For those new to recovery, navigating nightlife can be tough. If you’re a teenager or in your twenties, and are looking for sober things to do at night, you likely know this firsthand. Right now, substance-free activities may seem hard to come by. You may feel like you have too much time on your hands or bummed out that you are passing up weekend parties with your friends for the sake of sobriety. Perhaps you are just intimidated by the idea of entering weekend-mode sober.
This is the biggest fear of many teens and young adults who are new to the sober social life: Is there even such thing? Are there still fun, sober things to do in recovery? Or will Saturday nights turn into staying home, alone, and going to bed by 9pm? Will I lose my own ability to have fun and to be fun, without a drink in hand?
In the height of your addiction, you likely did most things (if not everything) high or with a drink in hand. For some while, you came to know how to approach situations while under the influence. You made a habit of participating in activities that encouraged or at least accommodated your using habits. So it’s no surprise, then, that you may be associating all the “fun” things you used to do with drugs and alcohol.
Having fun in recovery is undoubtedly a learning process. If you ask any resident or graduate of Turnbridge’s young adult drug rehab program, they’ll tell you, from experience, that it will be difficult to find ways to occupy your days at first. But in time, you will find that not only is it possible to enjoy life sober, but also that it is a positive life to live. You will wake up each morning without the hangover headaches, without the question of what you did the night before, without the regrets. And in time, you may come to find that your life without drugs is where your true living has actually begun.
To get you started, here are 11 sober things to do at night that will not put your recovery at risk.
- For sports fans or athletes: Go to a local sports game. And if you want to get involved, join a sports league in the nearby community. Committing to weekly games will help you get active and meet new people in your area.
- For art and history buffs: Not only are museums educational, but they also serve as a great, quiet space for reflection and meditation. If you need a night out of the house, you may consider checking out a nearby museum. Or, if you enjoy a bit of history, you may consider researching local walking tours in your area.
- For film lovers: There’s always the option to catch a flick at the local theater. Grab a friend and make a night of it by doing dinner and a movie. Plan ahead and you may even find a nearby film festival. Or, you can invite some friends over, pop some corn, and host a film fest of your own.
- For those with a little bit of wanderlust: Travel. Take a mini-road trip or go on a little adventure with a friend. Often, getaways to new places bring out the most enlightening and positive experiences while in recovery. And when you’re sober, there is always a designated driver!
- For learners: Take up an online or evening course at a nearby community college. Study a foreign language. Or, visit the local library or pick up a good read at the bookstore. Feed yourself knowledge and you will find yourself going places you would never have imagined.
- For those who like a thrill: Want a bit of a thrill? Take a trip to an amusement park! Or, grab some friends and hit up a game room, arcade, laser tag, or bumper cars! If you’re looking for some seasonal sober activities, research haunted houses or spooky happenings in the area.
- For those looking for a breath of fresh air: Go for a late night hike or find a nearby rooftop to enjoy. If you are looking for sober, holistic activities to do, pull up YouTube and try some yoga!
- For fitness fanatics: Challenge yourself. Is there a 5k you want to run? Train for it! It will feel very rewarding when you do. If you need help keeping up with an exercise regime, join an evening running group or find a personal trainer for that extra push.
- For the antsy: Grab a friend and take a walk – anywhere your feet will bring you. Walk to a coffee shop, to get a slice a pizza, or to do some late-night window shopping. You may find the fresh air and a good conversation rejuvenating.
- For entertainers: Got good space at your place? Become a host! Have friends over for Sunday night football, plan a pumpkin carving contest, or host a “Friendsgiving Dinner” this November… any occasion is a great occasion to have a sober get-together with your closest friends. The best part is, you will actually remember these parties the next day.
- For those who need support: Sometimes, it’s as simple as just attending your 12-step meetings. The majority of people you will find in those meetings are also looking for new friends or something to do at night. After the meeting’s end, suggest going out for coffee or ice cream. Stay at a favorite spot and talk for hours. You may even find yourself shutting it down like you used to do at the bar! And if you want to take it a step further, consider getting dressed up for meetings. Switch out the sweatpants for your favorite pair of jeans to make yourself feel good about who you are and where you’re going. In life after addiction, this is one thing that many people miss – getting dolled up to go out at night.
If you’re still stumped for ideas, ask someone in your sober network (a mentor, a counselor, a friend from a 12-step meeting) what they do for fun at night. And if you have exhausted all of these sober recreation activities and are still looking for creative ways to have fun, ask some of the most fun and sober people around – children. You’re bound to get ideas from the little ones you love.
If you feel you ever need help in your journey towards recovery, please do not hesitate to reach out. You can learn about Turnbridge’s sober living program by calling 877-581-1793.