8 Tips For Overcoming Boredom in Sobriety
Once you’ve realised that your brain needs to heal and rebalance, it’s time to bring some joy back into your life. This can be a difficult task.
It is common to be unsure of where to begin. That’s why I’ve developed a list of tactics for dealing with boredom in recovery, so you may lower your chances of relapse and learn to appreciate life without alcohol.
1. Establish a Positive Mental Attitude
Sobriety is a significant lifestyle shift. There is a learning curve at first. It is critical to maintain a positive attitude about sobriety.
Don’t be too hard on yourself since you can’t get wasted with your friends at the bar anymore. You definitely don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.
Alcohol romanticization is a bad thing to do to yourself.
Maintain an optimistic attitude. You are sentencing yourself to suffering if you walk about thinking there is nothing to do and that everything about sobriety is dull and unpleasant.
Remember that your brain is attempting to cope with the rapid absence of dopamine, not because sobriety is bad. Consider it an injury. You must be kind and compassionate with your brain in the same way that you would with a broken leg.
That being said, drinking FOMO exists and must be addressed. Sometimes the first step is admitting the truth to yourself.
Be Truthful to Yourself and Others
It’s entirely acceptable to say, “Hey, I’m in a strange situation right now.”
On the one hand, you’re at a loss for what to do with yourself. Many people don’t feel well when they first get sober, so it’s understandable if your emotions are all over the place.
And to cap it all off?
You’re feeling lonely.
Your friends are out drinking, like they always do. Meanwhile, you’re at home, wondering how long it would take someone to find your body after you’ve choked on those peanut M&M’s you’ve been eating while watching Netflix.
This is the point at when taking action becomes vital.
Things must change.
Nothing happens if nothing happens. We frequently drink excessively to escape from lives we do not enjoy. Those things do not magically better just because we stop drinking.
Sure, some things improve.
We no longer have to struggle with dreadful hangovers or hangxiety. There will be no more bad, drunken conduct.
But the fundamentals of our life will remain mostly unaltered unless we actively seek to better them.
So you’re stuck dealing with them without the dopamine boost you’ve grown accustomed to.
But if you’re determined to get through it, here are some things you can do to broaden your horizons and help you get through this difficult time.
2. Develop a hobby
Preferably one that will keep your hands busy (but not gross).
There are several causes for this, including:
Finding something to do and care about helps to build purpose in our lives, which you may be in dire need of right now.
Hobbies that require you to DO something are an excellent way to briefly escape the roaring firestorm in your thoughts.
Hobbies can rapidly transform into a mindfulness tool. Assume you’ve decided to learn to knit. You’ve already chosen a name for your Etsy store. It’s called Dude Scarves, and it’ll be fantastic!
Learning a new skill will require your entire focus. Time spent learning to knit is time spent NOT thinking about how much you want to drink.
You’ll eventually get to the point where you can get lost in it. You’ll waste time and come away feeling considerably calmer and refreshed. Doing something creative can give your brain a much-needed boost. Things improve slightly.
Obviously, knitting is not required. Take up baking, woodworking, or sticker design – anything hands-on is a hit!
The goal is to find anything to get you out of this monotonous, sober rut.
Taking up a new hobby also provides new social opportunities. You can take classes or join creative groups where you can meet other knitters and sticker makers.
You’ll also experience the natural high of having created something with your own two hands. That’s a significant improvement in your mental health.
3. Attend a fitness class or visit the gym.
Not only will the exercise benefit your physical and mental health, but it will also provide a fantastically healthy cure for sober boredom.
Depending on where you reside, you have a variety of possibilities. Spin class, yoga, pilates, CrossFit, Zumba, and Bootcamp are all options.
Choose something and give it a shot. Try something else if you don’t like it.
I like Class Pass because it allows you to try out different gyms and classes without having to commit to any of them.
A word of caution: get out of the house as much as possible for this part. If money is an issue, look for community center’s or programmes that provide yoga for a contribution.
Yes, you could simply go to YouTube and select an activity, and it WOULD help, but you must force yourself to leave the house whenever feasible.
4. Take a field trip.
Take a willing friend or family member along with you. If not, that’s fine as well.
When I got sober, I found myself planning small outings because I needed to rediscover what it meant to have fun.
As a result, I attended performances at the local performing arts centre. I forced my husband to accompany me to the zoo and aquarium. Is there a new museum within driving distance? We were present.
When you get sober, you notice that there is a whole daylight pulse in your city or town that you never truly noticed before. Things that individuals do on that day that aren’t related to recovery or drunken brunch.
Do you know how you feel when you visit a new place? Nothing beats discovering a brand new city or country. Try to harness that energy for your community.
5. Spend time in nature.
Find a way to get some fresh air by going for a walk in your neighbourhood, visiting a park, or hiking or biking a nature trail.
We are stressed-out, overstimulated, and technologically obsessed creatures. Add in some sobriety struggles, and you’ve got a recipe for insanity.
Getting outside and connecting with nature has been shown in studies to reduce stress and improve mental health and cognitive function in both children and adults.
Begin by going for 10-15 minute walks every day. Take up outdoor activities such as kayaking or fishing. Visit a campground.
You will be happier. It will, at the very least, provide you with a much-needed reset.
6. Begin keeping a journal.
I’ve separated this from hobbies because I don’t consider journaling to be a hobby. It’s more of a tool in my opinion.
In addition to my own creative writing, I do this.
Getting your thoughts down on paper can help you figure out what you’re really feeling. Are you getting bored? Or do you feel lonely? Depressed? A hybrid of the three?
To change, you must first understand what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way. Journaling can help you with this.
It also allows you to approach your internal world in a new way. My inability to avoid being consumed by emotions was one of the most significant impediments to my sobriety during my relapse days.
I associated with every terrible sensation in my body.
I’m sad. I’m depressed. I don’t see how this can get any better.
These thoughts were paralysing. But I had no idea what to do with them other than feel them. And the more I felt them, the stronger and more blinding they became.
7. Think about therapy.
Aside from journaling, talk therapy is an important, and often critical, tool for processing your emotions.
It’s difficult to do this after years of burying your feelings in alcohol. It was extremely difficult.
Having a professional on your team to guide you through the process can help you navigate things in a healthy manner while also providing you with tools to manage the process without drinking.
8. Become a volunteer
Finding a way to serve others is one of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re bored in sobriety.
Volunteer at a shelter or thrift store in your community. Sign up to help out in your community garden.
Humans aren’t your thing?
Volunteering is an excellent way to re-engage with your community. Helping others improves our own mental health and sense of self-worth. AND, it assists us in becoming less self-absorbed, which, to be honest, many of us are.
If you have the time, sign up for a longer-term project, such as assisting with this year’s charity bake sale or the annual 5K race in your city. You will have the opportunity to meet new people and be a part of something positive.
If nothing else, it begins to chip away at any notion that you are unworthy.
If your sobriety has you wallowing in boredom or self-pity, please know that things will improve. Trust the process and keep working on it even if you have no idea HOW things will change.
Boredom, sadness, loneliness, and anxiety are all natural human emotions. You’ll never be able to completely avoid them.
Sure, you tried it with alcohol, but look where that got you!
So now comes the difficult task of learning how to deal with difficult situations without the use of a chemical crutch like alcohol.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest