When you’re used to drinking and partying, you live for the weekends. You count down the days until Friday, when it’s socially acceptable to plan a night of “fun,” that includes endless drinks and debauchery. When you get sober, Friday night can become sad, something you dread or avoid. If you don’t know how to accept your new sober life and find new ways to have fun, the weekends may seem long and painful. The good news is that there are so many rewarding things to do on a Friday night, all of which are profoundly more fulfilling than drinking. Here are a few.

1. Stay in and watch Netflix

Is there anything better than a comfortable couch session that includes Netflix? Netflix is the epitome of relaxation and good TV. There are shows and movies from a plethora of different eras and topics. After a long week of work and responsibilities, Friday night can be the perfect time to rest and recharge. You don’t have to let loose by staying up late and filling your body with toxic substances like alcohol. What better way to relax than to unwind in your own home?

2. Go to an amusement park, and ride the rides

When we get sober, it’s not uncommon to find that our favorite childhood pastimes can easily become fun in adulthood too. I recommend finding a local amusement park and spending Friday night on an adrenaline high riding their rides! Seriously, is there anything more exciting than being in the moment up high on a roller coaster and having your hands up on the way down? If roller coasters aren’t your thing, there’s always games where you can win prizes and take home goldfish, a perfect way to spend a Friday night.

3. Go to the movies

Movies are another pastime that take us back to childhood. There’s really nothing like seeing a new movie on the big screen. Take your favorite candy, buy a tub full of buttery popcorn, and kick back and relax. During my drinking years, I never had time to go to the movies and thought it was a stupid way to spend Friday night. Now, I think it’s relaxing, fun, and exciting to see a new movie in the theater.

4. Travel or plan to travel

A Man Staring Into The Sunset Over A Lake Representing Alternatives To Drinking On A Friday Night

Traveling is something else I wasn’t able to do a lot of in my drinking years because I would move to, or just stay, in one place and only see the dark walls of the bars and nightclubs. I didn’t go out and explore. Now, I like to travel as much as I can. When I’m not actively traveling, I am planning future trips, figuring out ways to save money, and investigating affordable trip opportunities. Traveling doesn’t have to be out of the country, or even out of the state. You can explore other local cities and landmarks, which is just as fun.

5. Read a book

Another hobby of mine that got lost in the shuffle during my active addiction is reading. When I was growing up, reading was always a part of my life, and during my early days of sobriety reading saved me. I searched the internet for addiction and recovery blogs, information, and articles that I could relate to. The weekends are the perfect time to catch up on the rewarding hobby of reading, whether it’s blogs, magazines, or books. You might even starting writing your own book on a Friday night; that’s what I’m doing! It’s much more exciting than drinking.

6. Catch up on your to-do list

As we all know, life is chaotic, and down time can be hard to come by. If you spend the whole weekend drinking, you’ll watch your precious time slip away, and soon enough there won’t be any left to get your tasks done. If you’re like me and have a never-ending to-do list, why not start it on Friday night? Think of how accomplished and relaxed you’ll feel by Sunday.

7. See a concert

Concerts might be something you attended while using drugs or alcohol, but they are so much more memorable sober. Advantages to attending a concert sober include: being able to drive yourself there and back, remembering all the awesome music, not losing your belongings or your friends, and being able to fall asleep with a clear head. You’ll also save money by not spending it on drinks at the concert.

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