Beat Boredom with These Sober Life Hacks
Quick tips to avoid boredom in Recovery
Many addicts in recovery will admit that boredom was definitely a high risk for relapse in early recovery.
Many drug fueled nights can be traced back to just simply being bored and needing some excitement. During the peak of my own addiction, I could not even go one night without being out at some bar and partying all night, all the while making it to school and work the next day. When I look back at it, it simply came down to being bored, and not really knowing what to do with my time.
Many addicts in recovery can also trace back a relapse to that moment of being overwhelmed with not knowing how to spend their time; leading to boredom, drugs would soon be the solution to fill the time and not feel bored. When I first left rehabilitation I spent a great deal of effort trying to fill my time and finding things to do, I would later soon discover a few different things to help beat boredom and stay clear of relapse.
When people asked me if I had any hobbies I would never have an answer for them. It was not until I became sober when I started discovering interests that I had. This is an important step in staying ahead of boredom, it is finding new hobbies. I looked at it this way, if I could try any drug that was given to me, I should be open to trying any new hobby that would be presented to me. This led me on a journey from sports activities, arts and crafts, literature, outdoors and nature, to even yes….karaoke. The point of all this, from sitting in a painting class, going twelve rounds in a boxing ring, and taking piano lessons with teenagers; was to discover something that I could call my own, something that I could dedicate some time to. Eventually I found some excellent outlets, places where I could meet like minded people, but more importantly where I could not feel bored. Go out on a limb here and sign up for that hot yoga, or go to that mixed martial arts class, or even join a book club…try something new and I promise you boredom will not be an issue.
I grew up in a generation where the computers I started on were the old Commodore 64’s, and later we progressed into an original Nintendo system for entertainment. Today technology is a huge part of our lives, and granted it does bring a certain level if ease and comfort, but it can very easily consume our time, and not always in positive ways. When people get bored they tend to turn to T.V., computers, tablets, phones, and game systems, and sure everyone wants to sit back with mindless entertainment every now and then, but as former addicts these methods do not do much to stimulate us in positive ways. I learned quickly that I had to avoid technology consuming my life; it was very easy to introvert and go get lost in a game or on the computer. I felt as if I was not accomplishing anything, and in fact felt more bored than I did before. Too many times when I was using I could remember being high and staring at the T.V for hours, and when I eventually became sober I never even owned a T.V for the longest time. The whole point of all this is to give technology a break, go and experience things where you do not have to be plugged in. When you do this you will notice more fulfillment in your life as you may be accomplishing something you haven’t accomplished ever before.
Beating boredom does take some work, but what I found was the most important player in this game was procrastination. The more I procrastinated the worse things got, but when I decided to do something and just went out and did it, I felt better afterwards. Procrastination is boredom’s best friend; I never procrastinated when I was using drugs every night, and I took that mentality and applied it to my sober life. I will not procrastinate when it comes to staying active and not feeling bored.
It really is these little things that help people avoid relapse and boredom is one of the main things we do need to tackle on a regular basis.
It is an exciting world out there and so many different things to experience and do, and who knows you may even discover something that you are genuinely good at.
Beat Boredom with These Sober Life Hacks ©