Friends having fun at a campground without alcoholIf you’ve just gotten sober or you’re thinking about getting sober but can’t quite imagine how your life would look without drinking alcohol, you’ve come to the right place. Many people who struggle with alcoholism feel they’d have nothing to do, nothing to say and nowhere to be if they didn’t drink.

The extent of the hold it has on your brain’s reward system is shocking, but you can overcome it. And in time, you’ll start to realize you can have so much more fun while you’re in control of your actions.

Read on to find out the best ways to have fun without drinking in Fort Myers.

1. Rediscover Your Passions 

When you first come out of rehab, your social life probably won’t be at the top of your agenda. Many people feel reflective after completing a program at an addiction treatment center as life can feel completely different than it did before. It’s wise to think about whether your group of friends is a positive influence and make plans for the future. Scientists have recently discovered that having a sense of purpose can literally add years to your life

Addiction often tears people away from the ones they love the most and the activities they love to do. Some people get involved with drugs and alcohol at such a young age that they don’t feel like they have any interests outside of substances. However, when you dig deep and think about what got you excited when you were a kid, you’ll be able to rekindle an old passion or two. If not, go on a voyage of self-discovery and vow to find something you’re passionate about that brings meaning to your life.

2. Enjoy Nature

Going outdoors has a huge impact on mental and physical health, and just looking at beautiful scenery can instill a sense of calm and overall well-being. If you don’t think of yourself as the outdoor type, see if you can find a fellow sober person to go on a hike or visit the beach with. Pay attention to the small details and what makes nature so beautiful and you’ll feel better instantly. Over time, spending time outside on a regular basis can have a drastic improvement on your health. 

3. Eat Delicious Food

While you don’t want to drown your sorrows in chips and candy, food can provide plenty of opportunities for fun every day. Whether you’re cooking with friends, cooking for family or finding the tastiest piece of fruit you can find and savoring every mouthful, tasty and healthy food can be uplifting in the short and long term. Of course, the occasional treat now and again goes down well too! 

4. Watch Comedy

You don’t need to go to comedy clubs or know who all the famous comedians are to have a laugh. YouTube is full of hilarious content that’s purely designed to help you relax and unwind. Aim to balance your use of electronic devices with exercise and plenty of time outdoors to maximize how much enjoyment you get out of each activity.  

Laughter is one of the best medicines, and there’s a style of humor to suit everyone. If you’re feeling sad or angry, why not try a pattern interrupt approach? Acknowledge what you’re feeling and its validity, and then distract yourself from the negative emotion. Watching funny clips is a great way to distract yourself when you feel down without resorting to inebriation.

5. Learn About Mindfulness

Mindfulness has a reputation for being a bit of a New Age technique, but there’s a lot of science to back up its effectiveness. Put simply, you’ll learn how to focus on the small details that govern your behavior — as well as becoming more in touch with the world around you. You don’t need to get a yoga mat or sit cross-legged — just learn to listen to your own signals and pay more attention to the things you’re grateful for than the things that cause you problems. 

Of course, this is much easier said than done, and mindfulness is a long-term approach rather than a quick fix. However, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll find more joy in every moment and learn how to trust yourself. Many alcoholics need to trust themselves in the decision to remain sober, and mindful practice makes this much easier. 

6. Make New Friends

Friends camping togetherIf you’ve been hanging out with the wrong crowd for some time, you might feel scared that you’re not going to have any sober friends. While it’s undeniably daunting to put yourself out there and meet new people, human connection is one of the most nourishing pastimes for everyone.

The internet has made meeting people with similar interests easier than ever, and the gym, fun activities, walking groups, live shows, social media and even the ice skating rink are all places you can meet new people.

7. Take a Road Trip

One of the most fun things for anyone is taking a road trip. Of course, you won’t drink alcohol while driving — and you get to see vast open spaces, stunning skies and picturesque views. Lots of people find they get inspired when they go on an epic road trip, so why not get on the road and see if you can make some big plans? 

8. Learn a New Skill

While you might want to focus more on recovery when you first leave rehab, after a few months, you could consider learning a new skill. From playing a musical instrument to writing poetry, singing or dancing, learning something new is an excellent method for having fun without alcohol. If you’re someone who loved trying different alcoholic drinks, you could even learn how to craft the best nonalcoholic beverages in town and become a mocktail mixologist. 

Make sure you choose something you adore; the more you like it, the more you’ll stick with it.

Get Help for Substance Abuse Today

If you or someone you love needs help navigating the recovery process, Calusa Recovery can help. Call our Fort Myers rehab today at 844-254-9664 to speak to a friendly addiction specialist about your situation.