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5 Ways to Combat Boredom in Recovery

During early recovery, it is easy to get bored easily. After all, you spent a lot of time involved with your addiction. Now all of that time needs to be used differently. The good news is that early recovery is a time when you can get creative and learn new healthy ways to have fun in recovery. There are many ways to combat boredom; however, you must find what works for you.

This blog post will discuss five healthy ways to combat boredom as well as how to embrace boredom as a tool rather than a trigger.

Why Do I Get Bored in Recovery?

Boredom in recovery is normal and many people experience it. In active addiction, you probably spent a lot of your time acquiring, buying, and using addictive substances. This can sound exciting. However, your brain has changed now that you are sober. Before, your brain was always anticipating the next high. Now you have to retrain your brain to find other things exciting. To prevent yourself from going back to the cycle of addiction, you must learn to combat boredom.

During treatment, everything seemed new and you wanted to participate in the learning while meeting your goals in recovery. Now it may seem like you have a lot of time on your hands and you may have no idea how to utilize that time effectively. You may feel a sense of emptiness and loss due to that part of yourself that you can no longer be. What’s more, your brain is changing its chemistry and thought patterns and is in the process of healing.

Why Is It Important to Combat Boredom in Recovery?

Boredom in recovery is one of the most common relapse triggers. Even when you are thriving in recovery, boredom can happen quickly and unknowingly. Boredom needs to be addressed early on so that it doesn’t have a chance to inspire negative habits. To combat boredom, you can turn to healthy coping skills and fill your schedule with fulfilling activities.

What Causes Boredom?

There are many different things in your life that can cause boredom. When your brain is adjusting to this new way of life, unwanted thoughts and moods can surface. For example, you may be feeling depressed and lack of motivation; this is not boredom but depression. Whether you’re feeling boredom or other undesirable emotions, you need to find a way to shift your state of mind. First, though, you must identify what is happening and what caused it.

Several causes of boredom include:

  • A lack of purpose
  • The absence of motivation
  • An abundance of free time
  • Pent up energy
  • A lack of focus

Healthy Coping Skills to Combat Boredom in Recovery

The best way to overcome boredom is to figure out what gives you motivation, enjoyment, and purpose. You also will need to apply healthy coping skills that you learned during your time in treatment. Over time, as you consistently practice healthy coping skills, you will be more able to avoid boredom and maintain a positive mindset.

Below are five ways to combat boredom in recovery:

#1. Get Social

Socializing in healthy ways can help combat boredom. For instance, you can join a group or go to a 12-Step program meeting. You can find a list of meetings in your area by searching or asking anyone who is in recovery. Getting social does not necessarily mean that you have to go to a recovery meeting, although that would most likely be beneficial. It has been said that addiction is the opposite of connection. Therefore, it is good to try to maintain encouraging connections in the early stages of recovery. Socializing with healthy and supportive people can also hold you accountable, which is important during recovery.

#2. Volunteer to Combat Boredom in Recovery

If you are struggling with excessive time on your hands, volunteering could be your answer. Giving back to your community is a great way to combat boredom in recovery. For example, you could volunteer your time helping others at The Guest House. Community involvement can help provide structure to your daily routine and assist you with staying focused on your path to recovery. Additionally, according to the journal BMC Public Health, volunteering reduces the risk of depression.

#3. Tackle Those Chores

Chores may be the last thing that you want to do. However, these tasks can combat boredom in recovery. To make chores fun, you can add a twist to them. For example, the fan needs to be dusted off so you listen to your favorite genre of song and dance while you dust. Perhaps your counters need to be scrubbed and you use contact paper to give them a new look. Chores do not have to be boring; you just have to change your perspective.

#4. Change Your Thinking

You learned in treatment that you have to change people, places, and things. It is easy to think of all the good times in active addiction. However, it is important to remember how the addiction has hurt you. Trust that you will find new people, places, and things that fit your sober lifestyle better. Boredom in recovery can lead to a thought-spiraling effect and leave you feeling triggered and helpless. This is a reason it is important to change your thinking. Be careful not to allow your thoughts to run wild when bored.

#5. Join an Alumni Program

It is easy to fall into a thought process that you are alone. You may feel like no one understands what you are going through or knows how to help you. However, you can turn to an alumni program to combat boredom in recovery and to receive support. At The Guest House, we offer an alumni program that is tailored to meet your needs.

You used to spend endless hours involved with your addiction. However, without it, you have a lot of time on your hands. When boredom creeps in, you may struggle to get rid of it. Combating boredom is important for your overall success in recovery. Still, it can be hard to figure out what to get started on next or how to live your best life. At The Guest House, we are experienced in coaching people to thrive in recovery. We aim to meet you exactly where you are. Allow us to help you meet your needs, fill your schedule, and find purpose and meaning in recovery. For more help, give us a call today at (855) 483-7800.