Tips For Succeeding In Recovery: Embrace New Hobbies To Build Up Mental Health


When one is working to stay sober and put an alcohol or substance addiction behind them, creating a new lifestyle filled with healthy habits is critical. Oftentimes, one’s previous habits were closely linked to their substance use, so finding new outlets for activity is essential for success. Building a healthy, sober life post-rehabilitation can be challenging, but incorporating new hobbies can have a big impact.

Hobbies can help you rebuild a healthy life

A sober life does not have to be a boring one. Embracing new hobbies once you are sober, or reigniting your passion for previous hobbies, can make a big difference in building healthy habits and staying committed to your recovery. New, healthy hobbies can pave the way for new friendships and connections that will help you build your new life, and hobbies can reduce your stress levels and improve your mental health.

Avoiding isolation is key in maintaining your sobriety, and sometimes people in recovery need to rebuild their social skills. It can feel intimidating to make new friends as you work on your sobriety, but trying new hobbies can make the effort seem less overwhelming. When you are joining a group activity, you already have something in common with others and that can make it easy to start a conversation or make a connection.

You can join a card or game club, a community sports team, take some classes, or join a theater group, for example, and all of these hobbies help you connect to others who share similar, healthy interests with you. Everyone going through recovery knows that it is critical to keep a distance from old associates who are still using alcohol or drugs, and building up new hobbies that pave the way to interacting with others can help you move forward.

Challenge your brain and boost your mental health by trying new hobbies

Hobbies are great outlets for sparking creativity and building new skills, and these activities will challenge and boost your brain. When you tackle a new hobby that challenges you, you will often develop a sense of confidence and accomplishment, and those qualities will help you feel stronger as you move forward in your sobriety. Some hobbies that can be especially impactful in challenging your brain include learning how to play a musical instrument, learning a new language, art, reading, or throwing yourself into doing puzzles, Sudoku, brain teasers, or board games.

It can be especially helpful to focus on new hobbies that help to build both your physical and mental health, and Spirituality Health shares some valuable suggestions. You may want to try out Tai Chi or yoga, or reach out to do some volunteer work with a group that sparks a passion for you. Practical crafts can also be good hobbies to try for those working on recovery, such as knitting, woodworking, gardening, or cooking. You may also want to try out a hobby that connects you to animals, as time with dogs and other animals can reduce stress and boost your mental health. In addition, anything that gets you outdoors can be great for your mental and physical health too.

Boredom is a bad thing for people working to put an alcohol or drug addiction behind them, so finding healthy ways to fill up the hours of the day is essential. While your new sober life will include plenty of commitments to maintaining your sobriety, developing new hobbies can be critical to your success. Whether you go back to a healthy hobby you used to love or branch out and try something new, you will see your mental health strengthen and your stress levels decrease, and the socialization aspect will be a big benefit as you rebuild your life.

 

MF Week 2

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It’s been going well with the daily exercise routine. I took a day off last Wednesday and then Sunday. I have also been recording what I do on each days routine, because some of the number of reps are just beyond my level at this point. I hope the next time I di this program I’ll see a difference in what I’m able to do then. So don’t feel discouraged if you have to adjust the workout. As long as you’re pushing YOUR limits and feeling good, then keep it up!  I have also been doing this quick yoga routine everyday so far, except Sunday. I feel like I’m getting stronger already and have definitely noticed a difference in my stretching and overall body. Looking forward to another successful week of daily exercise!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

MF Day 1 Complete

I completed day 1 of military fit. This morning I did a wake up and connect yoga session, followed by MF Day 1. I weighed and took my measurements before starting the workout.

As of March 1st:
At 5′ 1.5″
114.5 lbs
32.5 bust
26 waist
34 hips
10.5 arm
19 thigh
13.5 calve

I also took a before pic of my stomach area, but it came out super blurry.

I followed the workout with the calm app session called 7 days of happiness (day 2). I started meditations again Sunday. I recommend starting with their 7 days of calm, then 21 days of calm. Then work on whichever you like for the other 7 days options.

I’ve been also writing in a journal every time I think about it over the last month. It seems to help me sort through how I feel overall in my daily interactions with myself and people.

My shoulders and back are sore from the last two days of digging and I’m super tired. I keep waking up consistently 6.5 to 7 hours after going to bed. I have super vivid dreams and feel like I’m awake all night participating in them.

As far as my workout went, I completed all three sets, but did it amrap style. I kept telling myself “I do this” for each exercise starting set 2 and noticed a difference in how many reps I could do. There were times when I felt like giving up. But I talked myself through it. I feel like taking a nap. Ha!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

Getting Into The Groove Again… with exercise.

I’ll admit, I don’t really know what happened exactly…but I fell off the “motivated to exercise” wagon a few months ago.

I think it all started with jellyfish.
Wait a minute. Did you just say jellyfish?
Yes. I said jellyfish.
Hahahahahaha.
Just hear me out! 🙂

Back in November and December our bay was invaded by jellyfush. I’m not talking about the sweet and docile moon jellyfish with very short tentacles that generally people do not feel their sting. I don’t. I’m talking about the kind with tentacles extending out from their bodies by like 2-3 feet who leave welts the size of a pencil eraser tip and it burns… alot. If you’re small enough these stings could cause some serious damage. Fortunately we can see very clearly into our water and there is a specific season for them. The season lasts only about 2 months at the end of the year (from what we’ve seen and been told by locals) and then they move on to some other, as of yet unknown to us, location. The moon jellies stick around for about another month.. but remember, they’re harmless. It’s still a bit unnerving to swim with them, so I just stay out of the water unless J gives the all clear.

That brings me to my point. I fell out of motivation with exercising.
I know.
I could’ve just skipped swimming and done other stuff.
But I didn’t.
Bad Dashaina!

So today I am pledging myself to start anew! Beginning March 1st I’m starting the fitness challenge Military Fit over at my favourite exercise website Darebee.  Here’s a preview of Military Fit for those interested in joining me for 30 days starting March 1 or 2 (whichever works for you). I’m a beginning of the month kinda gal.

I am downloading the entire program as a pdf and printing it 3 to a page style front/back printing…minimising excuses of internet, electricity or random acts of nature. I’m basically making it so I can grab my “workout book”  for the day and do it. I’m even attaching a pencil to keep track of my sets…a timer may need to be dug up as well.. hmmm.

I plan on starting with a light stretch routine for my body and feet then completing the workout for the day at level 1. I’ll be adjusting rep numbers and using the “to failure option” since in some of the exercises I don’t know that I could complete the number of reps indicated. But I’m going to give it a go!

I will not be doing pull up add on, but plan to try it at some point in the future!

If you think this sounds like something you’d like to do, join me. It doesn’t require you to sign up or shout out I’m in! (Though you can shout out “I’m in!” for extra motivation and accountability.)  I’ll be posting weekly as is my usual style and possibly putting up before and after info! Maybe even some pictures… We’ll see.

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

Age of Pandora Update Week 4

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This week has been rough, but I was determined to get through it. Right after saying don’t take days off, I had a way off day. But! I worked out anyway. I didn’t progress to the next chapter (19) until today. Yep,  it took me almost 5 days. We had some traveling come up last minute and it made following the quest impossible. So instead, I repeated chapter 18’s 5 minutes of shadow fighting two days in a row, did part if the distance to the swamps and while traveling, walked just about everywhere we were with my 30 lb, 3 year old strapped to my back. Yesterday I took a total rest day, and promised myself I’d start back on Chapter a day from here on out. So today, I did intervals (6 laps run/4 laps walk) for my remaining 54 laps in the morning. Then just before lunch completed the series of shadow fight moves for my choice of attack the guys. It felt good to be moving again. Woo hoo!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

 

Age of Pandora Update Week 3

I’m still working through the world of Pandora! Today I finished Chapter 18 and acquired   mountain men advantage! Woo hoo! This quest has been really fun. I’m still thoroughly enjoying it.  I discovered something whilst reading my map the other day, you don’t have to run to get to travel points, you can walk. The cool thing about this is ANYONE can walk, so you have no excuse for not joining this quest. They’ve given lots of beginner options, so really you CAN do this quest!

Here are a few suggestions for getting through when it’s hard. 

Positive self-talk. This is definitely a huge factor for increasing likelihood of success. If you keep telling yourself “I CAN do it!” “Just a little farther!” Heck, cheer yourself on! You WILL succeed.

Focus on the NOW. I find focusing on the current lap (OR exercise) instead of how many are left, really helps too. I tick off laps/exercises in sets (one set complete of 3 or laps of 10 or 20). I mix it up with the running. One day I’ll make the goal to run 10 laps at a time, then 2 minute rest, or 2 laps as fast as I can, then rest and continue until all laps completed. Other days I’ll do continuous run/walk intervals, run 2 laps,  walk 4 or as I improve, I’ll aim for running more, walking less. I find doing my running/walking first, then sets of the exercise circuit better also. I’m warmed up and ready to go!

Break it up over the day. On days when I do a “job” for x amount of punches or pushups or kicks, etc, I don’t think about the number I need to do while doing them. I keep a pencil and paper handy, then I start. I just do the exercise until I can’t, counting as I go. When I get to a point where I think I can’t do anymore. I try my hardest to do one more. Then I mark down the number I completed. If it’s the goal number, woo hoo! If not, I just mark down +# (whatever the number is)and rest for a few minutes. If my muscles feel totally depleted, I’ll do something else for a bit and come back to it later that day. The ultimate goal, to complete the task that day!

Don’t have complete rest days. Yes, I know you need rest, but one day turns into two, turns into ten. All of a sudden you’re a sloth on your couch again eating cheetos and drinking beer, while watching your favourite reality adventure show,  dreaming that could be you. Just don’t do it. Do something active for at least 10 minutes, EVERY DAY. Period. You’ll thank yourself later. 😉

Remember you CAN do it. You must do it. Or else you might as well give up and die already. Because the whole “point” to life is to always be improving yourself, learning, growing, creating.

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

Age of Pandora Update Week 2

wpid-20151122_091915.jpgTomorrow I begin chapter 8 of the fully immersive fitness quest,  Age of Pandora.  Is it fun? Yes! Is it a walk in the park? Absolutely not. Would I recommend it to a friend trying to get back in shape in a fun challenging way? Definitely!

I’ve been successful at doing a chapter a day, even with being mildly sick (I caught a cold!!). The workouts seemed fun and doable for the first few chapters. Then the running portion began in Chapter 5.

Yipes!!

First I was uncertain how I would manage with running, having not done any in years! But surprisingly my body is handling it well. A tad bit sore, but nothing that is stopping me from achieving my goals.

Figuring out where to run was the next challenge. After investigating our 100m land wharf,  I was happy to see a 20m section free and clear!!

Hooray!

A few quick calcutions and I was ready to start my first day of running. Thinking the wharf is made of soft dirt, the decision to not wear shoes made sense to me. However, after stepping down onto a rock or random bit of concrete, I slapped a pair of runners on and never looked back.

My feet thanked me for that sound and grown up decision.

The instep of my right foot is slightly bruised and tender to step on still.  Funny enough it just seems to add to the adventure of the whole RPG style fitness quest. I’m running from large unknown monsters and getting a little banged up in the process! Ha!

Even today it was really gloomy and drizzling slightly while I was running. Just as I came inside the house it began storming for bit. The weather seemed to coordinate with the chapter I am on, as it was getting ready to storm in the story as well!.  I’m really enjoying this online/real life fitness quest! I’ve even made it all the way to the Lighthouse on the map! Woo hoo!

And just in case I didn’t get enough exercise in for amy given day, I’ve added swimming and peddle boating daily for kicks. The swimming option,  I’ve measured out an approximate 25m in our private bay. Then I complete a minimum of 4 laps. As for peddle boating, I missed out today, but aim for 15 minutes, at a leisurely pace.

I’m kicking butt and feel like there’s no stopping me now!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

 

Finding Calm

Almost a month ago, shortly after beginning my exercise challenge, I hit a low in my life. I realised at that moment I had no joy inside myself and was flailing around being angry at everyone else for their joy and apparent calmness in general. I was angry, tired, empty, demoralised and holding onto this like a life raft.

I couldn’t let it go. If I let it go, who would I be, where would I go from there, who would I become? I’ve tried (not whole heartedly) several times over the course of the last two years to get rid of these feelings, but have never successfully achieved my goal. I had many excuses and “valid” reasons (in my mind; that were not logically valid and really were just fear holding me back) for not being successful.

Our minds are such a maleable thing, but in order to get the mind on a positive track we have to work at, internally, daily, hourly, minute by minute. Every breath in we have to be thankful for being alive and stand in awe of the beautiful world around us, seeing through all the garbage. But how do you begin to work inside your mind? Meditation. Sounds fairly simple right? Sit down, focus on your breath, rid yourself of your demons of negative emotional habitual response.

For me, that is terrifying. Looking at my life and my past choices and owning them and forgiving myself for them and learning from them. Even the idea of meditating seemed daunting and exhausting. The idea of sitting and looking at myself on the inside sounded dull and boring. I started to do it anyway.

Finding an amazing app, Calm,  I began a 7 days to calm program. I found myself really enjoying that quiet time. I didn’t have an agenda or any expectation of it working. But after a week, I felt a slight bit more at peace and better able to notice my anger and calm down faster or not blow up at all. Then I started the follow up program 21 days to calm and have continued noticing a difference in how I feel over all. Tomorrow is the last day of that program and I will begin the 7 days of a good night sleep. I’m looking forward to that and to my daily meditation in general. I enjoy the guided setup of the app, as well as the option to just listen to soothing melodies and sounds with no guide.

I’m still not expecting this to be an overnight ot over month fix, but I know with repetition, I will find calm and content.

How do you meditate? What works for you?

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

 

Age of Pandora Workout Begins! Day 1

About a month and a half ago, I began a journey to introduce exercise into my life on a daily basis. I was stuck in a rut of sitting on the couch and getting mostly nothing accomplished everyday. It has been affecting my relationship with my family and myself. So I grudgingly took on the challenge of doing exercise daily. I have never been an enthusiastic exerciser. Sweating and breathing heavy, never really did it for me, they still don’t. But I needed to get inside my brain and rewire it somehow to move on from the excuses and maybe, quite possibly enjoy exercising and hopefully my life again.

It took a few minutes of rooting around on Darebee to find the right program (from their totally free website of exercise workout cards!! I love free!) to begin. I knew I needed something challenging, yet not overwhelming and difficult, else I wouldn’t stick to it. I found the foundation program to be the perfect starting point for me. Then I started it, that day and somehow made it to the end. I would like to say everyday I succeeded in doing my exercises, but that would be a lie. I skipped a day or two at the most after working out continuously for 4-5 days in a row. This is why it took a month and a half instead of the 30 days it should’ve taken me. But the important thing was that I was doing it! I did it! I achieved my goal.

Now instead of turning back to the life of the couch, I decided on my next course of action a week ago, so I could have all my materials and mind ready to begin Today! I downloaded the pdf for the program I’m following during this 30 days, Age of Pandora, so I can’t use the excuse of crappy internet to skip days. Because this time, I’m challenging myself to not only exercise daily, but to not skip days.

So here I go! Will you join me?

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Move My Body March!

My friend K and I have been exercising everyday,  in some fashion for over a month! It’s been exactly 38 days for me and around 34 for her,  she started a few days after me.  Both of us have  noticed a difference in our bodies, in a good way, and today I decided to share with you what we’ve been doing!  So here is what our week generally looks like.  We just started using workout cards last week.  They are really fun and a great way to change it up without having to think too much about it.  On Saturday or Sunday one of us will pick the Playlist for each day and get the videos we use that week organised. 

We work out EVERY day. Even our rest days are active. This was the easiest way to get on board with the habit of exersing. I work out before I eat anything, I find for losing fat,  this works the best for me.  K generally works out with me via our text messenging service, but sometimes life happens and she gets hers in during the afternoon nap time (she also has young kiddos). Our active rest days are Tuesday and Saturday. These are the days that work best for us.  Sometimes if we’re feeling extra energy one day,  we’ll do a quick cardio boost video in the afternoon.

A regular day looks like this:
Videos
  5 minute Warmup
  5-10 minute Fitness Blender Cardio or  Jessica Smith
  5 minute Cool Down
Level 1 Workout Card
2 minute Abs
10 minutes Stretching (yoga/app or vid)

This routine generally takes about 45 minutes.

An active rest day looks like this:
Video
20- 30 minutes All in one Cardio – Low Impact (warmup/cardio /cooldown)
10 minutes Stretching (yoga or something similar video or app)

This generally takes about 40 minutes.

We aim to do the same amount of conscious exercise even on rest days,  though the intensity is lower on those days.

Like I said this is what works for us.  We use Fitness Blender and Jessica Smith vidoes on YouTube. The workout cards I mentioned can be found here at The NR Project website. They have a lot of great information about eating,  working out and how to use their website. I have a daily yoga app that can be found here. All of the stuff we use is free.

The best advice I can offer if you have difficulty getting started on doing exercise regularly, find a friend and bully them into doing it too! That’s what worked for us! Just kidding about the bullying. But seriously finding a friend you can message with daily and who can hold you accountable is the best tool for staying motivated. Even on my slugish days, I know K is doing the same as me and has the same stresses in her life as I do and she’s doing this journey with me. So pick someone on a similar life path,  has kids around your kids ages( we both have at least two under 5’s at home) or has similar work (we’re both SAHM’s)  and most importantly you can talk to daily (thanks whatsapp for closing the distance gap!)

Remember, believe you can and you will!
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