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Dealing With Boredom in Recovery: Tips From a Coach

To unpack some of the underlying reasons you feel bored right now, it helps to understand what alcohol does to your brain. While it’s important to create a routine, make sure that you still keep the activities still varied so your routine does not become monotonous. This can be just simple changes that can make your days interesting. For example, you can still keep your lunch schedule but instead of eating at one lunch spot every day, you can try out different places and cafes to discover new spots. Research from NIH showed that over a 40 year period there were dramatic increases in well-being with sharp decreases in distress during the first six years of recovery. This same study also revealed that during the first year of recovery there were decreases in happiness and self-esteem, these rebounded significantly over the next few years.

sober and bored

I have gone to bars with people I genuinely like as a sober person, and I don’t stay for longer than an hour or two if nothing is happening. The good news is that your brain can adjust and restore balance to your internal drinking out of boredom world. The longer you stay away from alcohol and give your brain some much-needed TLC, the less you’ll feel like life is dull and uninteresting. Our brains don’t like imbalance and will work very hard to correct it.

Alcohol artificially boosts serotonin and dopamine in your brain.

By removing the alcohol and making those necessary lifestyle changes, we increase the chances of becoming people who can enjoy the simple pleasure of life once again. Will eating salads and drinking water make your boredom go away? Not exactly, but it can make you feel better, which has a ripple effect on whether or not you enjoy your life. One of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re feeling bored in sobriety is to find a way to serve others. But if you can’t or aren’t able to do a group class, at the very least, take a tech-free 30-minute walk every day.

sober and bored

This might seem like a terrible thing; this is not a terrible thing. This is a JOYOUS and wonderful thing because it easily sorts out the ones that have a weird relationship with alcohol, or the ones that just aren’t for you. It will hurt (pretty bad at first), but in time you will come to see it as the gift it is—and you won’t waste time getting to know the wrong person. It may also be helpful to get to know yourself on your own, first. Spending sober time becoming familiar with your body intimately can help you better communicate your needs to someone else when you feel ready for that step. Thankfully, there have only been a few times when someone at the table hasn’t pointed it out on my behalf and adjusted accordingly.

Substance Abuse Treatment

” I didn’t understand I could decline to answer or that I didn’t have to make sense to everyone. For a period it was, “I’m an alcoholic,” and that tended to silence anyone (for clarification, I no longer identify as an alcoholic). These days, unless I’m feeling generous, I simply say, “I don’t drink,” and leave it at that. You may be so used to the emotional isolation of addiction that joining a positive group of people seems foreign.

That overcorrection is what you’re probably feeling right now. When you use alcohol (or any substance) to artificially boost serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain, you create an imbalance in the brain. That latter experience feeling like everything is gray and dull and lacks meaning? A lot of people experience anhedonia when they quit. I’ve been where you are, as have thousands of other sober people who had to learn to have a life again after sobriety. Don’t just list things that are out of this world like skydiving or traveling to the North Pole.