Tips for Managing Boredom in Recovery

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Addiction Recovery Tips

Addicts faced with the prospect of getting and staying sober often feel like their lives will become boring after letting go of their addictions, and while boredom itself is not a destructive or damaging emotion, feeling bored can act as a gateway to destructive behaviors, especially among recovering addicts vulnerable to relapse. Fortunately, there are certain strategies and methods which one can use to combat boredom in addiction recovery, which can help him/her lead a more productive life and avoid a relapse or a return to substance abuse following a period of abstinence.


Boredom is a common feeling or mindset, but for some people, boredom is inextricably tied to addiction, and when they are not using the substance they have been addicted to, they automatically feel bored. Boredom is a feeling we all experience at one time or another, but it is a dangerous feeling to have in recovery.

There are three main factors that can cause or contribute to boredom:

  1. You are unable to engage your mind in a way that is satisfying.
  2. You view the situation you are in as problematic.
  3. You blame your environment or circumstances, meaning you believe you would not be bored if you were in a different environment.

The following are five ways to deal with boredom in addiction recovery:

  1. Focus on the tasks and activities you are performing: Concentrate and engage your mind, and you may find enjoyment in something you once considered a tiresome chore.
  2. Remember that boredom is a mindset: If you are waiting in line or doing something else you view as boring, try to purge or at least lessen the monotony by observing the people around you, calling a caring friend, or by simply acknowledging your boredom and dismissing it.
  3. Add meditation to your daily routine. Daily meditation can relieve boredom and reduce stress, and it can also help you manage cravings for drugs or alcohol by allowing you to view the cravings with a serene mind.
  4. Change your scenery. If what you are doing strikes you as boring, a change of scenery can make a whole lot of difference, especially if it means being active. Going for a walk or jog will not only get your blood flowing and increase your heart rate, it will also boost your endorphins, which automatically improves your sense of well-being.

Try a new hobby or activity. Learning a new skill or perfecting an old one is not only a great way to alleviate boredom; it also improves focus and can have an overall positive impact on mental health.

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