Avoiding Boredom and Staying Busy in Recovery
Boredom Is a Common Fear
One common fear that people have when they enter a recovery program is that life without drugs and alcohol will be boring and uneventful. Luckily, this couldn’t be further from the truth!
It may take some time to get used to your new routine, but there are plenty of ways to stay busy in recovery. In fact, you’re likely to find that your sober life is richer and more exciting than you ever could have imagined.
How to Keep Busy in Recovery
What do sober people do for fun? We all have different likes and dislikes, but here are just a few activities you might enjoy:
- Head outdoors. Time spent in nature reduces stress and helps reset your body’s internal clock, so you can sleep better at night. Visit a nearby park, play catch with your kids, go for a bike ride, or simply sit outside and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.
- Get creative. Creative hobbies such as drawing, painting, sculpting, and photography help you express your emotions in new ways. You may not be the next Picasso, but you can certainly have fun with the creative process!
- Learn to play an instrument. They say music soothes the soul, so why not try making music of your own? There are online video lessons that can help you get started, but many studios that teach children will also provide adult lessons upon request.
- Start a blog. Journaling is often recommended as a tool for self-reflection in recovery, but those who find they have a passion for writing may want to take journaling to the next level by starting a personal recovery blog. Sharing your story with others can be therapeutic, and you may even inspire someone with similar struggles to seek treatment.
- Take an exercise class. Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Although you can easily work out on your own at home, taking an exercise class gives you a chance to meet others with similar interests.
- Redecorate your home. A change in your surroundings can give your mood an instant boost. Rearrange the furniture, paint an accent wall a bright color, or buy some new wall art that inspires you.
- Be a tourist in your own city. Even if you don’t live in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, or a known tourist destination, there are probably plenty of locations in your city that you’ve never taken the time to visit. Try a new restaurant, visit a museum, or check out a local historical site.
- Perform random acts of kindness. Small acts of kindness can go a long way towards boosting your mood and making the day brighter for those around you. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee, bring flowers to the local nursing home, bake cookies for your coworkers, or lend a hand to an elderly neighbor.
- Form a book club. There are many excellent memoirs and self-help books for people in recovery. Get together with friends to discuss the title of your choice.
- Plan a game night. Whether it’s a classic like Yahtzee or Scrabble or a newer party game like Cards Against Humanity, a game night provides a chance to socialize with friends without feeling pressured to drink.
- Try a new recipe. Cooking is a wonderful hobby for people in recovery, since eating healthy food will help heal some of the damage done by past substance abuse. Look on Pinterest for recipes to try or check out cookbooks from your local library. Once you become confident in your cooking skills, try to invent your own recipes using whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.
- Get a pet. While not a decision that should be taken lightly, pet ownership can be a source of comfort and support for someone in recovery. Pets reduce stress and provide companionship. If getting a pet is not feasible due to your current living situation, consider volunteering at an animal shelter instead. Helping local shelter animals can be just as fun and rewarding as having a pet of your own.
Take a Break from Electronics
Although smartphones do a wonderful job of allowing us to keep in touch with our loved ones, there is growing evidence to suggest that they’ve had a negative impact on our emotional states and attention spans. We’ve trained our brains to be constantly searching for new stimulation, which makes it difficult to be satisfied with any one activity.
If you’re struggling with boredom, consider a digital detox. Going without smartphones and other electronics for a short time can help you be more mindful as you go about your daily routine.
Strive for Balance
While boredom is well-recognized as a trigger for cravings, being too busy also has a significant downside. When you don’t have time alone to recharge and reflect, you risk losing sight of your true purpose in recovery. Strive to lead a balanced life, instead of feeling as though you must fill every second of your day with some sort of activity.
We’re Here to Help
Waypoint Recovery Center’s South Carolina drug and alcohol addiction treatment program provides a full continuum of care for men and women struggling with substance use disorders. When you graduate from residential treatment, we offer an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and continuing care/recovery management to help ease the transition back to independent living. Alumni services are also available to provide ongoing support as well as opportunities for socialization. Our goal is to help you face the challenges of recovery with confidence, so you can embrace all the possibilities a sober life has to offer.