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The Link Between Boredom and Substance Abuse

A group of diverse friends chats happily while sitting on yoga mats at a gym.
Making connections with others is one way to protect yourself against relapse.

Boredom is a fact of life. The problem is that it can also be a trigger for relapse.

But here’s the thing: Just like feelings of sadness or anxiety, boredom cannot be avoided. All of those feelings are inevitable from time to time.

The real question is how we can learn to manage feelings of boredom.

Managing Boredom in Addiction Recovery

Managing boredom is actually a two-step process.

The kind of boredom that drives relapse isn’t as simple as a feeling that you have nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon. It can actually feel more like fear. Without anything to occupy your immediate attention, it’s easy for your mind to wander to any unresolved issues you may have.

And that’s when things start getting uncomfortable. The easy escape from those feelings is to drink or to use. The more difficult path is to actually address your fears.

You can do that by practicing mindfulness, simply taking time to think, talking things through with a friend or even turning to therapy.

Tips for Beating Boredom

Once you start getting a handle on your unresolved issues, you’ll find it gets easier to embrace life.

If you have old hobbies that you’ve given up, this is the time to rediscover them. If you really don’t know what you like to do, try everything.

A few ideas you can try include:

  • Going for a walk
  • Exercising or going to the gym
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Trying new recipes
  • Drawing or playing an instrument
  • Reading a book or completing a puzzle
  • Joining any local clubs you’re interested in
  • Spending time with family or friends
  • Volunteering
  • Starting a garden or another outdoor project

What to Do When your Work is Boring

What about those days on the job when your work truly is boring? Some would argue that boredom is a state of mind—and that anything can be made interesting if you just have the right attitude.

There’s almost certainly some truth to that, but it could also be possible that you need to look for a new job—or go back to school to find out what your real passion is.

And that is one of the joys of being free from addiction. Suddenly, you have options. Your life is no longer a dead-end—and you’re free to explore and see where life can take you!

Hope and Healing at The Raleigh House

The Raleigh House is a treatment center located in Denver where residents are given the help they need to rebuild their lives. Our team of experts work together to tackle both the physical and mental aspects of addiction.

Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

Tap button to call The Raleigh House.

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