Addiction can recontextualize much of a person’s life, from daily routines to nuanced situations. Stress, anxiety, depression, and more can all carry a heavy emotional toll. Longing for a simpler, less stressful time can become enticing. One’s childhood hobbies, while one may have grown out of them, can still be a way to help an individual relive this innocence while helping instill essential coping strategies, making one’s childhood hobbies and interests a potential resource for healing in the present.
The Need for New Hobbies
Hobbies play a crucial role in addiction recovery. One’s days before entering the recovery sphere may have been filled with chasing the next high or buzz. Much of one’s actions, hobbies, routine, and thoughts may have revolved around their engagement with these addictive substances.
While the cessation of their use is a phenomenal step towards healing, it can also leave a large stretch of time that needs to be filled. Without replacing these old routines with new activities, it can be incredibly easy to fall back into destructive behaviors, making the adoption of hobbies necessary for preventing relapse on one’s recovery journey.
The kinds of hobbies that one pursues can be wholly up to the individual. For some, adopting directed therapies as hobbies can be incredibly beneficial, such as setting up a yoga studio or space to practice art, music, or writing therapy. Others may take up new interests as they explore their sober identity, finding a degree of solace in watching movies or playing video games, performing character studies, or otherwise embracing the mental respite that these escapist practices can provide.
Looking Back to Childhood
One’s childhood can be an incredible resource when determining how to structure one’s day in their newfound sobriety by starting with a feeling of peaceful nostalgia. Looking back to one’s old toys and hobbies can be extremely beneficial. Whether it is playing with an old dollhouse, shuffling through a large collection of Pokemon or sports cards, or holding a Candyland game and recalling the memories therein, this nostalgic trip can be therapeutic.
The feelings of transformation and change are hallmarks of the recovery process, but it can also be intimidating as an individual is faced with an unknown number of personal changes in their lives. Having a chance to revisit a simpler, familiar space in one’s head can be the kind of refreshing familiarity needed.
Using One’s Childhood as a Resource
The nostalgia and peace that these sentiments can bring up are powerful for providing an individual with an emotional break from the stresses of coping with addiction and recovery. They can also serve a very active role in helping an individual discover new hobbies in the present. Those who had collected sports cards as a child may be able to use this to kindle new interests, inspiring one to pick up a racket, bat, or ball again reexplore one’s interest in sports.
Those who grew up with Legos may use this knowledge to explore and rediscover a love of building things, aiding in the development of new hobbies in art or woodworking. Looking back at Halloween costumes from one’s childhood can lead to an interest in creating one’s own costumes or clothing and developing an interest in fashion and self-expression.
Childhood hobbies are more than simple games and pastimes, but rather a manifestation of one’s interests from when stigmas and responsibilities were not dictating one’s daily life. These pure forms of expression are not something that can fade away easily. Finding new hobbies from the relics of one’s past can be a great way to begin filling one’s newfound free time with meaningful hobbies, coping strategies, and helping to explore one’s new sober identity.
Stigmas are a large hurdle in addiction recovery. Not only is there still a stigma surrounding words like “addiction” and “recovery,” but it can also seem to dictate one’s interests and available hobbies and outlets. However, much of recovery is about deconstructing these stigmas for personal betterment, both in terms of words like “addiction” as well as the hobbies one allows themselves to pursue.
Some may look back on their childhood hobbies as a resource to inform themselves of new, potentially interesting hobbies. In addition, sitting down with one’s family and reliving happy memories can be just as powerful. This can allow each individual not just to process stress and live in nostalgia for a moment, but also to begin rebuilding relationships around a pure pastime and positive memories. There can be a lot of healing in a simple game of Candyland.
Childhood memories, hobbies, and interests can be powerful resources in addiction recovery. At Everlast Recovery, we encourage you to explore all of your interests and options when it comes to developing your sober identity, and we are prepared to personalize your time with us to explore all of your options. If you are looking to regain control over your sobriety, or need a new perspective on how to maintain your sober identity and coping strategies, we can help you today. With art, yoga, music, and writing therapies available–just to name a few–our intimate, home-like atmosphere encourages a peaceful environment where professionals and peers continue to grow together and challenge each other, all while deconstructing stigmas and creating a healthy mindset and identity. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us or to speak to a caring staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 338-6925.