When boredom strikes, what do you do? Everyone handles it differently but you have to be especially mindful of it when you’re in a sober living home. Without your addiction holding your full attention anymore, you’ll find you have more time on your hands that you may not know what to do with. That’s okay. We’re here to provide you with some tips on how to avoid boredom and understanding why it’s so important to develop healthy habits.
Dangers of Boredom in Sober Living
Less time with drugs and alcohol and more time alone – with yourself and your own thoughts – can be scary. All of the thoughts and emotions that you’ve been suppressing can easily come to the surface when you don’t have anything else occupying your time. This is one of the reasons that boredom is one of the biggest triggers for relapse, especially in the early stages of recovery. Throughout your recovery, you will learn different ways to handle uncomfortable emotions and thoughts, but in the beginning stages it’s essential to have healthy distractions so you don’t get too lost in your own head.
Tips to Avoid Sober Living Boredom
Contrary to what you might be thinking right now, sober living doesn’t have to be a boring experience. Believe it or not, this can be one of the most fun times – allowing yourself to experience old activities in a new way (sober) or new activities altogether.
Here are some ways to avoid boredom:
- Create a routine – It’s hard to be bored when your day is scheduled out with activities. Establishing a routine early on in your recovery journey will help fill up those time slots in your day that would normally lead you to boredom. If you are in a sober living home, it is likely that you will already have a routine developed for you with wake up times and curfews, household chores, therapy, meetings, and activities to keep your mind and body busy.
- Rediscover an old hobby – What’s a hobby you gave up when you started using drugs or alcohol that you miss? Before jumping into a brand new hobby, it can be worth exploring ones that used to bring you joy. If you were involved in sports, see if there is a way to start practicing again. If it was music, dig out that old guitar or find some of your favorite music to listen to again and create a playlist of some songs that you associate with happy times.
- Take up a new hobby – Not interested in what you used to do and want to start fresh? Totally understand. What is something that you’ve always been interested in but never had the time to try? Now is the perfect time for you to try something new and determine whether you like it or not. If you end up not liking it then you can go ahead and check it off your list. But what if you do end up liking it? I mean, who doesn’t love a new hobby? Hobbies are a great way to channel energy and express any emotions without us even realizing it sometimes. Whether it’s art, music, dance, exercise, sports, cooking, or even reading, it allows you a moment of escape where you can get completely lost, but in a good and constructive way.
- Explore nature – Whether you are walking down your street, playing at a park, or going for a hike, you’ll notice that you’re surrounded by nature everywhere you go. Take time to appreciate the natural beauty around you in the trees, flowers, lakes, and rivers. Plus, being outside is scientifically proven to boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve your mental health.
- Be a tourist in your own city – Okay, now this may sound corny but it’s actually really fun. Like most things, every city and town has a story and some history behind it. Take some time to visit all of your city’s main attractions and hidden gems. Not sure where to start? Groupon or similar discount sites always have some good recommendations and on top of that, you’ll get a deal!
- Journal, journal, journal – Grab yourself a pen, pencil, paper, notebook, anything, and start writing. Journaling is a great way to beat boredom because you can write about absolutely anything. Some questions to help you get going: How is your day going? What emotions are you feeling? Is there a problem you’re trying to solve? If you want to focus on anything but what’s going on in your life at the moment, then you can do that too. See that book on your shelf? Describe what the cover looks like. You get to decide what it is you write about, and that’s really empowering.
These are just some ways you can fight off boredom while you’re sober. With any of these tips, enlist the help of a friend or family member or go about it alone. Basically, just go with what you feel. You’ll slowly discover what activities you want to keep around and what you can throw by the wayside. Whatever you do – just keep trying.
Sober Living Homes in South Jersey
At Dignity Hall Sober Living Homes in South Jersey, we can help support you throughout your recovery journey. To learn more, contact us today at 855.347.2452.