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Addiction: Leisure and Recovery

Getting Started

​​​1. Make a leisure list.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I like to do in my spare time now?
  • What new activities would I like to try?
  • Who would I like to join me?
  • What equipment do I need?
  • How much time do I need?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Are there things I used to like to do before alcohol, drugs, or gambling became a problem?

2. Make a list of low-cost or free leisure activities.

Check your community recreation centre, churches, schools, and clubs. Think about volunteering. Check self-help social committees through agencies like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), and Gamblers Anonymous (GA).

3. Start having healthy habits

Are there some habits you want to change? List these changes.

4. Find out what activities and events are offered in or near your community.

To do this check:

  • community recreation centres
  • YMCA, YWCA, or fitness clubs
  • social clubs
  • community senior centres
  • community associations
  • churches
  • public library
  • the Internet (social media)
  • community newspapers and bulletins
  • continuing education programs at schools, colleges, or universities
  • other organizations or support groups (e.g., AA, NA, GA)

When you find out what activities are available, list the activities you want to get more information about. Next, list the activities you want to get involved in.

5. Set aside time.

Organizing your time is important to a successful recovery program. Make a weekly plan of activities. Make sure to plan in advance. Structure and planning will ease you into a new, healthier lifestyle. Once leisure activities become regular, it will feel as normal as brushing your teeth in the morning.

Current as of: March 2, 2017

Author: Addiction & Mental Health, Alberta Health Services