Generate a list of healthy distractions and use these to help manage addictive urges. Have exercise head the list. In addition to satisfying physical cravings by activating the brain's mesolimbic dopamine system, it is almost impossible to smoke, drink, eat, shop, gamble, shoot-up, or what have you while lifting weights, taking step-aerobic class, running, swimming, bike riding, or playing racquet sports.
Other less strenuous activities can include:
... cleaning up or puttering around your home
... gardening, yard work, or repotting plants
... washing and waxing your car
... painting and other decorating projects
... pursuing a hobby that requires a significant level of concentration (ie: model-building, crossword puzzles) or one involving meditative and potentially relaxing repetition (ie: needle crafts, furniture refinishing)
... bathing the dog -- if you really need distraction, try bathing the cat!
... singing or playing an instrument -- consider joining a community orchestra or chorus
... doing volunteer work with a physical component (ie: joining Habitat for Humanity, walking dogs for the local animal shelter, cooking and serving at a soup kitchen, doing Twelve Step work at the county detox center)
... reading, especially magazines you can't afford to buy, at the public library
from STAYING SOBER, Meredith Gould, pages 21,22
Tips for working a Twelve Step Program of Recovery