Cutting back on or cutting out alcohol is an incredible step towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. One of the most common experiences those in early addiction recovery share when they first stop drinking is that they have more free time and more energy to fill it with. Whether you’re looking for a sober activity to distract from cravings, fill newfound free time, or bring you alcohol-free joy, there are many options to choose from. Are you ready to try some sober activities and regain your sense of fun and fulfillment? Bookmark this page for an easy reference when you’re looking for sober activities to try!
Sober Activities to Try
Establish a daily meditation or mindfulness habit
It can be tough to let certain thoughts drift away and not take control of us. Mindfulness helps you be aware of these while staying completely in control. Simply cataloging these emotions and staying neutral can be a huge benefit during recovery
Getting out into nature
Connecting with nature can be a refreshing and even meditative experience. Some of our favorite outdoor activities include camping, hiking, having a bonfire, going apple-picking, and enjoying the sunset from a scenic vista. If you’re not sure where to begin, look into any natural landmarks you haven’t yet explored in your area.
Throw a sober dinner party
Invite your closest friends over for dinner and dessert. Substitute alcoholic beverages for delicious and refreshing fruit-infused cocktails. Pick a playlist with piano or classical tones to keep the vibe classy and elegant.
Start an online course
The sky is pretty much the limit here. You can find free classes from Microsoft on how to use their software, tutorials from Adobe on using page layout or photo editing software, photography, animation, music, anything.
Take up a new sport
Search online for local adult sports leagues, such as basketball or hockey. They are generally open to newbies, and a great place to make new friends.
Get moving and start exercising
Find ways to move your body. A great way to get exercising is to try something new. Kickboxing, yoga, rock climbing, and paddle boarding are just a few fun and unconventional ways to jumpstart an exercise habit. You’ll find that sobriety gives you more energy for exercise, and exercise can give you even more energy for everything else.
Learn to make something
Try out a cooking, craft, or home improvement class offered by a local retailer. Or learn on your own by watching YouTube ‘how-to’ videos.
One of the most meaningful ways to spend free time in sobriety is to give back. This could mean volunteering your time with a local organization, donating school supplies or toys to families in need, or participating in a fundraiser or food drive. Getting involved with volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and connection, and makes it easier to say no to alcohol. It can also make an incredible difference in the lives of others, and extend the benefits of sobriety far beyond your immediate circle.
Study a language you’ve always wanted to learn
Every library has language training CDs available, and there are countless apps available to easily learn new languages. Want to travel but don’t have the money? Start with those language lessons and then add travel videos for your favorite countries! Spend your time now figuring out what you’d like to do when you do get to that country!
Many people find that gardening is a rewarding hobby in sobriety. Whether you build a garden in your backyard or start an indoor herb garden, nurturing plant life is a great way to boost vitamin D levels, improve moods, and focus on a long-term project.
Be a tourist in your own town
Is there a new restaurant in the area, or an attraction that people flock to when they arrive? Go ahead, be a tourist for the day and learn something new about your town. You can always meet fellow people going through recovery through Meetup’s sober activities in your city.
Do you live in a historic area? If so, you can probably find guides to walking tours in your area, complete with descriptions of the significant points along the way. Collect up a few friends and act like tourists.
Explore and document your family history
Learning more about your ancestors and family tree can be a special activity that many people never find the time for. Speaking with older members of your family, getting a DNA-test, or re-surfacing old family photos and records can be a life-changing activity that gives you a new perspective.
Organize and clean out your closet
Sometimes we buy, buy, buy, without stopping to look at what we already have. Giving to others can feel very rewarding and we should all do it more often.
Test your wits in an escape room
These places usually have their rooms ranked by difficulty, so be kind to yourself and your nerves if this is your first time.
DIY a home project
YouTube is a special place that will teach you everything you need to know about caulking your bathroom, installing baseboards, and more.
Visit a museum
Sure, you could Google it, but seeing some great art or a local dinosaur fossil collection is so much better in person.
Take a creative writing class
You don’t need to go into a writing class with the expectation of getting published. You can take a class just for fun and to meet other people trying their hand at something new.
Create a vision board
How often does a social night out get in the way of your grounding routines? If you’re an introvert like me, spending a couple of hours alone can help recharge and reset you on the path to your goals
Bond with your pets or foster one
Having animals in your life can change your entire outlook and well-being. Caring for a pet can be a fulfilling way to spend your newfound free time and energy. Borrow a shelter pup for the afternoon and take them on a walk. (Ask your local shelter if they do this.) Or if you have the time, space, and energy, foster a pet in need.
Organize your life
Clean up files on your phone and computer. Wash the inside and outside of your car. Make your bed every morning. Do your laundry when the basket is full. Stay on top of these chores and your life will seem simple, organized, and less chaotic.
You can have fun and stay sober with the right sober activities
When you’re ready to start your sobriety journey, there will always be sober activities to try. There are thousands of more ideas like this! Perhaps this list will get you started thinking. Sure, it’s more work to complete an online course or learn a new skill, but you will get far more out of it and those good results will last longer than a few hours.
Now that you’re armed with so many ways to spend your time alcohol-free, you can build habits that feel easy!