Content reviewed by Christian Losch, LCSW, LCADC, CEO of Pinelands
One of the most prevalent feelings you may experience during addiction recovery can include intense boredom. Although this feeling may sound relatively harmless, it is important to address it. When left unacknowledged, feelings of boredom can even cause you to relapse, sacrificing your recovery and all the milestones you have achieved thus far.
There are reasons why boredom can prove harmful in addiction recovery.
Even though boredom is not necessarily harmful in and of itself, you may be typically more emotionally and mentally vulnerable to various emotions and experiences if you are in addiction recovery. Due to the high levels of stress that you may already experience in recovery, enduring boredom can amplify these times of struggle. When acknowledging and processing difficult memories, feelings and situations, experiencing boredom when seeking momentary relief from these experiences can quickly become overwhelming.
Boredom may strike when searching for an outlet from the stressful times of addiction recovery. Therefore, it can sneakily derail your hard-earned sobriety. If you find yourself unable to find relief from everyday life, using harmful substances may become alluring. Although recovery is well worth the fleeting moments of pain, this does not make these instances any less difficult. However, there are many ways to mitigate the adverse effects of feeling bored.
#1. You can lip-sync your favorite songs.
Although seemingly unconventional, lip-syncing your favorite songs can not only help the time pass, but it can help you have genuine fun without substances or obligations. Allowing yourself time to have fun is more important than you might initially believe. There is the belief that “fun” can also entail being productive by cleaning the house or making dinner. However, fun is not necessarily effective in that way.
Consider how a child finds enjoyment. They may freely wave a stick in the air while yelling and not care whether they accomplish anything at all. In this way, they create a joyous, free moment for themselves and no one else. By unabatedly pretending to sing some of your favorite tunes, you can begin to access this level of fun and momentarily escape the stress of everyday life.
#2. Be sure to check in with your loved ones.
Whether in person or over the phone, connecting with those you love can be a great way to overcome a moment of boredom. You can choose to reach out to any friend, family member or acquaintance you want to connect with and check in on. Doing so can help you get your mind off your current situation while strengthening your relationships with your loved ones.
#3. Take time to look outside.
There are times when simply sitting outside or in nature is not possible, whether due to extreme weather conditions or limited access regarding your physical living dynamic. However, this does not mean that the view out your window is any less significant. Whether you see trees, other houses, an alleyway or the sky, taking in the small, intricate details of your view can help you pass the time and remain grounded in the present moment.
Perhaps you have negative memories associated with your surroundings. Using the times you feel bored to view and study the sights out your window objectively allows you to create new, more enjoyable perspectives. Try taking in the shapes and movements of the trees, the colors of the buildings and the number of stars in the night sky. You may find that doing so can help you feel calm and content with the moment you are in, rather than suffer from boredom.
#4. Choose to learn a new language.
Whether you know one language or five, learning a new language is always a constructive way to fill your time. Even if you are unable to take formal language classes with other students, there are many ways to get assistance when learning a language of interest. YouTube has many valuable and helpful videos that feature knowledgeable individuals ready to help you learn a new language step-by-step. If you do not have reliable access to the internet, you can purchase various books that help you develop the necessary skills to become fluent in a different language.
Those of us at Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford want to assist you along your addiction recovery journey. Despite being a rewarding and enriching way of life, we understand the unique challenges it presents. You don’t have to go it alone. Call us at (877) 557-5372 today to gain the necessary tools, resources and support to assist you with the complex challenges faced during addiction recovery.