Early recovery is a precarious time of finding a new life in sobriety and avoiding triggers for relapse. One major trigger during recovery that is often overlooked is boredom. Every person experiences boredom at some point in their lives, but it can be very dangerous for a recovering addict. Life can seem tedious and dull after living a life that focused on obtaining and taking mind-altering substances. The way you experience things like food or watching TV may feel very different, and you may be bored by things you once enjoyed. You may find socializing more difficult because you cannot drink and may begin avoiding it and staying home, which can also become stale fairly quickly. These feelings can be dangerous and lead to relapse if they are not prevented. It is essential to find new, healthy, productive, and enjoyable ways to spend your time without substance use.
Why is Boredom Dangerous for Sobriety?
Boredom can be a very dangerous state of mind for those in recovery. During active addiction, life revolved around the substance that was being abused. Everything they did was experienced differently due to the alcohol or drugs in their system. During sobriety, they may feel bored without the presence of the substance. Feeling bored and having nothing to do can cause people to feel restless or to start overthinking. It can even lead to those in recovery fixating on the substance they abused in the past and how it would help them escape their feelings. People in early recovery can feel like having fun while sober is impossible, leading many to relapse. Boredom can be helpful in recovery to help people develop new lifestyles and explore new things to entertain themselves in a healthy way. Find new ways to keep yourself busy and enjoy your new sober life! Below are five tips on how to escape boredom during early recovery.
5 Tips to Avoid Boredom During Early Recovery
- Exercise. Exercise has many benefits for everyone but can especially help those in recovery. Exercise can be done in so many ways, which allows you to find the right method for you. It can help you keep a routine, improve sleep quality, distract from cravings, and heal the mind and body. Physical activity has been proven to reduce feelings of depression and boost people’s moods. To learn more about the benefits of being active while in recovery, visit our blog here.
- Volunteer. Volunteering can lead to a better mood and increased self-esteem through knowing that you are doing something good and worth your time. You will also have the opportunity to meet new people. Volunteering is a great way to fill your time without putting too much pressure on yourself too fast with a full-time commitment. Find a cause you care about and volunteer!
- Find a hobby. Discovering new habits and interests to replace the time that was once spent on drugs or alcohol can be crucial to recovery. You may also rediscover an activity that you once enjoyed before addiction took over your life. If you can’t reignite interest in a past hobby, find a new one. Trying something new can be a great way to occupy time and avoid boredom.
- Mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness allows you to focus on the current moment without stress of the past or future. Meditation can help you relax and refocus your mind to distract it from feelings of boredom or cravings. Mindfulness can also train your brain to start appreciating the world around you again through your senses.
- Reach out to someone. An important part of recovery is the people and community you surround yourself with. Recovering from addiction is not going to be easy, and you will need a good support system. That may come from your friends or family or can be found with people going through similar times in recovery support groups. Support groups are an excellent way to continue working on your sobriety and having a community to reach out to when you are struggling. You can also reach out to friends and family to simply spend time together. See a movie, go for a walk, or grab dinner! Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people in your life and spend time with them.
Reach out to your alumni program or support groups if you are struggling to maintain your sobriety. People that have completed treatment at Archstone Behavioral Health have an amazing support community with our Alumni Network. With weekly meetings and regular events, our alumni community serves as an incredible support system. Alumni and aftercare support are so important for those in early recovery. To learn more about the benefits of Archstone’s Alumni Network, visit our blog here.
If you or a loved one are fighting addiction or have relapsed, Archstone is here to help! Our Lantana, Florida rehab facility provides a full continuum of care all in one location! Start your journey to long-term recovery today by calling Archstone Behavioral Health at (561) 264-4961.