How to Counteract Boredom and Loneliness in Recovery
Two of the biggest things people experience in recovery are boredom and loneliness. This doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does people in recovery are at a higher risk of relapsing. The important thing is for those in recovery to acknowledge this problem and be proactive about it instead of ignoring it. There are quite a few actions that people can take to battle both loneliness and boredom during recovery. Below is a compilation of helpful tips to put a stop to loneliness and boredom.
Talk About It
First off, talk to somebody about how you're feeling. Ignoring the boredom or loneliness that you feel only makes it worse in the long run. Be open about your feelings with your friends and family members. Or find a therapist who you can talk out your feelings with. A lot of times talking it out helps the feelings disappear or lessens them at the very least. Take the time to find someone who will listen to you. When you do, it will be a huge weight off of your chest.
Join a Recovery Group
Most people in recovery already attend AA or NA meetings and have a recovery group. But, if you haven't done this yet it would be extremely helpful to have a weekly recovery group to attend. Recovery groups provide the chance to share your feelings and struggles with the group. Since a majority of the people attending are going through similar situations they are able to suggest tips and activities that help with boredom and loneliness. Sometimes attending the group helps reduce the feelings of boredom and loneliness. If you’re unable to find or attend a group locally there are recovery groups online that can be equally beneficial.
Give back to the community by volunteering. There are plenty of places that need volunteers including animal shelters, police stations, local parks, and much more. Volunteer somewhere meaningful to you and it will help build a greater sense of purpose for you. It’s also a great way to connect with others in a positive setting. Once you’re busy with volunteer work, feelings of boredom and loneliness will be minimal.
Enroll in a Club or Course
If you have a lot of extra time on your hands joining a club or a class helps to prevent boredom. Put your time to good use by joining a book club or something that piques your interest. These clubs are a great way to connect with new people that hold similar interests. It’s also good to try something new by enrolling in an educational course. This could be learning how to cook, draw, or do accounting. Whatever you have been wanting to learn, get out there and learn it because this is the perfect time to do so. You’ll be too busy learning to be bored or lonely.
This might sound cheesy but dating yourself and learning to be happy with yourself is a great way to boost self-esteem. Many people spend a lot of time looking for a partner to fill the void of loneliness. But, that is something only you can do for yourself. Learn to love being alone and go out and do things you love to do on your own. Take yourself to the movies, a fancy dinner, or a walk alone. Boredom and loneliness can’t exist when you enjoy your own company.
When bad thoughts and feelings become overwhelming, meditation is a great tool to use. Mindfulness meditation is a great tool in particular because it’s a way to examine thoughts and feelings without becoming wrapped up in them. Meditation allows you to take a step back and acknowledge feelings without letting them consume you. This makes feelings of boredom and loneliness less powerful. Find a relaxing place to meditate, inside or outside, wherever you feel comfortable, and let those feelings of boredom and loneliness float far away.
Use Recovery Apps
Thanks to the internet and smartphones there are quite a few apps to help those in recovery. There are apps that help with mindfulness meditation and apps that encourage healthy habits. An app specifically made to help people through the steps of their recovery is Cassava. It gives a great visual of all the progress made so far and tracks activities like work, sleep, and exercise. The app contains tips to encourage and provide help for those trying to stay sober. There is even a place to track and discuss your emotional well-being, including stress and social activities. This app also includes virtual recovery groups when you’re unable to make a meeting locally. While online interaction shouldn’t be the only social connections you make during recovery, it will help combat boredom and loneliness as you work on getting yourself out there.
Get a Pet
A pet can easily reduce all feelings of loneliness and boredom. Pets are a great comfort to come home to and provide a plethora of mental benefits for those in recovery. Boredom can’t exist when you have a pet because they’re in constant need of your love and attention. Dogs, in particular, are a great way to help those in recovery get out of the home and be more social. When a person in recovery has a pet it puts their focus onto something and someone else. This helps them build up self-discipline which in turn helps with their own recovery. Of course, you should only get a pet if you’re 100 percent sure you can take on that responsibility.
Spend Time with Family or Friends
Use your support system of family and friends to help you when you're feeling lonely or bored. Spending quality time with close friends and family members has the ability to increase feelings of connectedness. If there are some friends or family members you have lost connection with then now is a good time to try and make amends. By doing this you will help with your recovery while repairing relationships that can be a big help for keeping you sober. It’s wise to stay away from anyone that is toxic or bad for your recovery. Keep a list of positive friends and family members that are able to help with your recovery.
Sometimes it can be too hard to handle the boredom and loneliness of recovery on your own. This is when inpatient treatment serves as an ideal solution. At Meridian Treatment our inpatient care is tailored to the individual. Our inpatient program is for those needing full-time attention and help to stay sober. We thoroughly discuss the needs of our guests before entry so the program is personally built to help them feel at home. Our program helps reduce feelings of boredom and loneliness and ensures guests reach their goals of long-lasting recovery.