Because problem gambling often evolves from leisure activities that seem harmless initially, those in recovery frequently struggle with replacing gambling with healthier choices. Fortunately, plenty of options exist for those seeking positive ways to fill their leisure time.
Crafting offers an opportunity to learn new skills and explore your creativity while providing a concrete end result with a practical purpose. Crafting also accommodates a variety of abilities and interests and can also serve a humanitarian need. For instance, those who love to knit, crochet, or quilt can find plenty of opportunities to donate the fruits of their efforts to a good cause.
Physical activity provides a great way to get mood-enhancing endorphins flowing, and outdoor recreation has the added benefit of being a good way to access vitamin D. As you build strength and endurance, you’ll also experience increased confidence and self-esteem as a result. Some types of physical activity are solo ventures such as running, skiing, and biking, while others are team efforts such as softball, group hikes, and outdoor volleyball. Your local community center or parks and recreation department are good resources for finding outdoor recreation opportunities that suit your individual needs and preferences.
Volunteer activities provide a sense of accomplishment and opportunities to interact with others in a positive setting. It’s also an excellent way for people to get their minds off their problems. Because there are so many organizations and services that need volunteers, you’ll likely be able to find volunteer opportunities that line up with your areas of expertise and interest. Examples include volunteering at community libraries, food banks, hospitals, schools, animal shelters, parks, and civic projects. Regularly scheduled volunteer commitments also provide structure to your day.
Taking classes, reading the classics and other top-quality books, making regular visits to museums and art galleries, and otherwise pursuing intellectual development provides a productive way to spend your leisure hours.
If you’d like more information about getting back on track after a problem gambling episode, reach out to 800-GAMBLER today.