Excessive boredom is unhealthy for everyone, but for men and women in the process of recovering from a substance misuse disorder, it can be disastrous. While boredom itself is a natural emotion, feeling bored can lead you back down a pathway of self-destructive behavior and leave you vulnerable to a relapse.
Fortunately, there are ways to fill your idle hours in addiction recovery that do not entail a return to substance abuse. Before you can implement these strategies, you must get a grasp on how boredom affects you.
Factors Contributing to Boredom
A variety of factors can cause boredom.
- You have time to fill, but you don’t have a satisfying way to use it.
- You are frustrated with your current situation and feel powerless to do anything about it.
- You don’t have an outlet for your energy.
- You believe you would feel differently if you could change your surroundings.
- You feel listless and unmotivated.
- You have tried several activities, but none of them seem to hold your attention for long.
How to Deal With Boredom in Addiction Recovery
Once you are able to identify the cause of your boredom, you can work on ways to move past it. Consider these strategies for managing boredom in addiction recovery.
1. Focus on What You’re Doing
Fully engage your mind on the task at hand, and you may find enjoyment in something you once considered a tiresome chore.
2. Recognize Boredom Is a State of Mind
If you are waiting somewhere or doing something else that feels unfulfilling, try to alleviate your boredom by indulging in some people-watching. For example, if you’re in line somewhere, pay attention to the small details of what others around you are doing or wearing.
3. Learn to Live in the Moment
If you are battling boredom, meditation can be an excellent addition to your daily routine. Having a daily meditation practice can relieve stress and help you manage cravings for your substance of abuse by giving you an enhanced sense of inner peace.
4. Shake Things Up
If your surroundings seem uninspiring, changing your scenery can be enormously helpful, especially if it involves getting your blood pumping. Doing something physical like going for a brisk walk will not only burn calories and strengthen your bones and muscles, but it will also flood you with endorphins that give you a natural high.
5. Stimulate Your Creativity
Finally, if you’re feeling bored and unmotivated, exercise your creative muscles by trying a new hobby or activity. Mastering a skill is not only a fantastic boredom-buster, but it also helps give you something positive to focus your attention on.
Commit to Your Recovery
Many people complete their initial addiction treatment program, only to find they still need the structure that is essential in the early stages of recovery. Segue Recovery Support’s residential programs help bridge the gap between a traditional treatment program and “real-world” living. We have seen time and again the direct correlation between time spent in a recovery facility and the degree of success experienced in sobriety. To learn more about what we provide, contact us today.