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Keeping Your Hands Busy

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by HugsNotDrugs, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. HugsNotDrugs

    HugsNotDrugs Active Contributor

    I don't know about others, but a main thing in helping me to not drink or do recreational drugs is keeping my hands busy. This is also a technique that works well for over-eaters and people trying to quit smoking cigarettes, I've heard.

    So I've decided to come up with a list of things that keep my hands busy, and anyone feel free to add or edit:
    1. Forum posts on the internet ;) lots of typing
    2. Video Games, both mobile and PC (but be careful, you don't want to end up with a World of Warcraft addiction!)
    3. Knitting (tried it for like a week, surprisingly fun but then I lost my needles)
    4. Walking/Running/Trying to get from place to place (if I'm going somewhere in an hour I don't want to start drinking NOW...)
    5. TV/Movies (OK so maybe I have a Netflix addiction now...)

    Feel free to suggest more or tell me you hate my ideas! :p
    stariie likes this.
  2. juno

    juno Community Champion

    I think the idea of keeping your self busy is good. It helps you keep your mind off the addiction. If you want to let out some creative juice you could take a stab at writing, maybe take on a project to publish a book. It could even be based on your recovery experience. Another creative idea is to start drawing or painting. You could try your hand at sewing or some other craft projects, like refurbishing furniture. Cooking and starting a cooking blog could also keep you very busy, this idea goes along with writing.
  3. ThatKidWithTheFace

    ThatKidWithTheFace Active Contributor

    This is one of the main problems I have with cigarettes. Even when I don't really need one, it gives me something to do with my hands.
  4. Spiegel

    Spiegel Member

    Indeed this is a very good way of doing this, and the creator of this topic has made some very valid points! Physical exercise is what always helps me get my mind of off anything, any hobbies that you can come up with are also great...

    Also keep in mind that focusing on one thing too much is bad as well you should make changes and do different stuff at other times, try something new, live your life! Some indoor activities are not that bad either video games are a good outlet for me and are also very fun - just remember always keep it in reasonable length don't go overboard!
  5. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    Lol, started knitting but lost your needles. How cute is that?:D
    I want to learn how to knit, and I have some needles somewhere in my house, but I don't know where.
    I think they are packed away in my garage somewhere.

    And I kind of have a Netflix addiction too, but I don't have as much time to watch it as I'd like, which is a good thing, I'm sure.

    I think that keeping busy is key to overcoming any addiction, because when you stop the addiction, you have all kinds of extra time. The time that you used to use up doing drugs/drinking is now left open, and so, what to do, what to do??

    I like doing a lot of journaling, and when the mood hits me, I like to do a lot of housework.
    Housework is fabulous because it keeps me busy, and makes my home feel better. Win-win.
  6. HugsNotDrugs

    HugsNotDrugs Active Contributor

    OMG please let some of that rub off on me. I hate doing housework and only end up doing it when it's so past time that all the messiness starts pissing me off. If I cleaned every time I wanted a beer, then I could even keep up an all-white house! (I have a dog, there's a 0% chance of an all-white house right now lol).

    And you know, I thought about "keeping busy" but I never really thought about how the reason I have s much free time is because I used to fill that time with alcohol. Makes sense... I used to get drunk and watch TV all the time but now that I don't drink I can't sit still and watch more than an hour of TV without getting antsy... It's not just that I don't have anything to do with my hands, it's also that TV is less interesting now! LOL can't believe I didn't put that together.

    I think you're right, I'm gunna need some legitimate new hobbies. Not just something to put in my hands...
    stariie likes this.
  7. stariie

    stariie Community Champion


    Lol, let some of that rub off on you? Well, I look at housework like like this, to me, it's like a man, you can't live with it, you can't live without it (if you're a man, then sorry, but I mean it, lol).

    I mean, housework makes the house feel so "yummy" that I have to try to do as much of it as I can, on the other hand, it's never-ending. I know I wash the same dishes hundreds of times, over and over again, during the course of a few weeks.
    The housework grind is real.

    I like doing housework when I want to, but it's when I have to that things start getting a little irritating.
    But... I'm a "home-girl", I love all things that have to do with keeping a house. I mean, seriously, one of my favorite things to do is to watch Martha Stewart, via YouTube, TV, or magazine. I love her!!

    Hobbies are always a good thing. Keeping busy is key in fighting off staying away from any type of thing that is not good for us. I'm fighting a semi-addiction now (a person, not a drug), and it is imperative that I keep busy lest I slip up.
  8. HugsNotDrugs

    HugsNotDrugs Active Contributor

    Ha ha your analogy is funny because I'm a lesbian.

    I'll take no man and no housework! lol

    Unfortunately neither my partner nor I are very tidy people. She likes to decorate and do pretty crafts to hang up and such things, but I am largely oblivious to my surroundings. Every time we "clean" she spends 90% of the time moving around the furniture and the wall-hangings "to get the feng shui right". And I spend the whole time promising I'm about to start helping in a minute... but then not actually doing anything except vacuuming one room.

    Maybe I should make housework a punishment! Every time I think about hanging around with the wrong people or having a drink then I should clean something.... This will either end terrifically or with me drunk cleaning the whole house lol.

    And honey I am so sorry to hear about your person addiction situation. I've been there before. Stay strong and remember that if you DON'T go call or see them today, you're definitely NOT gunna wake up tomorrow morning and be like, "dang, I really should have called them 12 hours ago..."
  9. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I am here to simply to say this thread as serious a matter as it is made me laugh so much. I don't drink nor do I smoke but keeping your hands and ultimately yourself busy can keep you out of a lot of trouble period. There is no denying this.

    Speigel you made some valid points as well.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  10. 003

    003 Community Champion

    Play piano if you really want to keep your hands busy and at the same time strong. Or violin or guitar. A lot of musical instruments, if not all, focus on hand dexterity. They just don't make your hands preoccupied, but they also make them powerful and strong.
  11. awesomeaniruddh

    awesomeaniruddh Active Contributor

    This indeed is a very good exercise. I agree with 003 about playing a musical instrument.

    Another activity I suggest is reading. It demands 100% attention, and if you read some good books, you won't really have to concentrate, you'll do it automatically.

    Another tip is to make a commitment. Take musical instruments for example - you could make a bet with a friend that you are going to learn this much of so and so instrument in one week and if you don't, you'll give them a 100 bucks (or more). The prospect of losing money will keep your hands busy enough :)
    stariie likes this.
  12. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    Yes, the "person addiction" sucks, but I have to get, and keep, my 'grown woman on' and avoid the situation. So hard though, so, so hard.

    No man and no housework? Well, I enjoy both, but they both can be extremely challenging. Sometimes I feel semi-giving up on both would be waaaay easier, because these men out here these days are pieces of work, let me tell you. And, like I said, the housework grind is a real grind. Never-ending. But I love it.

    I only need one good man, but that's kind of like finding a needle in a haystack, that's why it's much better for me to devote my time to other things, such as being a mother, doing housework and homemaking.

    I understand the feng shui thing, and I constantly say about one thing or the other, "You're messing up my feng shui" which, to me, applies to everything from how someone serves me cold fries at McDonald's to how a certain piece of furniture is placed in a room. If my furniture is not placed in a certain way, it totally throws me off, messes up my feng shui completely.

    I don't know about making housework a punishment. I mean, it could work. (?)
    I think that even doing housework as a punishment is a good thing, because having a clean house rocks. Clean dishes, a beautifully mopped floor, the smell of PineSol, clean linen, all make me positively euphoric.
  13. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    I like the idea about reading. I like to read, I don't have time to do as much as I'd like though. Reading is definitely a good way to keep your mind occupied.
  14. Tournique

    Tournique Senior Contributor

    Try some good old hobbies. Nothing beats down a productive hobby.
  15. elles-belles

    elles-belles Community Champion

    I agree with all the suggestions that all the posters have put up. Getting busy is an important and integral part of keeping sober and healthy! I think that once a person finds that they have a purpose in life either than a particular substance then everything else will fall in place. So with me I find that doing a lot of voluntary work is not only fulfilling but also keeps me motivated and off the addiction. All the other hobbies are good but I think you should pick something that will ignite that sense of purpose in you not something just to pass time.
    stariie likes this.
  16. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    That's true. Keeping your hands busy helps you stay away from substance abuse. I also love watching television shows and movies. I also do listen to music quite a lot. Thanks to Spotify, I can stream new music whenever I want to. :) I'm also an avid-reader. Reading has been some kind of therapy for me. ;)
  17. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Very true. I think reading offers a great way to escape and keep yourself distracted without being too aware that you are only substituting because it in itself is a very mind stimulating hobby. I think channeling your time, effort, and addictive behavior into reading is one of the most productive things you can do in recovery because it not only keeps you busy but also offers you a good way of broadening your horizons without having to leave your spot.
  18. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    I like that, finding something that will ignite your sense of purpose. I would love to do voluntary work at some point, but just not right now. Although I've done volunteer work in the past, these days I really am trying to do a lot of things with, and for, myself, so volunteer work has to be put on the back burner. I love the idea of "giving back" though.
    There are people out there who helped me, so I want to help people too.
  19. Tournique

    Tournique Senior Contributor

    Reading also keeps you on your toes when it comes to creativity. Think about it this way: Reading is the cinema of the mind.
  20. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Yes these are all great ideas. I like the green hair. A really important thing actually is to make sure you eat enough of the right foods every day and you will have no desire for something like alcohol. If you find yourself ravenous or binge eating as well as craving alcohol. You are not fueled up properly. A ton of fruit and good carbohydrates will satisfy that. Potatoes, rice, pasta, and vegetables. It's basically high carbs. Our brains and bodies run on carbohydrates. When we don't get enough of it we are craving the wrong things. Empty calories and junk food is not going to help.