7 creative hobbies to start this Sober Spring

7 creative hobbies to start this Sober Spring

Putting energy and faith into my creative passions has ultimately been a life-saving tool for me in my alcohol recovery journey of 5+ years. It all started with a love of writing, and I always encourage anyone in recovery not to ignore their creative spirit - it might help you heal! I know, you might be thinking, how is a hobby going to help me heal? Well, when you give something you like a genuine chance by doing it consistently and with vulnerability, those actions might teach you things about yourself or help you understand parts of your life better. For me, I’m much better at writing how I feel than I am at speaking about it, and I ended up a blogger and creative writer. For you, cooking might help you pursue a passion for healthy eating or painting could pull you into a career as an illustrator in the coffee industry - who knows!? 

My point is - not drinking can give you clarity in your life, more free time, and no hangovers - why not pursue a creative passion if you feel called to do so?Below are eight different hobbies you can dive into this Spring, either on your own or in a group setting. Remember, in the words of Sylvia Plath, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

1. Repurposing clothes

Thrifting isn’t just trendy, it’s smart, and maybe soon a new standard. Vogue Business reported that the global secondhand market is “expected to surge at three times the rate of the overall global apparel market up to 2027, driven by Gen Z consumers.” Consider repurposing your clothes! Turn an old T-shirt into a bandeau, jeans into a skirt, dye a stained piece of clothing so you can wear it again, sew a patch, or resize something to fit better - there are so many options. Both shopping secondhand and repurposing items you already own can be an affordable, creative adventure you can do on your own or with friends. Find style inspiration and tips on Pinterest!

2. Painting

Painting, like writing, is one of those things that can be intimidating if you aren’t used to doing it. It’s the blank canvas effect. Use watercolor, oil paint, ink, acrylic paint - whatever speaks to you! I love to combine writing and painting, using paint to bring my words to life. But maybe you’re inspired by landscapes or faces or flowers - you won’t know until you try. If winging it isn’t quite your thing, dig into art history and choose a “style” or watch a tutorial, but still try to embrace your own intuition and creativity. Also, a canvas isn’t your only option - you could also try using glassware, candles, clothing, a canvas bag, etc. Just make sure you have the right kind of paint for your materials! 

3. Writing

Like painting, there are plenty of “ways” one can attempt this hobby/art form/craft.For someone in recovery, my advice would be to allow writing to help you heal or write about something that interests you. Practicing writing in a self-care style might look like journaling or free-writing, whereas the more creative professional side of writing could be blogging, freelance journalism, essays, and more. Whether you’re writing about your day or writing about the best cookware, just the practice of writing can be therapeutic.If writing already feels semi-comfortable and kind of exciting to you, start putting that pen to paper! There’s no wrong way to write.

When talking about stress management, professor of writing, Deborah Siegel-Acevedo for the Harvard Business Review stated, “Expressive writing can result in a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression; improve our sleep and performance; and bring us greater focus and clarity.”

4. Gardening

Interested in growing your own food or gorgeous flowers? I’m not sure if gardening is traditionally classified as a creative hobby, but anyone who spends their free time caring for plants and getting creative with food or flower arrangements is creative to me! Participate in a community garden or start your own (inside or outside). Allow your time spent with nature to be calming and educational. 

5. Crochet or embroidery

We’ve all seen highly impressive examples of crochet or embroidery work on social media or even from people we know, right? If you see that and are like “Ugh, I need to try that,” this spring is as perfect a time as ever. Stop at your local craft store for supplies and find a simple tutorial to follow or ask a friend for guidance. Other trending craft-related hobbies include mosaic making, tufting, and woodworking

6. DIY furniture

    While you’re spring cleaning, you might get the urge to switch up your furniture or decor! Using the “do-it-yourself” method in your home is one way to be creative and productive at the same time. Take the opportunity to refresh your space for a new season.

    7. Photography

    On a walk or at parties, do you ever find yourself thinking “I should take a picture of this” or “This would make the best photo?” You might have a natural photography instinct! Start embracing your creative instincts and take more photos. Try putting them into collections or editing your favorites. Ask yourself, is there something specific you gravitate toward capturing? 

    Pro Tip: I would recommend not trying to monetize a hobby right away. Even though many hobbies and passions can turn into income, you don’t want to end up making something a business that you don’t want to pursue for that long. Life moves quickly. I recommend starting slow and focusing on joy when pursuing a creative passion.

    I hope you find hobby inspiration in this list!

    Written by Nicole Nettwell

    Nicole Nettell is a creative writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is five years alcohol-free and the creator of The Recovery Cat Blog

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