What are Diversionary Activities in Recovery From Addiction?

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Diversionary activities refer to activities that you might want to consider doing to keep your mind off of your addiction. Diversionary activities can help to curb relapse by shifting your focus from your thoughts back to the outside world. By working on activities or hobbies, you can divert your attention away from triggering thoughts and feelings. While in recovery and treatment, you may be encouraged to find hobbies or engage in alternative forms of therapy that can help you focus outside of yourself. Sometimes, during recovery, you may get tangled in a web of overthinking. You may also have a difficult time working through negative thoughts. You might feel that you need to “think-through” these feelings and thoughts, however, sometimes, you may need to find something positive to do. Recovery may require utilizing multiple means of coping with your thought processes and feelings. By having some preferred activities to work on, you can help yourself stay productive during your recovery.

Diversionary Activities: Hobbies

You may not have developed any hobbies or currently have limited interests. You may have been using your addictive behaviors as a way of diverting negative or distressing thoughts. If you do not have any activities currently to fall back on when you are struggling, you can now explore new things and discover rewarding hobbies! The possibilities are endless and you now have a chance to learn new things about your skills and interests. Some diversionary activities are complex hobbies that can take years of practice to master. Others are just fun things that you like to do. Think back to some of the things you liked as a kid or before addictions became your sole focus. Some things that people in recovery have found helpful:

  • Crafts
  • Puzzles
  • Gardening
  • Writing
  • Drawing
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Watching movies
  • Cooking
  • Exercise
  • Going for a walk
  • Joining a sports league
  • Volunteering
  • Any hobby or interest that you are interested in pursuing!

Alternative Therapies as Diversionary Activities

Recovery is about learning a new way of living. During recovery, you are learning to heal by not only stopping your addictions but by building a healthy and positive lifestyle. Many treatment programs involve various alternative forms of therapy to help you in your recovery. Some of the activities that you learn during these therapies can help you build a better life for yourself. You may want to try some of the following therapeutic approaches while in treatment:

  • Expressive therapies
    • Expressive therapies can help those struggling with expressing difficult or painful emotions by using art or music activities.
    • During art or music therapy, you will be guided to participate in creative projects or asked to discuss works of art by a trained therapist.
    • You may discover a new talent or interest while engaging in this form of therapy!
  • Mindfulness
    • Mindfulness activities can help you calm and center yourself when your thoughts become overwhelming.
    • These activities can teach you to be present in the moment, which can help you get out of your own head.
    • Meditation and other breathing activities can be helpful in recovery due to the accessibility of the exercises. You can engage in mindfulness breathwork anywhere that you need it!
  • Yoga and other exercises
    • Taking care of your physical health is an important lifelong skill that you can learn in recovery.
    • Exercise routines, like yoga or other group activities, can help you get active to address your physical and mental health needs.
    • You may develop a new interest in physical activities, such as running, weight training, or cross-training that can give you new outlets for your recovery.
  • Outdoor and adventure therapy
    • Getting out in nature can be therapeutic for the body, mind, and soul.
    • Adventure therapies, like hiking, kayaking trips, or challenge courses, can help you build self-esteem and resilience in recovery.
    • Equine and animal-based therapies can help you learn a new skill while getting outdoors to work with animals.

You may be struggling with filling up your time while in recovery. Now that you are no longer engaging in addictive behaviors, your time for meaningful and positive activities has opened up. Recovery is a time for growth, change, and self-improvement. You can discover hidden talents and skills that remained dormant during your struggles with addiction. The possibilities for building a new and healthy lifestyle are endless! Take time in your recovery treatment to explore new hobbies, reignite past interests, try alternative therapies, and rebuild your life. Diversionary activities can help you to prevent relapses while you create a new life on your journey to recovery!

Everlast Recovery Centers can help those seeking meaningful activities to fill the void left by ending your addictions. All of the time that you have spent on engaging in unhealthy behaviors can now be spent on activities that build you up and give your life meaning. In recovery, you have an opportunity to change for the better! Diversionary activities can help you keep your mind off of your addictions as you focus on something positive, fun, or meaningful. You may have forgotten about past interests and want to revisit these activities. You might discover new hobbies and talents while exploring alternative therapies, like mindfulness, yoga, or animal-based therapy. Everlast Recovery Centers encourages you to live your best life as you recover from your addictions. Call us today at 866-DETOX-25 to get started on your journey to a new life free of addiction!

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