It’s Time for a New Type of Fun!

Last Updated: Aug 18th 2021

Reviewed by Laura Riley

‘Fun’ is usually not the first thing you think of when the topic of recovery emerges. This is especially true in the early stages of addiction recovery. But believe it or not, it is possible to have fun in recovery. Having fun in recovery is possible with the mindset and routine. Being strong and persistent during recovery can open many doors for a person, some of which can bring fun and joy. 

Sometimes not giving up can be all that’s needed to bring fun and joy into recovery. It also helps to change perspective on a person’s life and their goals. Happiness and fun in recovery are not only achievable, but they can also make the process much more enjoyable. In the end, it comes to redefining the definition of fun in recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction, North Jersey Recovery Center is here to help! 

How Drug Addiction Affects a Person’s Mind and Happiness

Drug addiction can have a lot of effects on a person’s mind and thought processes. What once was a pleasurable experience may be dull or uninteresting. Intense drugs like heroin can affect the brain and can make only substance use enjoyable. Frequent drug use can numb a person’s experiences with fun and pleasure. 

Addiction can affect a person’s brain chemistry and can end up sucking the fun out of life. Certain drugs end up overflowing the brain with dopamine, which is the rewarding chemical in the brain. This surge in dopamine begins to create the basis for addiction. A person will be compelled to keep experiencing the euphoric effects of drugs. Over time, a person becomes tolerant of drug use, needing more for its desired effects. 

As time goes on, a person will begin to lose interest in pleasure in almost every part of their life. This is why addicts lose motivation and sense of accomplishment when it comes to their daily lives. What once would’ve brought excitement and joy has been replaced with the need to use the substance to numb the pain/feel its effects. With this also comes withdrawal symptoms that persist until after treatment. All this can make the idea of ‘fun in recovery’ a far-fetched thought. 

Understanding the Idea of Fun in Recovery

Understanding-the-Idea-of-Fun-in-RecoveryWhen a person is recovering from addiction, their idea of fun in recovery may be completely skewed. They may feel that the only way to feel any happiness or joy is through drug and substance use. This is why a person may continue to drink or use drugs even if it causes harm. After a person overcomes this addiction, they may still have this thought. Fun in recovery may feel like a distant thought. The effort and time that recovery takes may also add to these feelings as well – recovery is not easy. 

However, it is possible to have fun in recovery without the use of drugs. Sometimes revisiting old hobbies can have a big impact which can reignite an old sense of pleasure. A person recovering from addiction should think about the hobbies they used to enjoy and try to go back to them. There is a way they can create new and healthy ways of having fun and thinking about it as well. As with anything else in recovery, this takes time and commitment from the person. 

How Boredom Can Be The Downfall During Recovery

The early stages of recovery can sometimes be rough, especially if a person has been in an inpatient program for a long period of time. Getting back into life can be a stressful experience, but after that is said and done, sometimes boredom can set in. Glamorizing past drug use can end up taking place when boredom is present. 

This frequent thinking, especially paired with the emotional aspects of early recovery, can be a recipe for disaster. A person may not be able to cope with these feelings and may end up experiencing a relapse. This is why it is important to find fun in recovery in a healthy and productive way. There are many activities that can bring joy and fun to a person’s life. Boredom can be a person’s downfall if a person does not act. 

Trying New Thinkings During Recovery

Having fun in recovery starts with stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing new ventures. Having an open mind can allow a person to try new things and activities, some of which can become favorites. Some activities that may not have interested a person before recovery may be worth giving a second thought. 

Reading, picking up an instrument, or even yoga can change a person’s life for the better. There are many activities that a person can do to have fun in recovery. Having fun in recovery doesn’t have to be a complicated and long process, all it takes is some patience and an open mind. It’s important to do activities that are healthy and keep you away from drugs or alcohol. 

Saying ‘yes’ to something that you may not have said yes to before addiction is something worth considering. In the process, a person can create connections and support groups that can lead to more fun in recovery. These are healthy ways to cope while still having fun in recovery. 

Ways to Have Fun in Recovery

Ways-to-Have-Fun-in-RecoverySince drug use completely changes a person’s mind when it comes to ‘having fun’, it’s important to have some options available when things get rough. There are many healthy ways a person can tackle feelings of boredom or even cravings that may arise. There are tons of different hobbies that can help bring joy and pass time, even bringing help from others. 

Let’s take a look at some of the ways of having fun in recovery, that are both healthy and productive. These include:

  • Yoga/meditation
  • Learning new things
  • Join a sports team or club

Yoga/Meditation

Having a relaxed and focused mind is crucial to remaining sober in recovery. Meditation and yoga are both often used to center a person. Both practices help the body, mind, and spirit with the idea of centering yourself and focusing inwards. This holistic approach has been shown to help those struggling with addiction and can be a great tool in having fun. 

Yoga, in particular, can not only be fun, but it can be productive as well. Millions of people use yoga to center their mind and body. Yoga can be a great pastime and can open the door for other healthy habits like meditation and diets. While yoga may not be for everyone, it can be a great opportunity to try something new and fun.

Learning/Trying New Things

As mentioned, many different hobbies can end up being a person’s favorite activity. All it takes is persistence and trying new things. Whether it be reading, writing, learning an instrument, or dancing. There are many healthy ways of experimenting and trying new things out that you may not have before addiction. 

There are many resources online that help a person find groups and communities. Continuing to learn can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience in the long run. With the vast amount of choices and resources available, there is no excuse for not trying something new, even if it is just here and there. 

Join a Sports Team or Club

The idea of exercise and physical activity, in general, is extremely useful when it comes to having fun in recovery. Sports can be a great way to have fun in recovery while getting benefit out of it. One of the best ways to replace the high from drug use is by experiencing the natural high of sports (like kayaking). Exercise can also help the body and mind as well, there are so many benefits to exercising – it is fun and healthy. 

Accepting that Recovery Can be Fun and Enjoyable

One of the biggest hurdles is looking past the ups and downs of recovery. What many people forget is that you can have fun in recovery while maintaining sobriety. By changing your mindset and understanding this fact, a person can truly get the most out of recovery. While it may not be the easiest road to go down, there are plenty of positive things that can come out of it (besides living a life free of addiction). Having fun in recovery is possible with the right mindset and attitude going in. 

Start the Journey Towards a Better Life

Before you can have fun in recovery, the first steps must be taken towards a life, free of drugs. At North Jersey Recovery Center, we provide all the necessary tools to overcome addiction in the smoothest way possible. Our team has helped many struggling addicts overcome their addictions. With constant support and decades of experience, we’re here to help you. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, it may be time to get help. Give us a call today to learn more about our addiction treatment services and resources in North Jersey.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Laura-Riley-Cropped-Profile-150x150Laura Riley, MA, LCADC, CCS is an Administrator with North Jersey Recovery Center.

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