. Talking with someone can course-correct your negative thoughts into feeling optimistic.

Moderation, as always, is the key. When choosing a hobby, you’ll want more than just one, and finding hobbies that offer your body and mind something different to becoming bored or developing a replacement addiction is the way to maintain a healthy recovery. Try to structure your day and your week in a way that balances your activities; perhaps you go for a run every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On other days you play music and read and write. Also, consider taking time to relax and get in touch with your emotions through meditation, mindfulness, or even a hot bath. Learn how to sit with your thoughts and build patience, so you don’t feel overwhelmed when moving from one activity to another. Always set goals and track your progress.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and alone in your effort, then it is time to seek help. We are available 24/7 and will offer you the care you need. We are understanding, sensitive, and can provide you with the tools you need to achieve and maintain a meaningful life and get you back to participating in activities you enjoy. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.