Boredom is a part of daily life, which can be detrimental for someone in early sobriety. Many people who have recently achieved abstinence find themselves with lots of free time. Getting caught up in a negative thought process can be easy when you don’t have anything to do.
First of all, it is important to acknowledge all the work that you have done to get to this point. You have decided to get sober, and that is an accomplishment. Understanding that recovery gets easier as time goes on will give you hope. You may struggle with boredom as you look for things to fill your schedule early on. However, in this article, you will learn tips on healthy coping skills to overcome spaces of boredom.
Boredom as a Trigger in Early Sobriety
Maneuvering through difficult emotions can trigger a relapse, especially in early sobriety. Boredom can bring feelings of restlessness, irritability, and isolation. It is essential to explore healthy coping skills to know how to manage these unwanted feelings.
Boredom can be an uncomfortable space to be in. Luckily, some tools can help explore your feelings’ triggers. After all, a lot of time during active addiction is spent obtaining and using substances. Without these things taking up time in your day, you can be left with a major gap. This is a stage of the healing process. As uncomfortable as it is, learning to sit with complicated feelings is essential for growth.
Create a Schedule
When entering recovery, there is a lot to think about, and it’s easy to brush past the importance of creating a schedule. It is common for people in active addiction to struggle with keeping a schedule because it is hard to complete daily tasks.
When creating a schedule, it is essential to prioritize health and wellness. This will look different for everyone, and there is no right or wrong. You can do it however you choose. First, take several minutes to think about what is important for you to achieve throughout your day. Then, work those things around meetings, work or school obligations, family time, and anything else you need to include in your day.
A schedule will keep you on track with accomplishing your goals. If you do not keep a schedule, you will likely procrastinate, get distracted, and feel overwhelmed with the tasks you need to do.
Get in the Habit of Going to Meetings in Early Sobriety
Establishing healthy connections early on in sobriety is important to long-term recovery. During treatment, you are surrounded by positive and encouraging professionals and peers. This facilitates a healthy growth environment in which your day is planned out for you. Unfortunately, post-treatment, that support structure is no longer there. Therefore, it can be beneficial to attend meetings like 12-Step meetings to gain the continued support you need.
Attending support group meetings gives you a healthy way to fill your schedule. Not only does this give you an activity that keeps your mind from getting bored and dwelling on past substance use, but it also provides an excellent community structure. In meetings, you can connect with like-minded individuals. These may become some of your best friends. Even if you don’t grow particularly close, your peers in recovery may know of ways you can keep yourself occupied. They may even invite you to sober activities outside of meetings.
Practice Gratitude in Early Sobriety
Understanding gratitude is essential in early sobriety. It is the foundation of generating happiness. When you practice gratitude during recovery, you become more content with what you have. This can help you combat boredom as you will be more aware of what you can do to avoid becoming bored.
During addiction, individuals think of themselves and how they will meet their needs before anything else. With gratitude comes a less self-centered attitude and more focus on others. Gratitude helps you focus on things within your control and live a more optimistic way of life. Therefore, you have more control over your emotions and actions, so you can easily find ways to bust boredom.
Honesty is crucial in early sobriety for avoiding boredom. The most common reason that individuals lie is to avoid hurting others. Honesty is not always the easiest path to take, especially with addiction. Being honest about your feelings, thoughts, and actions during early sobriety is very important.
Dishonesty can become a trigger for relapse. In terms of boredom in early sobriety, it can be easy to lie and say that you’re doing well when you need help getting more engaged. This could end in a relapse. A therapist trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you process reasons for dishonesty. Then, you can be honest with your friends and family, who can help you fight boredom.
Bottom Line in Early Sobriety
Admitting that you are bored in early sobriety is not easy. Many people around you may offer simple solutions. However, this new absence of substance use may bring on a different kind of bored. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge your feelings and thoughts about being bored. Perhaps there is a simple solution, or you need to connect with others. Whatever the case may be, help is available. All you have to do is ask.
You are new to sobriety, and perhaps you forgot what it was like to have extra time on your hands. Early sobriety can be a tough time. The more honest you are about your feelings, the more you’ll be able to nip boredom in the bud. Take the time to explore your triggers and listen to what your body is telling you. Filling your schedule with healthy activities could mean the world to your sobriety. At Laguna Shores Recovery, we understand that boredom in early sobriety can be difficult. We take this time of recovery very seriously and will help in any way we can. Give us a call at (866) 229-9923 today.