Not many people realize that boredom is one of the top reasons why people experiment with substances like alcohol and drugs. When you’re not occupied with something, you tend to look for some excitement in your life. You want to feel happy or high to fill the void that you’re feeling. While using drugs and alcohol could be a quick fix, it can do more harm than good especially for people who are just trying to sort out their addiction recovery.
During early recovery, it’s natural to feel bored because you’re advised to avoid the things that you used to do during your active addiction. You can’t go to your old hangouts or see old friends that could trigger your relapse. On top of it all, you can’t use substances to pass the time. So, what are you to do? How do you avoid boredom when you’re newly sober? Below are some suggestions that could help.
Create a routine
One effective method to avoid boredom is to fill up your days with activity. Instead of just writing up tasks for the day, what you can do is to plot out what you need to do every hour. This way, you can create a routine that you can follow. Planning your days in advance can also help because you can see whether there are gaps in your schedule that you can fill out.
While it’s important to create a routine, make sure that you still keep the activities still varied so your routine does not become monotonous. This can be just simple changes that can make your days interesting. For example, you can still keep your lunch schedule but instead of eating at one lunch spot every day, you can try out different places and cafes to discover new spots.
Explore your creative side
Even if you’re not the creative type, pursuing a creative activity can be therapeutic and beneficial during addiction recovery. There are many creative art forms that you can try out: learning musical instruments, painting, sewing, knitting, arts & crafts, pottery, and more. Focusing on artistic activities needs your time, effort, and attention. It gives you an outlet to express yourself as well.
Experience sober highs
Many people use drugs because they want to feel high and they want to experience an adrenaline rush. What is important to learn is that there are other activities where you can experience these highs without using illicit substances. Some examples include physical activities such as exercise, hiking, extreme sports, and other outdoor pursuits.
Hiking, for example, may not seem like an obvious choice but this activity will challenge you physically, relax you mentally, and can give you satisfaction once you reach the peak of your destination. It is also a great fitness activity to keep you fit and strong.
Connect with like-minded friends
When you keep to yourself and you’re always alone, it’s not uncommon to feel bored. So, the best way to avoid this scenario is to surround yourself with a support network of friends. It’s important to stay connected with people, even virtually.
If you feel that you do not have friends who can understand your current situation, forge new connections with people in your recovery meetings, or join virtual recovery meetings where you can meet new people. You can also join interest-based organizations like book clubs, movie clubs, and volunteer programs.
Start a bucket list
If you’ve ever wanted to do things before but haven’t gotten around to actually doing them, this is the time to list them all down. Use this bucket list as a road map of things you want to do and try to tick them off. One advice is to categorize your list based on difficulty or time required.
Don’t just list things that are out of this world like skydiving or traveling to the North Pole. You have to also list simple things that are easily achievable like learning how to bake a cake, watching all of the Marvel movies again, or starting a journal. Whenever you’re bored or you find yourself without anything to do, you can reach out for your bucket list for ideas.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.