calming activities

5 Calming Activities to Get You Through Recovery That Aren't Meditation

Last Updated: Tue, January 23, 2024

When you are in the process of recovering from addiction, this journey is going to feel like a roller coaster. Addiction recovery is something you will be doing for the rest of your life since those addictive tendencies will never entirely go away. You will learn how to control them and ignore them, but they are always going to be there in the back of your mind. That is why it is crucial to find calming activities that can help you redirect your focus to something more positive. In this article, we will be discussing a few options you have that don’t involve meditation.

1 . Spend Time In Nature

Many people spend the majority of their day indoors, whether that be for leisure or work. The reality is that spending time in nature is extremely important for everyone, whether you struggle with addiction or not. Nature is therapeutic and has a way of calming the mind, much like traditional meditation does. If you aren’t a fan of meditation, you may find that taking a walk or sitting outside has the same effect. Make sure you pick a calm time of the day to do this so that your mind is as clear as possible and avoid listening to any music so that you can soak in the environment around you.

2 . Get Involved With Animals

It is no secret that a big part of finding more inner joy is by redirecting your attention from yourself to something else. There are many ways you can do this, but focusing your attention on helping animals is especially therapeutic. Animals are not judgemental and will accept you no matter what faults you have or what your background is. They are loving and affectionate and can help to fill the void if you don’t necessarily feel supported by friends or family members. Animals also naturally cultivate joy and will cheer you up whether you want to be cheered up or not.

There are many ways that you can get involved with animals, depending on your goals. You could become a foster parent to animals that don’t have a home yet, or you can adopt an animal of your own. A less committed option is to volunteer your time at your local animal shelter since there are always animals who need attention there.

3 . Do Something Artistic

One good example of a meditative activity doing something that is artistic. What activity you choose will depend on what your interests are, such as doing different activities like painting, photography, or drawing. There are many artistic activities that are therapeutic and provide a positive way of filling your time. They also help build your confidence and allow you to develop new skills.

4 . Start Journaling

A very common activity many people turn to is journaling when they need something therapeutic to do. Journaling is quiet and creative and allows you to empty your mind of all of the noise. It also allows you to express how you are feeling in the moment and release those feelings in a healthy way.

5 . Take Up Cooking

A lot of addictions tend to fill your life and take the place of everything that is good for you. An example of this is things like nourishment that your body needs to stay healthy and strong. When you are in recovery, you have to relearn how to take care of yourself and nurture your body back to health. A great way to do this is to start cooking for yourself so that you always have nourishing food to enjoy. Not only is cooking relaxing and enjoyable, this helps you to intentionally replace bad habits with good ones.

Other Tips For Staying Strong During Recovery

No matter what addiction you are recovering from, the journey is never going to be as smooth as you may like it to be. But there are many things you can do to set yourself up for success and stay strong throughout this process. 

Cultivate Compassion

A huge part of recovering is learning how to be compassionate towards yourself. When you are struggling with addiction, shame and regret are very prevalent emotions that you may direct at yourself. But the reality is that you need compassion to fully recover and create a normal and healthy life. It isn’t enough to seek a community that is compassionate towards you; you also need to show yourself that same grace.

Don’t Suppress Redirect

A lot of people may think that they have to start suppressing their addictive behaviors and urges to stay clean. But the reality is that this is not the right way to go about doing this since suppressing things is never going to fully remove them. You are only temporarily pushing down those feelings, but they will be back at another time. Instead, you want to focus on ways you can redirect these urges without giving into your addictive habits. You could try doing one of these calming activities so that you can turn that energy into something that is good for you.

Be Aware of Triggers

No matter how long you are in recovery, you are still going to have some triggers that come up every once in a while. That is why it is so important to be able to identify what triggers you have that you are most susceptible to. Once you identify these triggers, you can avoid them as much as possible and learn how to cope with them when they can’t be avoided.


A big part of recovering from addiction is learning how to take better care of yourself and find more positive outlets. This is very important since you need to redirect that energy that you used to direct into your addiction. You can try meditation or other calming activities like taking walks, volunteering with animals, or doing something creative like painting or cooking.

It is also important to remember that a big part of recovery is finding a community you can turn to when you are struggling. Recovery is not something you want to do alone since you need to have people who can hold you accountable.

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