If you’re a teenager or young adult, it may seem like a lot of fun to get high or drunk. When you look at your friends who are inebriated, they don’t seem to have a care in the world. Any troubles are buried under the intoxication. You may choose to join in so you can fit in, be cool or forget your problems. Before you make that choice, it would be better if you could take a closer look at those people’s lives and see what kind of harm they might be experiencing that is not so simple to see from the exterior.
Hangovers, getting alarmingly close to overdoses, emergency room visits, upset and fights with family, dropping grades, lost scholarships or jobs, damaged relationships, boring perceptions, gloomy thinking, bad memory, illness and injury– these are the typical results or using drugs or drinking. But nobody cautions you about this the first time you reach for a pipe, a bottle, syringe or pill. The reality is that there are many, many other activities offered to you that are safer and more productive and that can bring about a result you enjoy far more than getting high.
It Works Before, During, and After Treatment
If you try some of the activities on this blog or think up your own, you could just have fun or perhaps you’ll learn something or gain a new skill. Certainly, many of the items on this list may not interest you– everyone is different. Here at Northlake Recovery we believe that the best way to occupy your time before, during, and after recovery, is with adventurous outdoor activities. Some are more adapted to females than males and vice versa. Some call for money and some don’t. Take your pick from our selection. It’s our hope that you uncover (if you’re not sure now) that living sober is a lot more fun than joining those who are drinking or using drugs.
- Do you love sports? There’s leagues for bowling, softball, touch/flag football, soccer, hockey, basketball and volleyball. But perhaps you didn’t know there’s also leagues for water polo, frisbee, broomball, kickball and dodgeball. Not into sports? Challenging mind games like Tetris, or word puzzles are a notable example of ways to test the limits of your brain functions while occupying your free time in between your daily schedule.
- Feeling adventurous? Go to the beach, go surfing or bring a metal detector and look for treasure. Do yoga, or go horseback riding. Ropes courses are fun and time consuming, as well as biking or snorkeling. These also happen to be things we do daily here at Northlake Recovery.
- Pick up reading. Go to the library, get reading lists for your grade level or areas of interest.
Keep doing this until you find something you really enjoy and then focus on that.
- Join a gym. Not just any gym, but look around until you find one where the other people look like you do and work out like you want to.
- Take courses at your local YMCA or YWCA. There’s anything from yoga, baby care, belly dancing, aerobics, spinning (the exercise kind of spinning), swimming, weightlifting, you name it. Plan it right and your kids (if you have them) may be able to take their own classes at the same time.
- Start an online course. The sky is pretty much the limit here. You can find free classes from Microsoft on how to use their software, tutorials from Adobe on using page layout or photo editing software, photography, animation, music, anything. The website www.lynda.com offers thousands of programs for a modest fee. The website http://www.ehow.com will instruct you how to do just about anything, from roasting pumpkin seeds to making a coat out of a blanket.
- Start an offline real world course. What have you wished you knew how to do? Plant a garden? Repair old cars? Cook? There are many ways to start learning at little to no charge. Kitchen stores may provide cooking classes. Community parks or libraries may give gardening classes. A community college will typically offer automotive classes at minimal cost.
- Find public gardens in your community, gather up a few friends, and go as a team. Join a tour and learn about the plants. Have lunch underneath the trees.
- Visit a zoo or aquarium. Some of them have sleepovers for young kids. Take your kids or nieces and nephews. Some also have classes to learn more about wild animals.
- There’s hundreds of opportunities here. Homeless shelters (some for women and children), hospitals, homes for the elderly, these need help in many towns. A few areas need help taking out plants that don’t belong there (called invasive species), parks may need assistance building trails or preserving playgrounds. Beach spots are often the focus of cleanup events. If you have a talent for working with kids, there may be tutoring possibilities or you may be able to help the autistic. If you attend church, the personnel are sure to know of individuals or organizations who need volunteers. Recommendation: If you’re volunteering for the first time, keep your obligation very short so you are free to try several types of volunteering. Then, if you fall in love with one specific method of helping, you can engage in this one more completely.
- Learn how to write songs. There are complimentary online courses or there might be a music store or area college in your community that offers classes. Or learn an instrument you’ve always liked. There are plenty of free videos online to get you established. Sheet music is cheap.
- See what you can pick up from college lectures that are provided online at no cost. Some universities and colleges offer a choice of their lectures on YouTube. For example, the University of California offers all kinds of lectures at no charge. Economics, energy, chemistry, history, business, nutrition, languages, engineering, computer science– the list is too lengthy to list here. No cost, no risk, if you don’t like it, you can quit and try something else. See what you might have a flair for. You might choose to make a career modification or continue in or go back to school. You can check out UC’s YouTube channel. And the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also provides free courseware.
- Study a language you’ve always wanted to learn. Every library has language training CDs available.
- Want to travel but don’t have the money? Begin with those language courses and then add travel videos for your favorite countries. Invest your time now figuring out what you ‘d like to do when you do get to that country.
- Learn a sport you’ve always thought looked like fun. Kayaking, golf, paddle boarding, soccer, sailing, disc golf, handball, scuba diving– it’s such an extensive list!
- Find a series of podcasts that intrigue you. Maybe you want to learn more about finances, the music world, your government, your religion, cooking or food in general or technology. There’s so many podcasts available.
- Do you live in an historic region? If so, you can most likely find guides to walking tours in your area, complete with summaries of the significant places along the way. Collect up a few friends and act like tourists.
- Have some friends over for potluck. But instead of having them provide finished dishes, have them bring ingredients and everyone cooks with each other.
- Have your own film festival. Line up a series of movies in a single genre or showcasing a single actor, actress or director. Welcome friends over. Everyone should bring food or beverages. Discuss the merits of each movie before moving on to the next one.
- Plant a garden. Annuals, bulbs, trees, grasses, food-producing plants like tomatoes and zucchini, whatever you select. You’ll enjoy the outcome and you’ll feel good in relation to what you’ve produced. Your local garden or hardware store can help you get started, and there’s always books at the library and videos online to help. Some neighborhoods give out free trees to their residents. Ask at your City Hall.
There are thousands more concepts like this. Perhaps this selection will get you started thinking. Sure, it’s more work to finish an online course or learn a fresh skill than it is to spark a bowl or take a pill. But you will get far more out of it and those good benefits will endure longer than a couple of hours. By the time you are finished, at the end of the day, you will have had a wonderful experience, and have an undeniable sense of self-worth and accomplishment.
Find a Center You Can Trust.
If you’re looking for the best all around care for your health during recovery, then look no further. Our staff here at Northlake Recovery is standing by to help you down your new path. Call us toll free anytime to chat. (561)-770-6616