Addiction affects your life in many different ways. It’s not uncommon for people struggling with drug or alcohol abuse to lose their jobs as part of the collateral damage. However, everybody has bills to pay, so you need to have some means of bringing in money. Why not try a variety of gigs that pay you while tapping into practices that are proven to be therapeutic for those struggling with addiction? There are plenty of fulfilling ways to make ends meet post-recovery.
To stay organized and motivated with your side gig, dedicate space in your home as an office area. When designing your home office, set it up in a part of the house where you won’t be distracted while working. Keep decor simple and organized — clutter can hinder productivity. Remember to track every cent you make and set aside 25 percent of your profits for taxes. Also, keep records of anything that you purchase for your gigs so you can deduct these items as business expenses. Now, onto some great options for work!
Dog Walking and Pet Sitting
Spending time around pets is great for those in addiction recovery. They actually provide a natural high, as mood-elevating brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin are elevated when you spend time with them. Pups and cats reduce initial negative emotions like sadness and hostility that can be triggers for drug and alcohol abuse. Interacting with pets also eases anxiety, lowers cortisol levels, and reduces blood pressure.
Dog walking and pet sitting combine the benefits of spending time with pets with the opportunity to make cold hard cash. According to a survey, dog walkers can charge anywhere from $20 to $30 an hour, and pet sitters typically bill $35 to $70 per day/night, depending on location and demand. While you won’t become a wealthy person with this gig, you can definitely make ends meet.
Selling Handmade Items
Learning how to make something — anything — gives you a certain amount of control in a world that is often chaotic. Perhaps that’s why creative arts therapies are becoming more prevalent in addiction treatment centers around the country. Arts and crafts are also great outlets for difficult emotions while encouraging relaxation and self-expression.
If you find you’re particularly good at making something, there is a good chance you can sell it through Etsy, which is an online marketplace that specializes in connecting consumers to crafters. Its interface is easy to use, and the company provides numerous tutorials to help you make the most of your “shop.” If you’re interested in selling on Etsy but you don’t have a craft, it helps to know what sells best through the site.
If you’d like to learn more about selling online and e-commerce in general, be sure to consult some online resources and wikis so you can learn about concepts like branding, email marketing, private label, and up-selling.
Put Your Creative Skills to Work
If you’re a visual artist, there are plenty of ways to tap into freelance income that allow you to use your skills. If you have graphic design experience, particularly with Adobe Suite, consider offering logo design or illustration services, or even UI/UX services if you have the background. Photographers can also pick up work with ease, whether it’s freelance shoots or photo editing services. Bonus points if you’re familiar with web design!
Again, these aren’t necessarily high-paying jobs, but they’ll provide you with work and income all on your schedule. Graphic designers tend to average almost $70,000 a year, though this number grows with experience. Photographers, on the other hand, typically have an hourly base of $21. Obviously, your income potential will fluctuate, but finding creative outlets for work can make a significant difference as you navigate recovery.
Teach Music Lessons
Playing music is one of the best things a person can do for the benefit of their cognitive functions. It helps you be more mindful and disciplined. Playing music also creates new pleasure associations in the mind, which is particularly beneficial for those recovering from addiction. Music is great for stress relief, and learning an instrument can help improve patience, self-compassion, and humility, among other benefits.
If you already play an instrument, teaching lessons is a great way to make extra money while sharing the joy of music with others. How much you can charge for private lessons depends on your experience, but generally, tutors can make around $40 an hour. Recruit new students by connecting with local band teachers and advertising your lessons both on and offline.
If you’re not quite ready to jump back into your old career after your addiction recovery begins, it’s perfectly healthy to wait until you feel confident again. To make ends meet in the meantime, pick up a gig or two that combines making money with activities that support your sobriety. Pet sitting, selling crafts, and teaching music lessons are all great examples of these types of gigs.
For more insight into personal growth, art, food, relationships, travel and everything else that’s of human interest, be sure to bookmark Life As A Human magazine.
Guest Author Bio
June Lawrence is a recovering alcoholic. She’s proud of her journey and knows the incredible amount of work that goes into sobriety every single day, and she’s on a mission to support others find their way to a happy, healthy life through her site, Recovery Island.