“Boredom is the root of all evil.”
This rather direct quote from Soren Kierkegaard points to the truth about boredom — when one fails to properly channel it, boredom can lead to some rather poor decisions.
That being said, boredom is not guaranteed to lead you straight into the fire; it can actually lead to some incredibly creative outlets when properly directed. But unmanaged, undirected boredom can mean the difference in the success or failure of addiction recovery. The best way to maintain your recovery, then, is to have a game plan when boredom sneaks in and bad habits tempt your will.
How to overcome boredom
There are numerous negative effects of boredom, including the temptation to engage in unhealthy habits in order to fill your time. But we’re here to give you some ideas to help overcome boredom and fill your time with entertaining, life-giving activities instead!
Perfect a new workout skill
In treatment, you learn that exercise is crucial to the success of long-term sobriety. But engaging in the same workout routine day in and day out can start to get, well, boring after a while. As nice as it is to walk around the block for some midday fresh air, you can stave off boredom by switching up your workout routine.
- Try setting the tone for your day with a relaxing, meditative session of yoga to energize both your body and your mind
- Increase strength and agility through a class like a karate, jiu-jitsu or Muay Thai
- Find a local dance studio and enroll in adult ballet, jazz or contemporary class to build a new skill or revisit one you had as a child
- Take an aerobic class, like Barre, HIIT, Spin or bungee fitness
- Get a gym membership, especially if you live in a state where seasonal temperatures/weather conditions make it hard to get outside for exercise
Working out shouldn’t be a chore, but something you do for your body and your brain. When you find the right kind for you, it’ll not only promote physical and mental well-being, it will be a great way to use time in your day and avoid boredom.
Invest in a hobby
Nowadays, everything has become a side hustle and the concept of a hobby — doing an activity for the pure enjoyment of it — has become close to nonexistent. However, hobbies are really important for keeping yourself entertained, filling your time productively and expanding the creative parts of your mind.
There are too many potential hobbies to list, but we’ll give you a few suggestions to get you started:
- Keep a poetry journal and write down the thoughts in your mind on the blank pages to process your emotions in a unique, personal way
- Learn a new instrument, or a new song if you already can play
- Teach yourself how to knit, crochet or sew
- Start an art journal
- Design jewelry with clay or beads
- Make macrame
- Paint art for your walls
- Thrift shop
- Explore your local area, including farmer’s markets, state parks and museums
- Build yourself a recipe book and make a new recipe every day for 30 days
- Buy a hammock and a good book and take 30 minutes outside every day
- Rent a kayak or canoe and explore your local waterways
- See if the humane society in your town allows volunteers and take the shelter dogs on walks in your free time
As you can see, the list goes on and on; as long as you’re filling your time with a life-giving activity, you can’t go wrong with spending time on a hobby.
Traveling is one sure way to overcome boredom, and it can benefit your recovery by offering you new perspectives on life. Traveling gets you out of your familiar environment, challenges you to learn a new area and customs and allows you to simply experience something new.
Of course, traveling can be as involved as an international getaway, but there’s something to be said for local traveling as well. Maybe there’s a big city an hour away you’ve always wanted to explore? Maybe the ocean or mountains sit only a few hour’s drive from where you live? Possibly there’s a unique state park or national landmark in the surrounding area you’ve heard about. No matter what it may be, taking the time to break out of your routine for a new experience can quickly and confidently break the cycle of boredom.
Boredom in recovery
Whether you’re overcoming boredom at home by engaging in a new hobby or beating the negative effects of boredom by traveling and filling your time with life-giving exploration, your choices to combat the effects of boredom will benefit your recovery in the long run.
If you need more accountability with staying busy and not giving in to boredom, or you’re looking to begin your recovery journey today, contact us at Silvermist Recovery.