Overcoming Boredom in Recovery
When enter into a program of recovery from drugs and alcohol our lives may suddenly seem boring, or unexciting compared to the chaos of our lives in active addiction. Many of us have have used because of feelings of boredom so when we remove the use of drugs or alcohol we are suddenly thrown into without our usual ways of dealing with these feelings. You may miss the action and process associated with obtaining and the use of substances even more than you miss actually miss the alcohol or drugs.
One of the first ways to get rid of boredom is understanding how it impacts you. You will need to replace drug and alcohol activities with new ones so boredom is not an excuse to use substances again. When we are in active addiction we usually give up many of not all of the activities that gave us happiness and joy as our addiction took over our lives. Trying to figure out what exactly you are bored with in your life can help you pinpoint and address the specific area of your life that needs to be changed. These can include boredom in a job, relationships, or other life circumstances.
Coping with Boredom
Once you have identified where exactly in your life the boredom is stemming from you can utilize coping skills to combat the feels of boredom. Such coping skills include:
Focus on the tasks and activities you are performing
Remember that boredom is a mindset
Integrating mindful meditation into your daily routine
Change places or scenery around you
Try a new activity or hobby to engage in
Form a strong support network of other sober individuals
Engage in outdoor therapy and experience new things
Try to regain your “lost” activities that you enjoyed before addiction took over your life. Just make sure these are not activities that you associate or remind you of using drugs or alcohol, as this can threaten your recovery
Why Fun is Essential in Recovery
Addicts often feel like every day is a struggle to abstain from drugs and alcohol. Life in recovery may feel like it is boring and people who have just come out of treatment usually don’t know how to go about having fun when they are not using. People in recovery who are bored often reminisce about the times they used in active addiction. This could lead to questioning whether all the effort is worth it during the recovery process. Boredom is one of the main reasons that people turn to drug and alcohol abuse in the first place. Which means that this is a key trigger for relapse.
Happiness and Freedom from Boredom in Recovery
These new interests can provide real pleasure and give life purpose. The individual will usually be surprised that there are so many exciting choices available in recovery. They can even start to complain that there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things they want to do, and can now do once they are free from addiction. Staying busy and steering clear of idle time is essential to staying sober. You may have to try a number of different activities until you find the project, hobby or social situation that is right for you, but don’t give up. Finding out how to have sober fun will enhance your long-term recovery.