A person's identity can mean many things. It could mean a social security number, the title of their job, or their cultural background. However, identity is a complex thing. Finding yourself is a lifelong journey. Humans are forever changing, which makes it difficult to pin down answers to questions like, “Who am I?”
The more you learn about yourself during recovery, the easier it will be to build an identity that is unique and authentic to you. When you take the time to learn your interests, develop hobbies, grow your relationships, and engage in a community, you'll feel more secure in your identity. This can help you feel more confident and grow in self-love.
Hobbies can be a great way to find yourself. For example, they can give you new avenues for accomplishment. Finding success in your hobbies can fill you with a sense of pride that translates into confidence in all aspects of your life. Since you participate in hobbies for self-fulfillment, it might be easier to find satisfaction in them than in other aspects of life. Hobbies present lower stakes than tasks that need to be completed to achieve career goals or maintain friendships. This lack of stakes can help you enjoy hobbies with little stress.
Additionally, hobbies can help you find community. When you connect with others who have the same interests, you can build organic and supportive friendships. Hobbies and the relationships that can grow from them can improve your enthusiasm for your new, sober life. This can be a powerful tool for interrupting the relapse cycle.
Taking part in residential treatment gives you a break from your current routines. After residential treatment, you have the opportunity to develop new routines and re-engage in ones you've neglected.
The best place to start when considering what hobbies and activities you'd like to incorporate into your new sober life is in your past. What hobbies and activities did you once enjoy? Were there any interests you neglected as you became affected by substance use disorder (SUD)? Was there anything you wanted to pursue that you did not? If so, now is a great time to take the leap!
Exploring new possibilities is also important. You never know when you might surprise yourself. Getting to know yourself means opening your mind to possibilities. Going outside your comfort zone to try something new could result in finding a new passion.
You might go skiing with friends and fall in love with the sensation of sliding down a mountain. Or you might go spelunking with coworkers and become obsessed with stalagmites. You may never have thought of yourself as the artistic type, but you may discover an affinity for pottery, writing, or music. There is something for everyone, and you'll know it when you find it. Become aware of the events and activities in your area and reach out for recommendations from friends. The best way to find yourself is by doing the weird stuff that you never thought you'd do.
Hobbies can be split up into a few major categories. These include art, physical activity, and food. If you want to challenge yourself, try at least one hobby in each of these categories and see what resonates with you. You may be surprised!
Art is a powerful tool for self-expression. Creating art can help you better understand yourself on a deeper level.
That said, you don't necessarily need to participate in artistic activities to enjoy it as a hobby or find passion in it. Consuming art can also help you find identity and community. Maybe you discover you love heavy metal music or modern art. This appreciation can still help you build identity and connect with a likeminded community without you needing to actively perform artistic tasks.
Artistic interests also cover a wide range of topics from paintings to stage plays to glass blowing. Given trial and error and time, you can find an artistic interest that resonates with you. At small treatment centers like Pathways Recovery, you have the opportunity to try various treatments that will help you learn more about your artistic interests. This can include music and art therapy.
Similar to artistic interests, physical activity also covers a broad spectrum of hobbies. Physical activities could include outdoor adventures like hiking, zip lining, or fishing.
There are also physical activities for people who prefer the comforts of the indoors. For instance, you might join a dance class or enjoy a game of racquetball or basketball.
Taking part in a physical activity isn't just important for a sense of identity. It can also improve your mental and physical health. When you make a physical activity into a hobby, it makes it much easier to incorporate exercise into your routine. Pathways Recovery Center encourages our clients to participate in physical activity and offers treatments such as activity therapy.
Food might seem like a strange category of interest, but what you eat can be a major aspect of your identity. After all, food involves an intersection of art, science, community, and identity. It can incorporate cultural significance and traditions.
Consuming food can also be a practice of mindfulness. After all, we consume food with our senses: touch, taste, and smell. The next time you cook or eat, pay attention to the complex scents, flavors, and textures of a meal. This is a way to practice mindfulness.
Finding yourself can help you find a like-minded community. Community is important for successful recovery because it gives you a sense of meaning and purpose.
When you can identify your interests and engage with them, it becomes easier to make meaningful connections. Having interests and hobbies gives you something to connect over. It gives you something you can enjoy with others.
Finding yourself during your recovery from addiction can help you make deeper connections with others, boost your mood, and give you a sense of accomplishment. Rediscovering your hobbies and interests is important to sustaining a successful recovery. Pathways Recovery Center can help you rebuild your identity by working closely with you to develop a treatment plan that is uniquely tailored to your needs. We offer various types of complementary treatments that can help you rediscover your interests and participate in activities outside of your comfort zone. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, call (888) 771-0966 to learn how we can meet you where you are in recovery.