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Addiction: Leisure and Recovery

Making a Leisure Plan

When you’ve decided to start a new leisure plan or change your current one, you may wonder where to start. The following information can help you to get started.

Where to start

Ask yourself:

  • What do I like to do in my spare time now?
  • What new activities would I like to try?
  • Who would I like to join me?
  • What equipment do I need?
  • How much time do I need?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Are there things I used to like to do before alcohol, drugs, or gambling became a problem?

Make a list

Make a list of low-cost or free leisure activities you’d like to try or learn more about.

Are there some healthy habits you want to change? List these changes.

Look for activities

Find out what activities and events are offered where you live, or nearby.


  • community recreation centres
  • YMCA, YWCA, or other fitness clubs
  • social clubs
  • community senior centres
  • community associations
  • churches
  • public library
  • the internet (social media)
  • community newspapers and bulletins
  • continuing education programs at schools, colleges, or universities
  • organizations or support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or Gambler’s Anonymous (GA)
  • volunteer programs

When you find out what activities are available, list the activities you want to get more information about. Next, list the activities you want to get involved in.

Make time for activities

Organizing your time is important for your recovery. Make a weekly plan of activities and plan ahead of time. Being organized and planning will make it easier for you to get used to a new, healthier lifestyle.

Once leisure activities are a part of your life, making time for them will feel as normal as brushing your teeth in the morning.

Current as of: November 29, 2019

Author: Addiction & Mental Health, Alberta Health Services