Having fun is an important part of staying sober.


Here’s the truth:  battling addiction is hard work. Although the longer you’re sober, the easier it becomes to stay sober, it’s still going to take effort to stick to your program, especially during challenging times

Newsflash: we’re in a challenging time right now. At least one in five people has lost their job. Small business owners are facing the possibility of losing their businesses. We’re all cooped up inside and we’re cut off from our usual routines and support groups. If you’re like most of us, you’re probably struggling in your program right now.

There’s one key ingredient to recovery that doesn’t get enough air time, and that’s FUN. Fun in recovery is important now more than ever before because of the limits imposed due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements in place in Portland, Oregon.

Why fun?

Well, in early recovery, we have to re-learn how to have fun without our substances of choice. When we first get sober, it can feel like we will never have real fun again. That’s not true, of course—we just need to remember how we used to have fun before we started to use substances. For some, that means reaching back into childhood—and that’s OK. We can all re-learn how to have fun without substances, no matter how long it’s been. 

After re-learning how to have fun in early recovery, we have to continue to have fun. A sober life without fun is going to be tough to maintain. 

We want all of our patients to thrive—not just surviving day to day, enduring negative emotions and irritating obstacles.  That means getting those endorphins and dopamine chemicals up in the brain and enjoying yourself. Having FUN.  

Here’s our top 5 ways some of our addiction treatment patients are having fun during quarantine.

Make Game Night Great Again

Game night anyone?

Have you ever played Cards Against Humanity? It’s a hilarious and silly party game that is sure to get you and your friends laughing. A version of the game, nicknamed “Remote Insensitivity” due to copyright issues, is available online for free right now. Simply open up a game room, share the link with friends and hop on Zoom. We played it with the game up on our phone and the Zoom window open on our computer. This game is very NSFW and not exactly “family friendly,” so consider yourself warned. Get ready to laugh.

Try a Silly New Exercise Routine

This cat has the right idea. Stretch and get moving in some fun new ways.

Now is not the time for boring workouts. 

Why not try something new and ridiculous in the privacy of your own home? 

Check out YouTube’s free exercise videos. They have everything you can imagine, from chair yoga for those with mobility issues to exotic dancer inspired “floor work” routines. 

Get weird with it. Think twerking, belly dancing, line dancing, or prancercizing. Yes—that’s prancercizing—as in prancing around like a fancy pony.  

Other classics: learning famous dance routines from music videos such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller or Beyonce’s Put a Ring On It. 

Dance not your thing? Try videos on hooping, juggling, contact juggling, karate, kickboxing, or judo.  

Take a Free Class 

Take a class and learn something new during the COVD 19 epidemic.

Love to learn? 

There are hundreds of free online college courses from top universities available online right now in almost every imaginable subject. Check out this mega list of your options. Archeology, history, biology, chemistry, art history? Check. 

Tour a Museum Online 

Tour a museum while in quarantine.

Always wanted to travel to Europe to see the work of the masters? Now is your chance. 

Check out The Louvre in Paris—home of the Mona Lisa—or the Museum of Modern Art (the “MOMA”) in New York City. 

Want something closer to home? The Portland Art Museum has virtual walk-throughs for many exhibits available for free online, as well. 

Find a Really Cool Online Volunteering Gig 

Why not volunteer to be a detective from home for these neat organizations?

This one sounds boring, but hear us out. There are some really awesome volunteer opportunities available online right now. 

Want to be a researcher for the United Nations? 

How about a human rights investigator for Amnesty International?

What about a mental health first aid technician with a crisis call center?

You can read more about these volunteer gigs here

We’re Here to Help 

As always, we at Shanti Recovery and Wellness take the health of our community as our top priority. If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction in Portland, Oregon and could use a hand in getting sober, reach out to us today. We take a personalized, evidence-based approach to treating the disease of addiction in a comfortable, welcoming environment and we’d love to talk to you about how we can support your plan to break free from substance use.