Surviving sober weekends is one of the biggest challenges for people new to recovery. What do you do for fun now? What do you do, period? Whether you were a get-dressed-up-and-hit-the-clubs kind of person, a barfly, a house party-lover, or a home alone with the bottle and the pipe type, drinking and drugging was a lifestyle. A lifestyle that took up a lot of your free time, if not all of it. It takes time to get drunk or high. You have to keep that feeling going, then you pass out. Finally, you sleep it off, only to later deal with a nasty hangover. In all of that, there is no time for hobbies, side hustles, friends and family commitments, a workout regime, or anything else for that matter.  

You’ve gotten sober and it’s great—you’re making it work! But then you hit those long, empty sober weekends

Scared of that down time with nothing to do

Don’t worry. Boring is the new cool. Once you settle into some new activities, hobbies, communities, and whatever else you find in your sobriety, you will be fine. You will be better than fine. You will be healthy, happy, and satisfied. It does, however, take some time, experimentation, and practice to get there. So, let’s talk about what you can do in early recovery to actually enjoy your time. 

Are you just getting to know a sober life and struggling with figuring out what you should do with your sober weekends?  

8 ways for surviving sober weekends

  1. A spa day at home—solo or with a friend. Wash your hair, do a mask… Easy self-care tasks that might just make you feel physically better 
  2. Organize and clean out your closet and donate items. Yeah, not the most exciting thing in the world, but we’re just getting used to normal life and normal activities 
  3. Call and catch up with family members or friends 
  4. Stress-relieving coloring books can help pass time very easily 
  5. Movie night/bingeworthy shows  
  6. Go to that meeting, yoga class, or any other activity that brings spirituality or recovery into your day 
  7. Take care of the animals or family members who might need you 
  8. Take a walk and listen to music 

OK, congratulations! You’re not exactly in early sobriety anymore but you’re still in that in between stage where life doesn’t feel totally comfortable yet. Let’s go a little bigger with our activities and begin to explore long-term sober weekends. 

7 awesome weekend activities

  1. Try Dreaming big. Tour real estate in the neighborhood you’d like to live. Try on expensive clothes or jewelry. Spend a day living the life you strive to reach, and the positive feelings will help you hit your goals 
  2. Be a tourist. drive to the nearest big city and be a tourist for a day, there are plenty of online guides of what to do in every city.   
  3. Sit still, breathe, learn to meditate
  4. Game night with friends or family. Traditional board games or maybe not. Video games and modern board games that are more detailed and fun  
  5. Try a hobby from your adolescence. Try something that you may have given up. Guitar, drawing etc.   
  6. Spend a day helping others and your community! Volunteering your time to help others gives you a purpose and makes it easier than ever to meet new friends. 
  7. Go to your local animal shelter and play with / pet the animals 

Are you more advanced in your recovery, or just looking for sober activities that could challenge you a bit more? Here are some suggestions for really taking up some time: 

  1. Throw a sober dinner party or some other sober event where you can showcase your new cooking, entertaining, and sober skills 
  2. Take classes! Check out your local YMCA, community college, or online! 
  3. Study a language you’ve always wanted to learn 
  4. Learn a new skill that interests you. Work with websites? Take a WordPress class. Want to build an app? They have programs to help you do that now. Have something you have always wanted to try? Now’s the time and YouTube can be good teacher.  
  5. Learn how to cook your favorite food or desert  
  6. Find an online community in something you’re interested in. Discord, Reddit, and Facebook all have groups to discuss your favorite things with people around the world  
  7. explore new podcasts to listen to  

Like it? Share with your friends!

Haley Laferney
Haley Laferney is the graphic designer at Reach Out Recovery and a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design. She is also a gold and silver ADDY award winner.

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