Rebuilding your life in recovery can be challenging but also very rewarding. It is important to develop healthy routines and not fall back into old habits that could lead to relapse. Many people use this as an opportunity to explore new activities and hobbies, trying things they haven’t done before, or want to get better at. Another option is to get involved with volunteering. Spending your time helping others can also be a great way to help yourself too.
Consider some of the many benefits of being a volunteer:
- Routine: It gives you a structured and constructive way to spend your time. Knowing that you always volunteer on Mondays and Thursdays gives you something to look forward to and reduces downtime. Too much free time can lead to boredom and temptation. Volunteering keeps you busy and allows you to spend your time doing different things.
- Sense of purpose: Now that you’re no longer focused on substance use, volunteering gives you something else to put your energy and efforts toward. It can be incredibly rewarding seeing the difference that you’re making in others’ lives, or in the organizations that you’re serving. You know that every time you show up, it matters, and the work that you’re doing counts.
- Meet new people: You never know who you’ll meet from week to week or project to project. These are people you might never have crossed paths with otherwise, but suddenly you have something in common. You can find other who share similar interests and who you may decide to strike up a friendship with outside of volunteering.
- Learn new skills: Whether you already have a job or are looking to re-enter the workforce following recovery, volunteering can build valuable skills. It not only teaches you teamwork, organization, time management, leadership, and communication, but can also provide more job-specific training depending on where you volunteer. This can be a great way to get your foot in the door and start networking with professionals. You never know when you’ll be working with someone who recognizes your potential and helps you land your next job.
- Positive environment: People volunteer because they care and want to help others. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in something that you enjoy and connect with positive people. Plus, you can find tons of opportunities that are family-friendly and substance-free, reducing any temptation and supporting sobriety.
Putting your energy and focus into giving back and doing something good for others can quickly boost your mood and turn your day around. Volunteering can be a fun way to spend time with friends or have some time on your own to meet others and explore charities that you are passionate about. All of these things – spending time with others, learning new skills, being accountable for showing up, and staying active – can help reduce risk of relapse and promote more positive thinking, which is essential for recovery.
Crossroads supports clients in exploring healthy activities and rebuilding their lives in recovery. Treatment encompasses physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health. Volunteering incorporates many of these areas and is very versatile, so clients can find what works best for their needs. At Crossroads, clients are supported in remembering who they wanted to be and building a strong foundation for lasting recovery.Leave a comment and let us know how you’ve incorporated volunteering into your recovery plans!