Have you recently become sober? Maybe you’ve just begun your recovery journey, or perhaps you’re thinking about taking the leap into a sober life.

Either way, it can be hard to imagine what your life may look like after recovery from addiction.

If alcohol or drugs were a large part of your life, then it may feel as though you no longer know what to do with your time.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best sober activities you can partake in to enjoy your newfound time, find new enjoyment, as well as to provide a distraction when you need it most.

We will show all the benefits you can derive from alcohol-free activities, as well as give some great ideas for new hobbies, including something for everyone. Let’s get into it.

14+ Sober Activities to Try in 2024

1. Going for a hike

Research shows that people who spend a large amount of time in nature have better mental health and reduced stress levels.

Therefore, one way to spend your time sober is to get out in nature and take a hike!

Enjoying nature while moving your body will increase your physical health, reduce your stress, and give you some time out from daily concerns and worries.

Bring some friends along for a more social event, or alternatively just take some time out for yourself.

2. Taking a bike ride

Physical exercise has been shown time and time again to have a myriad of benefits.

Exercise increases your cardiovascular health, helps to maintain a healthy weight, decreases diabetes and cancer risk, and enhances brain health.

There are many ways to make exercise fun and outdoor activities such as bike riding is one of the best of them. Bike to work, to your friend’s place, or head off on a day trip to see where you’ll end up!

3. Painting or drawing

Creative pursuits are a great way to enhance your emotional well-being. Working creatively can increase positive emotions while decreasing negative emotions, as well as improve self-esteem.

One great creative pursuit you can try in your sober life is painting or drawing. This is a great way to express yourself – and maybe even discover a hidden talent while you’re at it.

4. Practicing yoga

Evidence shows yoga can have a significant impact on improving an individual’s emotional well-being through decreasing stress and helping to unwind.

In addition, yoga also improves your body’s strength, flexibility and balance. So the next time you’re feeling stressed or tense, try rolling out a yoga mat!

Join a local yoga class, the gym, or even find a yoga video online to follow along with and find some relaxation.

5. Getting creative in the kitchen with cooking or baking

Many people also find cooking or baking therapeutic and relaxing. Cooking or baking can function as a way to get creative, as a form of self-care, or as a gesture of kindness to others that you might cook for.

Whatever the purpose, cooking is a fun and accessible activity that you will have plenty more time for in sober living.

6. Sober bars or sober-centric places and events

One fear individuals have when becoming sober is that they will miss out on fun and socializing.

This doesn’t have to be the case! One great way you can still do the activities you love while staying safe and sober is by going to sober bars, events, and other establishments.

These are all places that are alcohol-free but still provide lots of fun and opportunities to socialize with others and make sober friends.

7. Learning a musical instrument

Becoming sober gives you plenty of opportunity to learn a new skill or ability.

Many people dream of learning a new instrument in their lives, and sobriety may be the perfect opportunity.

Learning a new instrument will give you a great sense of accomplishment, and is an excellent way to fill some time in your day with enjoyment.

8. Getting lost in a good book

You’ll frequently hear people say they wish they had more time to read. Well, this could be your perfect time!

There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book, particularly if you’re looking for a distraction from cravings or triggers. You could consider joining your local library, or even a book club if you’re a true book enthusiast!

9. Joining a local sports team

Giving up drugs and alcohol may feel lonely at first. A great way to spend time with others, have fun with friends, and facilitate connection is by joining a sports team.

This is an ideal way to stay fit, alongside meeting new people and making new friends. Pick a sport you love or one that you’ve always wanted to try and find a local team in your area to join.

10. Giving back through volunteering

Volunteering or helping others can improve your emotional well-being and give you a sense of purpose.

When you first become sober, it’s normal to feel lost or that you lack direction. Finding a place where you can give back to others may help you to regain a sense of purpose in your life.

In addition, it’s another great way to connect with others and meet people. Find local charities in your area that need help (such as animal shelters or homeless shelters), or even volunteer with friends and family who are in need.

11. Tending to your garden

Believe it or not, gardening brings with it a large number of benefits!

First and foremost, gardening increases physical activity, which we know is good for your health.

Next, gardening brings you outdoors into nature, which increases your sense of well-being.

Gardening is also great as a way to de-stress and distract from triggers and cravings, and can bring a sense of accomplishment when growing your own food.

Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced gardener, discovering your green thumb can be a great way to spend your time in sobriety.

12. Enjoying live performances like theater or concerts

Becoming sober will not only leave you with a lot more time but also a lot more savings in terms of money!

One way you could spend this time and money to better use is to take yourself out to local theater performances or concerts. Bring friends and family along to make it even more fun!

13. Having a games night with board games or cards

Becoming sober can sometimes feel lonely and isolating. One way you can mitigate this loneliness is to have a game night!

Invite lots of friends and family around to a fun-filled night of board and card games. This is a great way to build your relationships, spend time with friends, and forget your worries.

14. Finding your zen through meditation or mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation has been shown to be highly effective in decreasing stress levels and creating emotional stability.

The journey to becoming sober can be filled with many emotional ups and downs, and one tool you can use to mitigate this is mindfulness and meditation.

Mindfulness and meditation allow you to stay focused in the present moment, and to regulate your emotional responses, increasing your coping ability and resilience.

15. Expressing yourself through creative writing

Another way you can effectively express yourself is through creative writing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a book, a short story, or poetry.

There’s never been a better time than in sobriety. Writing can help you express your thoughts and ideas and allows you to let your imagination run wild.

16. Photography

Photography is another way people can find creative expression or build on existing skills.

If you’ve always wanted to learn photography or to improve your technique, then now is the perfect time!

Improving your photography skills will increase your self-esteem as well as give you a sense of mastery.

Conclusion

As we’ve seen, life for sober people is far from boring!

When you become sober, a whole world of exciting and fun activities opens up to you.

In this article, we’ve named just a few that you could try.

These activities can not only function to distract you when you are fighting triggers and cravings associated with substance abuse recovery but can also be ways that help you find a greater connection with others.

Some of these activities are also ways in which you can work on increasing your physical health, as well as develop a sense of mastery and self-esteem through learning new skills and abilities.

When it comes to sober activities, the world is really your oyster!

Sources

  1. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/research/nature-how-connecting-nature-benefits-our-mental-health#:~:text=People%20with%20good%20nature%20connectedness%20tend%20to%20be%20happier,-Research%20shows%20that&text=Nature%20can%20generate%20many%20positive,particularly%20lower%20depression%20and%20anxiety.
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm#:~:text=Regular%20physical%20activity%20is%20one,ability%20to%20do%20everyday%20activities.
  3. https://www.linkedin.com/advice/3/what-benefits-using-creative-activities-positive#:~:text=Research%20shows%20that%20engaging%20in,strengths%2C%20and%20enhancing%20social%20connections.
  4. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/9-benefits-of-yoga
  5. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/cooking-can-be-therapeutic-how-culinary-arts-may-improve-mental-health-and-self-care/#
  6. https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/sober-bars-booze-free-events
  7. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner

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