100 Things To Do Instead Of Drinking or Using While In Recovery

When you stop drinking or using drugs, you find out in a real hurry that you actually spent quite a bit of time engaging in your addictive behavior. Maybe you spent hours each day drinking or partying with friends. Or maybe you spent whole weekends binging on some type of drug. When you begin to abstain and enter recovery, plenty of people end up feeling bored with so much free time.

It’s toughest in early recovery when you’re not only dealing with some boredom, but you’re also dealing with some withdrawal symptoms. You may be feeling anxious or really just craving a drink or a drug. You may be feeling emotional and not want to hang out with anyone because you’re feeling miserable.

If you talk to seasoned men and women in recovery, they’ll tell you that eventually, they decided to change up their routine and start doing new things. Of course, some decided to cut out some activities and learn how to just be home and be content.

If you are in recovery, and you struggle with boredom, or you just aren’t feeling passionate about anything and need some ideas to do something different, here are 100 things you can do instead of drinking or drugging.

  1. Go to an AA or NA meeting. Even if you’ve never been to one, just give it a try. Check out meetings times and days at the websites!
  2. Visit with a friend or two!
  3. Begin a new hobby.
  4. Choose a room in your house and clean it up.
  5. Read a chapter in a book or better yet, read the whole book.
  6. Do some sort of exercise, such as taking a walk or a bike ride.
  7. Turn on a YouTube yoga video and give yoga a try. Or, try aerobics.
  8. Go out for coffee with a friend.
  9. Cook one of your favorite dinners, or try a new recipe.
  10. Organize your closets.
  11. Spend some quality time with your loved ones.
  12. Write mom or dad a letter expressing your gratitude for them.
  13. Go golfing.
  14. Go fishing.
  15. Write your significant other a poem.
  16. Sign up for a fitness class.
  17. Grab your camera (or mobile phone) and go take some pictures.
  18. Sit down and write your recovery story. Then, get on an online recovery forum and share it. While you’re at it, encourage those who have written in needing support or congratulate those who are doing well in recovery.
  19. Put on some loud music and dance your socks off. Got others in the house? Invite them to join in.
  20. Fix that thing in your house that you’ve been putting off.
  21. Organized a celebration dinner, celebrating your sobriety and life in general.
  22. Begin learning a new language.
  23. Start a Pinterest board with different boards for things you like or things you want to do or places you want to travel.
  24. Make a bucket list and get busy crossing things off.
  25. Make a list of places you’d like to volunteer. There are plenty of folks who need assistance in the community. A homeless shelter, soup kitchen, The Red Cross, children’s home, and so on.
  26. Grab a friend and go for a hike. Don’t forget the snacks!
  27. Schedule yourself a massage, or find a place that allows walk-ins.
  28. Plant some flowers or a garden.
  29. Binge watch Friends on Netflix (or any other show).
  30. Grab a good movie and watch it.
  31. Reach out to someone who may need a friend.
  32. Make your Christmas list.
  33. Write a song.
  34. Go to the store, buy a puzzle, and put it together.
  35. Search for some YouTube videos on the disease of addiction and educate yourself.
  36. Start a blog.
  37. Start a video blog on YouTube.
  38. Do a random act of kindness for someone.
  39. Organize all of your clothing drawers neat and tidy.
  40. Take your dog for a walk.
  41. Try taking your cat for a walk.
  42. Make a tent in the living room so you and your kids can have a snack in there together.
  43. Go pick up litter in your neighborhood.
  44. Teach yourself how to do a particular type of dance, like the Tango or zydeco.
  45. Take an hour to listen to a genre of music you’ve never listened to before.
  46. Start a journal and start writing about your recovery.
  47. Take up meditation.
  48. Attend an online Recovery Group.
  49. Get a game out of the closet and play it with your partner, kids or a friend.
  50. Write your mother a poem.
  51. Write your father a poem.
  52. Go through and organize your photos on your phone or computer.
  53. Get a book out that you haven’t read for a very long time and begin reading it again.
  54. Snap Chat your friends and family funny videos.
  55. Go through your clothes and get rid of the ones you no longer wear.
  56. Try on different outfits and mix and match new ones.
  57. Go over to your neighbors and see if they need help around the yard.
  58. Offer to do yard work for someone who is elderly.
  59. Join a Facebook group having to do with recovery.
  60. Go to your local park and shoot some hoops.
  61. Take up weightlifting.
  62. Choose a restaurant you’ve never been to then go eat some good food.
  63. Make a list of new dinners that you like to try.
  64. Get out a deck of cards and play solitaire.
  65. Wrestle with your dog.
  66. Crochet a blanket.
  67. Make cookies from scratch.
  68. Take a nap.
  69. Take a bubble bath.
  70. Get out year yearbooks and read through what people wrote to you.
  71. Sketch or paint a picture.
  72. Go to the library and check out some interesting books.
  73. Pack a picnic and either go by yourself or take someone on a picnic with you.
  74. Do some research on vacation sites that you’d like to go to one day.
  75. Write a letter to a relative you haven’t spoken to in a very long time.
  76. Go to the mall and people-watch. Eat something good while you’re there.
  77. Make a craft.
  78. Look for free online courses and enroll in one.
  79. Watch a cooking class online.
  80. Write a song.
  81. Go kayaking.
  82. Find out the history of your area.
  83. Have a spontaneous potluck dinner with your closest friends.
  84. Invite your friends over and have your own Film Festival, choosing a certain genre of movies or a certain actor or actress. Don’t forget to plan the snacks.
  85. Give yourself or someone else a manicure or pedicure. Or, go out for one!
  86. Take some time to learn some interesting facts. While you’re at it, check out the Guinness Book of World Records.
  87. Do a photoshoot.
  88. See what museums are in your area, and make plans to go to one.
  89. Put on some really chill music, and simply relax.
  90. Read the Bible or another sacred text.
  91. Start spring cleaning your house, beginning with washing the windows.
  92. Check out the farmers market in your town.
  93. Check out our worship service in your town at a church or Temple.
  94. Make yourself a vision board, cutting out a collage of your desires. Put in a place that you’ll see every day. While you’re at it, write out some positive affirmations to recite out loud every day!
  95. Go to the movie theater and watch a great movie. Don’t forget the popcorn.
  96. Get out of a piece of paper and make a gratitude list, putting down everything that you’re grateful for – especially your recovery.
  97. Make plans to go to a live event, but steer clear of triggers for drinking or drugging.
  98. Think of a parent who would love it if you would take their kids off of them for a little while. Take them to the park, rollerskating, or somewhere fun.
  99. Make your own ice cream sundae or banana split.
  100. Find the nearest water, such as a lake, river, swamp, or ocean, and enjoy nature. Bring your swimsuit and have fun in the water.

See, there are plenty of things that you can do instead of drinking or drugging, and this is just a partial list. There are plenty more things to do! The key is to just make the effort and not be afraid to do something different.

There have been plenty of people who entered recovery not even really knowing what they enjoy doing. They kind of lost themselves along the journey, so when they first show up in recovery, they just don’t know what to do. This is when they have the opportunity to rediscover who they are at whatever age they are in life.

If this is you, and if you find yourself bored or just not knowing what to do to fight the cravings for alcohol or drugs, consider the things on this list. Grab a calendar and write down some things that you’re going to do this week. Once you get into the habit of trying new things, it will become habitual and easier. You’ll find out what you like doing and what you don’t like doing. And, you’ll be able to give yourself a pat on the back for even trying.