Staying Healthy in Recovery: Are there Alternatives to Drugs and Alcohol?

After entering recovery, one of the hardest things to do is fill the leftover space in your mind and in your daily life. Spending so much of your time using drugs or alcohol can leave you feeling bored and unsatisfied throughout recovery, and it can often lead to relapses and addictive behavior. This is why many people search for healthy alternatives, whether that’s adrenaline-inducing activities, exercise, meditation, or any number of other activities.

The alternatives to drugs and alcohol vary widely and ultimately depend on your interests and what you want to pursue. Finding a healthy alternative can be an excellent way to fill that void, but it’s also imperative that you keep a healthy mindset about whatever activity you choose. Here are some healthy activities you can use to fill the new space in your life.


Meditation is an excellent way to calm your mind, reflect on your life, and set goals for yourself. Even five to ten minutes in the morning spent focusing on your breathing, setting your daily intentions, and deciding what you want to accomplish can make a huge impact on the whole day.

Recovery is often accompanied by stress and anxiety. Taking time out of your day to focus only on yourself will help you tremendously. Meditation can give you new perspectives on stressful situations, help you cope, increase your patience, and calm your mind and body down. Another benefit of meditation as an alternative to drugs and alcohol is that it’s very difficult to overdo. However, if you find yourself meditating for hours a day or find that it’s interfering with your daily life in a negative way, talk to someone you trust, recognize the issue, and slowly cut back.

Adrenaline-Inducing Activities

Picking up a new, thrilling, and safe sport can be a great way to keep you occupied and excited about what you’re doing and help keep your body active. Here are some sports you could try to occupy your time.

  • Skiing
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Skydiving
  • Mountain Climbing

Seeking thrills through sports is a great way to stay on your feet and mix up your daily routine. Of course, there are a lot of extreme sports that are incredibly dangerous. Make sure you know your limits, always use the proper equipment, and learn the correct techniques from qualified instructors before trying anything new.

Working Out

Similar to meditation and sports, exercise allows you to fuel your body and calm your mind. It’s a great way to pass the time, increase your endorphins, and focus on your body and how much it does for you. The mental health benefits of regular exercise are incredible, and can include:

  • A reduction in depression
  • A reduction in anxiety
  • A reduction in stress
  • Increased focus

Of course, like anything, exercise can become problematic if you overdo it. Make sure you’re eating enough to sustain your workouts and talk to someone if you feel like you may be overexerting your body.

These three alternatives are great ways to fill any voids you may be experiencing in recovery, but, as with most things, too much is a bad thing. If you feel as though these activities, or any other activities, are taking up too much of your time or are having a negative impact on your life, talk to someone and get the help you need.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out to us today. We offer a wide variety of residential and outpatient treatment programs to help aid you throughout your recovery journey.

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