No doubt many hours have been devoted to writing books and songs about what addiction is like from the outside, but for those who are currently caught up in that lifestyle, there is little room for self-expression or strong emotions at all. Drugs and alcohol are many times taken as a way to tune out to avoid feeling anger, shame, guilt, sadness, hurt or other uncomfortable feelings. Participating in activities for self-expression is a way to start to get back in touch with those feelings.
Activities Of Self-Expression For People In Recovery
1. Re-Writing Past Events
This exercise is one where a person can look back at a life event and re-examine it, either from a different point of view or re-write it entirely based on what he or she would have liked to see happen. Before a person can write about a past event, he or she has to examine the event as he or she remembers it. In looking at it in the past tense, the person can work through the process of accepting it as part of the past and letting it go.
2. Drawing A Self-Portrait
What better subject to draw a picture of than one’s self? During this time of transition, a person in recovery may be asked to draw a picture of what he or she is turning into during this process or how he or she would like to look once the addiction treatment program has been completed.
3. Make A Collage Of Soothing Images
One of the things that people in recovery find challenging is to learn how to cope with stress. Scrapbooking or clipping pictures from magazines and using them to create a collage of images that are peaceful and soothing is a good exercise, since a client needs to think about what kinds of things he or she would find helpful and then needs to choose where each image should be placed on the collage.
4. Play An Instrument
Playing an instrument as a means of self-expression isn’t necessarily just for people who have had formal musical training, although if someone is familiar with the piano or the guitar (or any other instrument) they could certainly play it. An instrument can be as simple as a set of spoons, a triangle or a tambourine. The important thing is that a person is able to make sounds to their own rhythm.
5. Free-Form Dancing
Put on some music and move in whatever way makes sense to you. It will be different for everyone, and there is no right or wrong way to dance to a particular piece of music. You will release stress-busting endorphins naturally and brighten your mood while having fun and getting a work out!
Healthy Activities During Recovery
All of these activities of self-expression are beneficial. Try to come up with other healthy activities that you enjoy doing. Check out our other recommended healthy activities during recovery!
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