Written by: Avery-Taylor Phillips
Being an alcoholic should not stop you from enjoying life and having a good time with friends and family. However, many people’s idea of a good time involves alcohol, which isn’t fun when you’re trying to stay sober. Finding new ways to have fun that don’t involve alcohol doesn’t have to be hard. There are plenty of ways to spend your time without seeking out the bottom of a bottle.
One way to keep your mind occupied is to get moving. Joining a gym or taking up a new sport can be both fun and rewarding. Consider taking up bowling or joining a tennis club to get you out and social while getting the benefits of exercise. Research at Harvard has found that physical activity can help to improve your memory and thinking skills — something that alcohol could never do. It gives you a chance to meet some new people in an environment that promotes your new, healthier lifestyle.
Now that you aren’t spending your money on alcohol, you might have a few more dollars in the bank to spare. It is easy to get caught up on being busy and forget about practicing self-care. Most people don’t realize how much your mental health can take a toll on your body. Take the opportunity to treat yourself to a spa day or get a massage. Getting a massage can help to release any anxiety or worries you might be having associated with your drinking or cravings.
If the spa isn’t your thing, consider going on a retail therapy trip and purchasing something that you normally wouldn’t allow yourself to do. It could also be something as simple as indulging in a piece of cake. However you feel like spoiling yourself, take the chance to do it. You stopped drinking — celebrate yourself!
Take Up a New Hobby
If you have ever wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument or take up knitting, now’s the time. The possibilities are endless so don’t feel like you have to pick just one. Studies have found that having an interesting hobby could even prolong your life. The fulfilling sense of purpose that comes with having a hobby might just be what keeps you from having a drink. Finding a new hobby that you enjoy provides you with an environment with other people that are interested in the things you like to do, thereby providing you with a chance to make new relationships with others.
There is no reason that you can’t still be a partygoer after you commit to not drinking. Obviously, don’t put yourself into situations that would threaten your sobriety. Learning how to navigate situations where alcohol is present can be challenging at first but is definitely doable.
For example, if you are going to watch a game at a sports bar where heavy drinking can happen, plan to have an exit strategy. Develop a good excuse for why you might need to leave in advance of joining your buddies at the bar. At any social engagement where alcohol is present, it is wise to drive your own car. That way you can head out the door if you ever become uncomfortable. There are many ways to still be a party animal without having a drink; just know that you have the willpower to do it.
Also, you don’t have to have alcohol in your system to dance. You should always dance.