If you’ve given up drinking recently or at least decided to cut down to reduce the various health risks associated with alcohol, then you’ll be wanting to fill your time with some activities that will keep your mind and body busy and free from thoughts about having just a little drink.
With this in mind we’ve devised and compiled a few activities, trips out and hobbies as inspiration for drink free days that’ll keep your body and mind occupied and hopefully free of thoughts of drinking!
Near or far, home, or away challenge yourself to snap the sights, the vistas, and the unusual views you encounter in your everyday life and beyond!
Different conditions make for different photo opportunities too! The spider webs by the outside entrance to my office don’t look particularly eye catching most of the time but once the frost hit them, they looked spectacular and well worthy of photographing.
And that picturesque view of the woods that you walk the dog in? It’s likely pleasing to the eye whether basking in sunshine or covered in frost or snow!
That stunning sunset? Capture it in Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter and see the differences between the seasons!
You don’t need a fancy camera either as most mobile phones these days are equipped with not only a half decent camera but also some pretty good editing software.
Want some feedback? Upload your best shots to your social media pages especially ones such as Instagram and Snapchat and see the love come pouring in for your art!
Working out releases endorphins that make you feel good, FACT! And anything that can make you feel good while you’re trying your best to keep yourself occupied and away from the temptation to resort to the booze is a positive step in the right direction.
Add to this the sugar cravings that some people experience once they’ve decided to abstain, and the associated weight gain that follows then get off the couch and see what you can achieve by getting yourself moving!
Don’t worry about setting impossible goals, the London Marathon can wait until next year (or the year after), download a fitness tracking app, or the “Couch to 5K” app or another fitness app and get moving! See how many press-ups, pull-ups that you can do and attempt to up the amount each time.
If drinking has previously given you reasons to feel bad, then why not give yourself reason to feel good again by volunteering?
Put your name down to help at a charity shop, help serve, set up the items for display or go out and about picking up the different donations that people make.
If the retail role doesn’t appeal, then there are plenty of other charitable organisations that you could help by volunteering your time like a foodbank or manning the phone for a helpline, be there to talk with the elderly and vulnerable when they need it or volunteer to drive people without transport or support to their hospital or doctors’ appointments.
Sometimes you may find that the feel good feeling that you’ve been chasing isn’t in the bottom of a bottle but in a good deed done just because it needs doing!
There’s literally something for everyone in the online world of virtual tours and some of the places on this list would be an expensive and once in a lifetime trip for the average person but touring them virtually is inexpensive (quite often free except for the relatively inexpensive cost of running your technology and internet during the tour) and you have the bonus of being able to spend as much time as you desire touring the ancient temples, city walks and theme parks among other places to immerse yourself in!
The Taj Mahal
Feeling sentimental? Take a trip to the Taj Mahal, a marble-covered mausoleum constructed on Shah Jahan’s direction in honour of his favourite wife. It took no less than 22 years to create the exquisite Persian, Islamic, and Indian architecture that makes Agra such a beautiful place.
See the Aurora Borealis
To see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights if you prefer is left somewhat to chance. If you physically make the trip, then you may be left unfulfilled as the Aurora unfortunately doesn’t appear on demand.
However, thanks to the expert videographers provided by Lights Over Lapland you’re now able to view this amazing phenomenon from the comfort of your own home, although we recommend for a more ‘realistic’ experience that you sit outside in the garden in a warm coat, hat and scarf with a non-alcoholic beverage of your choice!
Visit Machu Picchu
Fancy a 360-degree tour of this amazing site? From the comfort of your own living room sofa?
With no constraints on your time and level of physical fitness (It is quite the hike to visit it in real time) the only disadvantage that we can see is that you won’t get to pet one of the many alpacas that you would meet if you were to visit Peru in person!
This is a stunning tour of the famous south American fortifications with amazing views and is a fantastic opportunity to see some amazing architecture while keeping your mind away from alcohol and saving a lot of money on an actual trip!
The Statue of Liberty
New York, New York, so good they named it twice (three times seeing as it was originally New Amsterdam), arrive by sea and you’ll see Lady Liberty looking out from Liberty Island.
America is an expensive trip for most people so it’s a relief to know that you can tour some of her more famous landmarks via the internet so pop the kettle on, get a brew going, put your feet up and take this virtual tour of the famous statue from the comfort of your own home!
A bonus is even those who suffer from vertigo can enjoy this tour!
The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
It’s usually around £10 to go and see the paintings created by old Vincent at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam but with this virtual tour you can go and view the Sunflowers, and the Starry Night for nothing. All you have to do is load it up, sit back, relax and spend the afternoon or evening admiring Mr Van Goghs masterpieces.
Next up on our list of destinations to visit in your own front room is ancient Greece and the ancient citadel perched atop a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens known as the Acropolis.
The best thing about visiting this ancient wonder from your own home after not having to travel is being able to view the architecture and history without having the hot sun beating down on your skin and you can enjoy your tour with a nice, ice cold lemonade or a mocktail if you’d prefer.
Avoid the crowds, overbearing sun and study ancient Greek history without breaking the bank or a sweat!
Another ancient site that you may like to tour is Angkor Wat, which in Khmer means City/Capital of Temples.
Angkor Wat in modern day Cambodia was built at the behest of King Suryavarman II as his state temple and mausoleum and dedicated to the God Vishnu and is the oldest religious site in the world!
There are five tours that you can take in Angkor Wat and we’re sure that you’ll enjoy this historical site and will want to visit again and again for the stunning visuals and for those of you that enjoy an action movie or two, try see if you can spot anywhere that you may recognise from the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie.
The Eiffel Tower
Our final destination in this virtual tour guide is France and more specifically the views of the rooftops of Paris.
If you don’t like heights or are physically unable to walk up the stairs, then this virtual tour up le Tower is the one for you.
Grab an espresso and a croissant and enjoy the 360-degree view of the rooftops of Paris and see everything that the city of light has to offer from stunning panoramic views of the river Seine to the Arc de Triomphe to Notre Dame and so much more to see in the French capital.
Learn a new Skill
I’m sure there’s at least one thing that we’d all like to learn or get better at, from learning a musical instrument, wood working to a second (or third) language, there’s bound to be something to get your grey cells working hard and gaining a new skill or interest.
Just remember it’s not a competition or race and to just make sure that you do a little often, fifteen minutes a day practising the guitar yields far better results than one hours practise twice a month!
If you’re an avid reader, then why not try to find a local or online book club and dive into a new book once a month and make new friends with similar interests at the same time?
You may end up with some books that may not have previously appealed to you, but you may be surprised at how much you enjoy the writing and discussion with your newly found literary friends at your new book club.
Grab your notebook or drawing pencils or cross stitch kit or whatever gets your creative juices flowing and write, draw, sculpt, knit, sew, or create using whatever medium you happen to enjoy!
Build and paint models, write novels or make caricatures just as long as you’re engaging that brain and keeping it and your hands busy and away from thinking of drinking!
Hours will just fly by as your time is spent creating great works of art or literature instead of spent drinking and destroying brain cells!
If your usual takeaway has you yearning for something more then why not plan a nice meal in and share the cooking with your partner?
Or challenge yourself to learn to cook another culture or country’s cuisine?
With so many resources online dedicated to every type of food that there is out there to choose from you could be wowing friends and family in the future with your amazing French, Italian or Jamaican delicacies prepared freshly by yourself in very little time.
And there’s the bonus that the head chef gets to delegate the ‘lesser’ duties in the kitchen like washing the dishes!
The Great Outdoors
The late actor Steve McQueen once said, “I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere, than in any city on Earth!”
And we wholeheartedly agree with Mr McQueen and would like to share a couple of healthy ways to occupy yourself whilst in the outdoors.
For starters there’s your garden, if you happen to have one, it’s right there on your doorstep and if you’d like to take the time then you could, with a little work done often turn it into the envy of the neighbourhood.
Whether you’d like to plant fruit trees and a vegetable plot, a garden full of flowers, a water garden, or a Japanese garden the only thing stopping you is yourself.
Start small, work on an area at a time, get advice from more seasoned gardeners and with a little TLC then come late summer and autumn you could be enjoying the fruits of your labour in your beautiful, picture-perfect garden.
If you’re not so green fingered, then you can still get the benefits of the outdoors through other means such as lacing up your walking boots and getting out for a good long walk.
Whether it’s a days walk out in the hills of the Lake District, a coastal clifftop seaside excursion, a local walk along the river or treating your four legged friend to a frost edged, early morning walk in the woods to reward him for being a good boy, the fresh air and other benefits will keep your mind occupied and you feeling great to be alive and grateful for that clear head and a wonderful experience.
So, as you can see there’s lots to keep you busy once you’ve decided to ditch the drink and focus on your self and health rather than the drink and we hope that you’ve found more than a couple of ways to keep yourself occupied and moving forwards positively on your sober journey.
For more inspiration, ideas, and articles on keeping yourself drink free then please bookmark Sober Bubble and visit often to keep yourself even keeled on the sobriety path!