If you’re in recovery, you might be looking for productive ways to spend your free time. Managing your downtime is one of the hallmarks of the journey, as it will help you avoid triggers. Volunteering is an excellent way that you can give back and help others that are not as far along in their sobriety. Many people look for ways to keep their sobriety intact, including managing those long weekends when you have nothing to do. When you volunteer, you’re not involved in your addiction, and you’re helping others and giving back. You know the journey isn’t easy, and there are many facets, and someone who has already been down this road is good support. Even if you’re not interested in helping in addiction recovery, there are many ways that you can give back to your local community.
The Benefits of Volunteering
One common saying used in the recovery world is that volunteering is the opposite of addiction, as it helps when you’re doing something productive. Here are some reasons why you should consider volunteering your time and energy to help others.
Helps You Stay Sobriety Focused
Sometimes it’s good to have those “out of self” moments. If you want to stay focused on your recovery, you need good activities to keep you busy. Putting too much focus on yourself and your issues can be dangerous, as you don’t want to contemplate your problems. However, when you’re helping others, you’re saying that it’s not all about you or your needs. You realize that other people have difficulties, and you can help. The worst thing you can do is be alone with your thoughts for long periods, so volunteering can help you sidestep all the fears that crop up and keep your focus on something good.
Better Time Management
One thing you know from your sobriety journey is that you don’t need any excessive free time. It would help if you had positive activities to do that keep you from being bored. Since boredom is a trigger for many people, you want to fill your time with something helpful. There are homeless shelters and soup kitchens across the country begging for help, or you can be a mentor to someone in addiction. Managing your time is a great way to stay on the right path.
Improves Your Self-Confidence
One thing that many addicts struggle with is low self-esteem. You may feel guilt and regret from everything you’ve done, but you don’t have to stay downtrodden. Volunteering will allow you to rebuild your sense of self-worth. You can learn a new purpose in life and feel productive. When you engage with the world and its people, it helps you stop seeing yourself as a victim and more like an overcomer. Remember, there’s always someone that has it worse than you.
You’re Giving Back
Remember the people that helped you on your journey? Where would you be without those mentors and sponsors? The person who held your hand and told you it would be okay through detox is a face you will never forget. People need help, and it’s your turn to return the favor. Not only can you volunteer in a drug or alcohol center, but you can also do random acts of kindness every day in your life. These little things will help you feel better about yourself and make someone else’s day. Plus, you’re putting a little kindness in the world.
You Feel Wanted and Needed
It feels good to be wanted and needed. After going through your rehabilitation journey, you’re often left with the reality that you broke many relationships along the way. However, volunteering gives you new connections and purpose. You will show up whenever you are needed because you know someone is counting on you.
Places To Volunteer
If you’re looking for a place where you can give back and help others, here’s a standard list that many people in recovery utilize.
- Local AA Meetings
- Soup Kitchens
- Homeless Shelters
- Charitable Organization
- Nursing Homes
- Dog Rescue or Pounds
Are you ready to volunteer? It’s certainly a new and exciting experience, and it can help you become a better you. Maybe you’re not this far in your journey. If you need to start on the path towards your sobriety, we’re ready to help. We have counselors who are well versed in assisting folks just like you get started. You can call us anytime, day or night at 833-497-3812, to find the perfect spot to begin.