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5 Ways to Keep Restless Hands Busy in Recovery

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5 Ways to Keep Restless Hands Busy in Recovery

“Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.”

– Benjamin Franklin

While Benjamin Franklin’s quote might seem a little extreme, it is true that idle hands can lead to mischief. This is important to remember while in recovery. A person grows mental and physical habits in their addiction. An addict is used to their hands facilitating their drug use, whether it’s grabbing a bottle or injecting drugs. Your hands will likely crave those same activities in recovery and become restless. So, it’s important to keep your hands busy so that they won’t lead you to temptation.

restless handsAdditionally, there will be down periods while in recovery. Adapting to a new lifestyle takes time, especially when you’re cutting out old, harmful habits. So you’ll need activities to keep yourself busy when you’re not explicitly focusing on recovery.

Sober Activities for Restless Hands:

  • Knitting/Crochet – Contrary to popular belief, yarn work is not just for grandmothers or expecting mothers! Knitting or crocheting can actually be very simple once you get a hang of it. It just requires some focus. And that focus is exactly what someone in recovery needs to ease their mind and keep themselves busy for an hour or two.

  • Hand Sports – Sports that make use of your hands like basketball, tennis, and bowling are great activities for restlessness. Not only do they keep your hands occupied, but they also keep you active. Exercise is very important for a healthy lifestyle, especially in recovery.

  • Writing – Whether it’s a recovery journal, a day log, or a simple, creative short story, writing can be a very positive activity while in recovery. Writing keeps the mind busy and allows you to be creative. And if your writing is related to recovery (as with a recovery journal), it can help you stay motivated and grateful.

  • Drawing/Painting – Art is another way to express creativity. It’s also a good way to release emotions that you might not feel able to speak about. And because drawing and painting require hands, these activities will calm and distract from physical restlessness. Read more about the benefits of art therapy here.

  • Cards – Cards are great because they can be an individual or social activity. If you feel like being alone, solitaire, matching, or just shuffling cards will keep your hands busy. But if you need some social interaction, there are a number of card games that will keep your hands busy while incorporating a little friendly competition.

Posted in Health and Wellness, Recovery