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Avoiding Boredom Can Help You Beat Addiction

What do you do when you’re bored? Most people reach for a book or the remote control or rustle through the cupboards to find a snack, but many people turn to drug and alcohol use to bide the time.

When life seems dull and monotonous, drug addicts and alcoholics often start thinking about getting high to feel excited about something again. This is a very dangerous cycle, especially for recovering addicts who become tempted to use when life slows down.

But by conquering boredom, you can avoid this common relapse trigger. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

  1. Find a new hobby or activity. From going jogging every day or playing tennis to taking an art class or learning to speak a foreign language, new activities will keep your body busy and your mind off your old habits.
  2. Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do and start doing them. If you’ve always wanted to skydive or bungee jump, now’s the time! Activities like these are sure to spice up your life, and they’ll give you something to look forward to.<
  3. Meet new people. If you’re involved in treatment, make an effort to get to know some of the people in your group. Outside of treatment, try joining an online group that shares similar interests. There are many online groups that organize activities, from hikes and picnics to bowling and miniature golf.
  4. Volunteer. Helping others is an excellent way to spend some of your extra time, and it often reminds people of how much better off they are now without being dependent on drugs and alcohol. You’ll not only be helping another person—you’ll be helping yourself, too.

The main factor in conquering boredom (and thus avoiding a relapse) is to take action—you can’t just wait for something to fall in your lap. With so many options and activities out there, you’re sure to find something you enjoy to keep you busy and content.

Posted on May 11, 2009 and modified on April 28, 2019

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