A healthy recovery hinges upon more than abstinence from substances; it entails approaching multiple aspects of your life with newfound vigor and inspiration. Cutting back on destructive habits makes room for more positive ones. Here are eight ways to start making the most of your new mode of being by replacing old ways with stronger ones.

#1 Find Healthy Distractions

When you struggled with addiction, you might have used drugs or alcohol to deal with stress or boredom. Instead of picking up the bottle, consider the alternatives. Exercise is a great option for releasing pent-up feelings. Going for a run can release healthy brain chemicals like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, which can help you feel good in a way that isn’t destructive.

If you feel stressed out from the day, go for a run, a walk, or some other form of exercise. Another healthy distraction idea is spending time in nature. Fresh air can feed your brain and calm you down when things feel too overwhelming.

#2  Practice Mindfulness

Giving yourself time in the day to decompress and ground yourself can bring down stress levels. Mindfulness provides several benefits to your mind and your body. Mindfulness techniques can teach you skills like emotional regulation and increasing concentration. Taking even just a few minutes a day to practice mindfulness can do wonders. All you need to practice mindfulness is yourself and a comfortable place to sit, relax your body, and focus on your breath.

#3 Start a New Hobby

Now that you’ve got more time on your hands, it’s time to broaden your horizons. Starting a new hobby can be an exciting adventure. You get the chance to learn a new skill or try a new activity and connect with people with similar interests. Have you ever tried kayaking? How do you feel about geocaching? Want to try your hand at painting?

There are endless things to try and learn about. The worst-case scenario is that it’s not your thing, and you can try something else. Take a chance and find your new healthy obsession.

#3 Join a Sober Group

Find a local group of people living your lifestyle. Sober groups that meet weekly can be found on Facebook or Meetup, where you can connect with new people and expand your social network. Find a group that has common interests or consider trying a new activity. Be open-minded and willing to meet people and make new friends. There are plenty of local groups who meet weekly for connection, whether it be over a common sport or hobby, going out to eat, or going for a hike.

#4 Reconnect With Spirituality

The mind/body/spirit connection is a vital part of recovery. Now that you’re out of treatment, it’s time to connect with your spiritual side. Dig deep and contemplate some of life’s bigger questions. Attend a church service of your faith or meditate on your purpose. Get in touch with nature. Join a bible study group. Think deeply about your connection to the universe. Practice gratitude. Feeling a part of something bigger can be grounding and healthier in the long run.

#5 Create Something

Whether it be music, writing, art, or woodworking, make something with your own hands. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be an expert at the craft. Consider picking a hobby in something creative or just make things for fun. Craftsmanship can give you the opportunity to make something for yourself or your friends and family. Creating things with your own hands can boost your self-esteem and make you feel a sense of accomplishment.

#6 Volunteer Your Time

The best way to heal is by giving back to others. There are countless charities and organizations that run on people volunteering their time. Think about things that you value in the local community. Maybe you might want to volunteer at a soup kitchen or an animal shelter. Maybe there might be a local charity that needs donations or organizers. Reach out and donate your time.

#8 Commit to Goals

Now that you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, you need to set some goals and find things to strive for. All of the suggestions above require time and commitment. If you’re interested in learning a skill in your newfound hobby, develop a realistic goal. A goal can simply be “attend church every Sunday” or “meditate before bed every day.” It can be a fitness goal like exercising three times a day for a whole month or a nutrition goal like prepping meals for an entire week. Practice setting achievable goals and track your progress as you journey through recovery.

Recovery means a second chance at life. Once you feel more stable, it’s time to add things to feel excited about. There are plenty of ways to add excitement to your life that are healthy and fulfilling, from practicing mindfulness to setting achievable goals. Adding these things to your life can help you feel inspired. You’ve allowed yourself this opportunity to create a life that you are proud of. What can you do to fill it with things that make you feel excited to start each day? Start a new hobby. Meet new friends. Create something beautiful. Your life is yours! Cornerstone Healing Center of Scottsdale believes in every one of its clients and their ability to overcome addiction and live their lives to the fullest. If you are interested in learning more about all of the beautiful opportunities life has to offer in your new era of sobriety, call Cornerstone Healing Center at (800) 643-2108.