Recovery is hard work. However, it also comes with moments of quiet that can quickly turn to boredom. Many people who go through rehabilitation find that boredom triggers intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. According to the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, in some cases, “individuals expect that not using drugs or alcohol will lead to the emotional pain or boredom that they tried to escape.” The care team at Lighthouse Recovery Texas can teach you to be intentional in your thoughts and actions to avoid boredom during rehab.
Is Boredom During Rehab Dangerous?
The fear of being bored enough to trigger intrusive thoughts or cravings can make some people anxious. Clinicians at Lighthouse Recovery Texas use therapy, peer support, and trauma-focused care to ensure clients feel safe and supported during treatment. In addition, the care team guides clients through learning how to be more intentional in their actions and thoughts. If you are afraid of feeling bored or listless, you can use intentional routines or exercises to feel more calm and in control of your actions.
Boredom causes some people to experience the following:
- Difficulty focusing
- Racing thoughts
- Lack of motivation
- Increased feelings of helplessness
Boredom is not in itself dangerous. However, you may feel more comfortable and confident in your sobriety if you avoid it by being more purposeful in your actions and thoughts. By staying focused on specific goals or tasks, you can avoid falling back into unhealthy thought patterns.
What Causes Boredom During Rehab?
Many things can cause people to feel bored during treatment. Leisure time throughout the day can feel especially boring if you do not have positive activities to fill it with. Boredom is also a sign of mental fatigue. Some people in rehabilitation may start to feel overwhelmed, emotionally numb, or mentally exhausted during early recovery if they do not take the time to practice self-care.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “[I]t is important that patients understand that recovery is not an event or a time-limited goal; rather, it is a series of changes across multiple domains of life that need to be maintained lifelong.” The work you put into healing and preparing for long-term recovery can cause increased stress or anxiety unless you take the time to practice self-care and use your coping skills. Staying engaged in your recovery can reduce relapse and decrease boredom.
Some additional causes of boredom include:
- Lack of variety in activities or environment
- Not enough daily social interactions
- Repetition in your daily routine
- Loss of focus or motivation
- Low self-esteem or self-confidence
- Feeling a loss of control
Many of these feelings may trigger thoughts or memories related to substance misuse. Intentionally refocusing your attention on something else can help reduce the adverse effects of boredom.
How Can You Avoid Boredom During Rehab?
Substance abuse treatment programs offer skill development, mental health education, and relapse prevention strategies. You can use these tools to reduce your risk of feeling bored or emotionally overwhelmed.
A few other ways you can avoid boredom include:
- Practicing regular self-care
- Joining peers in leisure activities
- Regularly connecting with friends, family, peers, allies, and the clinical team
- Taking up hobbies like art or crafting
- Spending time with pets
- Engaging with the recovery community
Being mindful of your emotional state and taking intentional action to fill your day with positive activities can improve the effectiveness of therapy and other treatments. In addition, your stress levels and overall health will improve.
What Are the Best Ways to Stay Engaged in Recovery?
Everyone has to find the goals and motivations that keep them engaged in the rehabilitation process. For most people, that includes family involvement in therapy, peer support, or developing essential life skills. Being intentional about your thoughts and actions is another way to stay mindful and engaged during recovery.
For most people, intentionality involves the following:
- Taking a mental step back and looking at your situation objectively before making decisions
- Being willing to find healthier alternatives to maladaptive thoughts and behaviors
- Accepting that your thoughts, beliefs, and actions directly affect your recovery and can be altered by your choices
According to Frontiers in Psychology, “[T]he principle of intentionality not only guides all voluntary thought and behavior, but is also implicated in all meaning, value, and purpose.”
How Does Lighthouse Recovery Texas Help Clients Avoid Boredom?
Boredom does not have to feel uncomfortable or be something you are afraid of experiencing. Instead, you can make intentional choices about your thoughts, actions, and beliefs to reduce your risk of relapse. The care team can help you develop coping skills and a relapse prevention strategy.
Learning to minimize boredom and find healthy ways to channel your energy can help you maintain focus and progress during aftercare and ongoing recovery. Lighthouse Recovery Texas uses evidence-based methods and alternative holistic therapies to help clients reduce stress and improve their mental health.
Some people turn to substance misuse as a way to fill voids and cope with emotional pain or distress. Often boredom triggers these feelings, which can make some people want to avoid boredom during treatment and recovery. Relapse prevention strategies often involve steps that make it easier to stay occupied and focused on the present to reduce the risk of being triggered. The clinicians at Lighthouse Recovery Texas help clients learn how to embrace the moment and practice being intentional about their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors to reduce the risk of relapse. To learn more about the programs and services offered at our facility, call us today at (214) 396-0259.