If you’re struggling with an addiction to gambling, one of the most important things you can do is to seek out new pastimes. Not only will this get your mind off the poker table, it will also expand your life experience, opening up all sorts of productive opportunities for a more successful you. Today, we’ll take a glance at five savvy options, so kick back and consider our suggestions. If any of them pop out at you, don’t delay until you can hear the casino calling all over again — make plans posthaste!
Hook, Line, and Sinker
Fishing isn’t just an international phenomenon. It’s a way of life, dating back to the proverbial dawn of time, providing an important livelihood for families the world over. Of course, when we think fishing, sometimes the first thing that pops into our minds is an older fellow with a baseball cap and an old-school radio and a whole lot of free time. How did he get so hooked on rods? How does anyone get so big on reeling?
“Meditation is not just relaxing, but to be keenly aware of the present moment while not interfering with mental activities that revolve around our little self.” –Andrea F. Polard, PsyD
Fishing is a relaxing hobby punctuated by moments of excitement. So much goes into perfecting the trade, from buying the right rod to understanding the tensile strength of your line to studying lakes, rivers, and oceans for just the right time and location and more. At first the whole thing can seem overwhelming, but it’s a vast enterprise with rich rewards. Catch something tasty while you were on the boat? Good news, because the next suggested activity is…
It’s easy to get into the habit of eating out often. Some people swing by fast food joints every night of the week! This unhealthy tendency leads to all sorts of problems, including a lighter wallet. Don’t give up gambling just to go broke on double cheeseburgers. Save money, live healthily, and impress all your friends with great food.
Like learning to play the perfect hand of cards, cooking involves deliberate study of a wide host of factors. Parsley and paprika can both add a dash of flavor to any chicken dish, but should we toss them in together? If so, how much is too much? Ten hungry co-workers are coming over this Saturday, but will they all be happy eating something spicy? Surely, a compromise can be made. Gordon Ramsay keeps baking the perfect cake, but how does his batter come out so fluffy, and why is he always yelling? We don’t know why he’s always yelling, but we guarantee you can learn to bake great cake, too.
“For someone who battles negative thoughts, worries, and is constantly bombarded with doubt, fear, shame, cooking can be a healthy outlet to bring peace and serenity into their headspace.” –Justyna Wawrzonek, LCSW, LADC
Take A Trip
There are better ways to have fun than losing money at slots. Traveling is one-of-a-kind; we can see the world and enrich our minds. Earth’s a beautiful place, and we’re lucky to live here. Don’t believe me? Spend a morning at the Grand Canyon or take an evening stroll down the boulevard near Versailles. See the stars somewhere without a lot of light pollution. Host a picnic near the cliffs of the Irish coast. I could go on. Traveling is wonderful and forces us to realize how much splendor is all around us, but it isn’t always cheap. Thankfully, there’s a local option…
“Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation.” –Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP
If you can dream it, there’s an adult social club for it. With the advent of the internet, instant communication became commonplace from one corner of the globe to the other. Whether you live in a big city or a small town, there’s bound to be plenty of things to take your mind off gambling. Book clubs, hiking groups, singles nights, you name it. Learn to quilt or go paragliding. From the mundane to the mesmerizing, you’ve got options. And speaking of the internet…
Go Ahead and Binge
It’s been said that we’re living in a golden age of television. A somewhat ironic phrase, given that so much great content is available not only the tele but online. Netflix started something big, and plenty of rival companies have followed suit. We’re heading toward a world of streaming, and there are so many riveting shows to watch. If you’ve found yourself wasting away whole weekends in Vegas, you know what it’s like to lose track of time — and money. Why risk it? Lose time for ten bucks a month with award-winning dramas instead. Invite some friends and catch up on the latest season of whatever it is you crave.