Boredom has a tendency to be problematic in general. It’s when human beings are bored that they find themselves compelled to do the kinds of things they otherwise wouldn’t. When we get bored, we eat too much and make unhealthy dietary choices, we indulge in riskier activities and we also find ourselves spiralling into anxiety, depression and so on. Which of course can be problematic at the best of times, but can be so much more dangerous for those going through the process of addiction recovery.
While residential rehab centres can do a great job getting the ball rolling, there really just represent the first of many challenging steps in the recovery process. Keeping yourself busy and on track towards recovery during regimented, residential rehab is technically quite simple. The reason being that you have not only professionals watching over and assisting you at all times, but something of a packed timetable that doesn’t leave much room for anything else. By contrast, just as soon as you finish a course of rehab, you’re on your own. Perhaps not literally on your own, but certainly under your own control when it comes to what you do and how you do it.
Boredom is acknowledged as perhaps the single most common and dangerous trigger, when it comes to potential relapse. The more time you spend bored and the more intense your boredom becomes, the more likely you are to make ill-advised decisions. It’s common to eventually reach a point where the thought of relapse actually becomes entertaining, simply as a means by which to break the monotony and depression.
Which is precisely why the best approach is to be proactive when it comes to avoiding boredom in the first place. It’s not always as easy as it sounds, but the following guidelines as offered by the professionals can certainly help keep boredom at bay:
- First of all, it’s critically important to reach out to others who are going through exactly the same as you yourself. It’s one thing for friends and family to offer their support and guidance, but it’s something else entirely to speak to those who know what you are going through, because they themselves are going through the same. From support groups to online networks and so on, be sure to build a support network to reach out to in times of need.
- One of the very best ways of combating boredom is to simply remain as mobile as possible at all times. While it might not seem as if simply walking around town or through a park on a daily basis is particularly exciting, it is certainly more entertaining and distracting than sitting around doing absolutely nothing. When you think you have literally nothing to keep you occupied, take a walk.
- Something else that tends to be recommended by every addiction recovery expert is keeping a journal, or simply getting into the habit of writing every day. Even when you are as borders can be, chances are there will be thousands of weird and sometimes wonderful thoughts spinning around in your mind. It’s not until you start penning these thoughts out on paper that you begin to realise just how therapeutic it can be. Not only does writing represent a good distraction, but it can also contribute to the recovery process.
- Visiting friends and family member can of course be extremely effective in combating boredom. It’s simply a case of ensuring that you yourself are the one that makes the effort to both make the arrangements and travel to the location necessary, rather than simply expecting others to do so on your behalf.
- Focusing on your overall health and activity levels can also be a great way of avoiding boredom. Whether it’s joining a gym, trying out an activity you’ve never experienced before or simply keeping as active as possible, it is difficult to succumb to boredom when you keep yourself active.
- The same can also be said for making healthy dietary choices and managing what you eat. Rather than simply relying on convenience foods, perhaps get a little more experimental in the kitchen. Cooking is not only a great distraction, but also allows you to take better control over your diet and health in general.
- Last but not least, if you do ever find yourself in a position where you fear that boredom is getting the better if you, get in touch with your councillor or any of the professionals assisting with your recovery process at the earliest possible moment. In many instances, just a few words of support may be all that’s required to help keep your recovery on track.