Recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) might seem like a very long and lonely journey. Further, it is not uncommon to feel boredom in early recovery, especially when your life has been drastically changed. It is possible that you may find yourself on a daily grind of struggling with these issues and might feel tempted to engage in drugs and alcohol. Understanding your triggers and SUD will help you manage symptoms and find healthy activities to fill your time.
Understand the Root of Your SUD
It can be common to have one or more co-occurring disorders, like depression, anxiety, or other mental conditions. Combined, all of these things may feel like they create a bit of a hole in your life as you begin the recovery journey, but with the right methods to keep your mind busy, you can prevent falling back into toxic patterns.
Make a List of the Activities That You Enjoy Doing
When under the weight of addiction, you may have noticed that you lost touch with activities you once enjoyed. Now that you are on the road to recovery, you have the opportunity to pursue these activities and new activities. Therefore, it is a good idea to list all the activities that bring you joy. Such activities might include:
- Spending time in nature
- Learning a new skill like an instrument, art, or poetry
- Going back to school
- Getting involved in community events
Whatever your activities may be, they are unique and special to you. Once you make your list, make sure that you can begin to implement these activities into your daily regimen.
Meditation and Mindfulness
If you have been on the journey of recovery, you have probably heard about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Meditation can be a wonderful holistic treatment to help you recognize and process difficult emotions. Using meditation and mindful techniques can help calm your mind and manage boredom.
Meditation is all about training your mind, noticing thoughts when they pop up, and then bringing your focus back to the present moment. Mindfulness is a form of meditation where you become fully aware of everything you are doing and experiencing in the present moment, like eating, walking, driving, or even reading a book.
Keep a Journal
A wonderful way to document and keep track of your journey through recovery is to write in a journal every day. Journaling is a great tool that you can use to track your progress and setbacks, get in tune with yourself and the thoughts going through your mind, and for holding space to learn more about yourself.
Journaling is an extremely therapeutic tool that you can use to work through thoughts and feelings of stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions and document your happiness, positivity, and progress. Your journal is unique to you, and you can journal about absolutely anything you would like to.
Spend Time With Supportive Family and Friends
When managing a substance use disorder, loneliness can be an all too familiar feeling. More often than not, when you go through early recovery, your life will change drastically, including the act of leaving behind certain people who have contributed to or enabled your addiction. There is so much importance in filling those spaces in your life with people who truly support you through your recovery journey.
Reach out to family and friends that you can trust for support, let them know what you are going through, and spend time with them doing some of your favorite activities. Ask friends and family members if they can lend an ear when you need to talk, and begin to surround yourself with people who have your best interests in mind. Remember, you do not have to go through your recovery journey alone.
The benefits of regular exercise are plentiful, and regular exercise can help you manage feelings of boredom in recovery. For starters, exercise is known to relieve and reduce stress, produce feelings of euphoria, and it can even be considered a mindful activity because you are spending your time focusing on the present moment and the act of exercising.
Some studies have even found a link between exercise and recovery from substance use, revealing that people who engage in regular aerobic exercise are less likely to engage in illicit drug use. Exercise is also a natural way to release endorphins, the same kind of hormones that are released and then depleted when using substances.
Regular exercise can re-introduce natural levels of endorphins in your body, making you feel happier and healthier. There are so many different exercises out there, including low-impact activities like yoga, pilates, and walking. You can start implementing regular exercise into your daily routine and see which types and practices work best for you.
It is common to face periods of boredom during early recovery because, once you remove substances from your lifestyle, you will notice that you have a lot of extra time. At Lighthouse Recovery, we help you implement beneficial methods to cope with boredom in recovery. Such practices include re-discovering activities that you used to enjoy, practicing meditation and mindful activities, keeping a journal, spending time with supportive family and friends, and implementing exercise into your daily routine. These methods will help you ease your mind and prevent you from falling back into toxic patterns and relapsing. Our primary focus is on long-term treatment. Therefore, we utilize a holistic approach throughout each subset of our program, focusing on your needs to help you cope with boredom and stress throughout recovery. To learn more about our programs, call us today at (214) 983-1408.