Cedric Fernando, MD, Discusses The Top 10 VACIs That Cost Nothing to Start

No one path to dealing with addiction exists; multiple pathways exist, explains Cedric Fernando, MD. One of the methods of changing yourself includes finding and developing a Vital Absorbing Creative Interest (VACI) that provides a recovering addict with a positive alternative to their addictive behavior.

These VACIs (pronounced vah-kees) don’t have to cost money. Some of the most rewarding and healthiest choices cost nothing to get started. This blog discusses the top ten free VACIs.

1 and 2. Walking or running.

Admittedly, walking or running counts as two options, but let’s lump them together because you can shift between one or the other. Perhaps your health doesn’t yet allow running, but you can walk up and down or around the block. Once you improve your health, you can transition to running. These two options require shoes you probably already own. Most people own a pair of sneakers. That’s all you need to get started with walking or running.

3. Dancing.

Turn on your favorite music, clear some space in one room of your home, and dance. You don’t need to go to a dance studio or a nightclub to dance.

4. Reading.

Your local library offers a never-ending selection of books to read, so you can learn about any topic that interests you or read fiction. Library cards cost nothing.

5. Photography.

Use the camera on your phone to get started. Explore the various settings. Check out library books on taking photos and learn what the setting means and how to best use them. Choose the subject that most interests you and develop your artistic side.

6. Journaling.

Writing down your thoughts can help your recovery journey in more ways than one. You can keep a journal using a dear diary approach or just jotting down random thoughts. Try taking notes during your recovery meetings, writing down just a few meaningful words from each person’s share.

7. Drawing.

You don’t need to embody the talent of Picasso. Check out a book on basic drawing from the library and practice the lines, boxes, and circles. Work your way up to drawing pictures.

8 and 9. Cooking or baking.

You already buy groceries, so learn to do something fun with them. Search online for recipes and set aside the time to concoct one delicious recipe daily. You could share your baked goodies at your daily or weekly meeting. Your fellow recovering addicts will probably appreciate your thoughtfulness.

10. Volunteering.

When you do service, you help yourself recover while you help others. Your volunteerism can take a simple form, like making coffee and setting out cookies for a meeting each week or sweeping up after a daily meeting. It could be more complex, such as hosting a meeting or serving on a committee for a recovery program or hospital.

In Conclusion

As Cedric Fernando, MD, explains, it’s your VACI, just as it’s your recovery. Make it your own. You simply need a healthy hobby to replace your addiction. Choosing more than one means you don’t create a new addiction and instead develop new, healthier habits.

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