Dealing with the Boredom of Sobriety
Have you considered cutting back on drinking or drug use? Do you have trouble picturing yourself being social or having fun while sober? One research survey showed that 77% of people who had tried to stop using substances cited boredom as a trigger for relapse. People in recovery deal with the boredom of sobriety because heavy substance use occupies so much time and energy. Everyone fights off boredom at times, but it doesn’t have to stand in the way of making positive change. Here we’ll take a look at three ways you can deal with the boredom of sobriety and how outpatient addiction programs can help.
Find a solid community
You may be so used to the emotional isolation of addiction that joining a positive group of people seems foreign. You’ll need to make an effort to get the most benefit from these supportive relationships, but it may feel a little awkward at first. Start by thinking of others before yourself, listening to their stories and offering support or help where you can. Before long, you’ll notice that others are more than willing to connect with you. You’ll make friends that want to socialize, try new things and have fun with you. And you’ll have the support you need through every twist and turn of your recovery.
Rewire your brain with practice, practice, practice
If you misuse substances, your harmful substance use habits may be deeply ingrained. Practicing new healthier behaviors can rewire your brain for recovery instead of substance misuse.
Practice mindfulness and assess why you feel the boredom of sobriety
Boredom can develop when a person struggles to pay attention or doesn’t have good concentration skills. It’s also closely connected with alcohol use disorder, depression and anxiety. Mindfulness teaches you to focus on the present moment. Over time, you can understand why you may feel bored and what you really need.
Practice doing something else when you feel bored and compelled to use
You’re feeling the urge to use drugs or alcohol, and you have nothing else on your mind. How do you get out of this jam? Here are some ideas to take your mind off using substances.
- Go outside for a walk or run
- Call a friend or meet them in person
- Play with your pet
- Do a hobby activity
- Change up your schedule or activities during the day to keep things interesting
Practice patience and self-acceptance
With a substance use disorder, your brain may fall into the habit of heaping guilt and shame upon yourself. Challenge this by taking an attitude of self-acceptance and patience. By being kind to yourself, the tug of cravings and triggers may be easier to resist.
Discover yourself in recovery
When you stop drinking, you may not be sure who you really are. If you’ve been overwhelmed with self-loathing, depression or shame, being yourself might be the last thing you want to do. You may feel tempted to reinvent yourself into someone more interesting or more perfect. But in the end, it’s about accepting yourself in the present moment. Eventually, your interests and curiosity will emerge, and you’ll feel more like exploring. Figure out what you’re drawn to, what you can’t stand and what gives you meaning. It’s all part of the process of discovering you again.
Don’t deal with the boredom of sobriety alone, get help today
Discovering and accepting yourself isn’t easy, but it helps reduce the boredom of sobriety that can take you off track in recovery. Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab can help you discover who you are without substances. You’ll build the community support you need to get through the ups and downs of recovery. And you’ll learn skills like mindfulness and self-acceptance. You aren’t alone on this journey. Contact the PATH program today at 1-888-622-7809.