Sober living

Dealing with Boredom in Early Sobriety

One way to practice mindfulness in recovery is through meditation. Meditation has been recommended for addiction recovery because of the way it contributes to creating new neural pathways in the brain. By sitting with one’s boredom and using these mindfulness skills, the boredom loses its power and control.

Withdrawal symptoms should be monitored by a medical professional. Handling emotions of any kind can be a relapse trigger, and this is especially true in early recovery. Boredom can bring unwanted feelings of restlessness, irritation, and low self-esteem, and it’s important to learn and discover healthy ways to manage these feelings. The mental obsession that can accompany substance use also takes up a lot of space in the brain, so as the mental obsession fades the feelings of boredom may amplify.


Still, alcohol is a highly addictive substance that can lead to dependency, especially when consuming frequently and in large quantities. Drinking out of boredom may indicate a deeper issue at hand. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that alcohol and other substances can worsen anxiety symptoms.

I have had to learn to do so many things without the crutch of alcohol, and lots of them are much more enjoyable now. I used AA a lot in early sobriety as it gave me somewhere to go at the time when I would ordinarily be drinking. Covid means that meetings are now mostly online, but they still work in the same way. They give you a focus as you make it through the witching hour, i.e. wine o’clock. At first, every alternative seems to take a lot longer to create the same effects to a lesser degree.

Learn your patterns and plan ahead

If you’re a casual drinker, you should understand the ramifications of regular drinking. I live with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that convinces my immune system to attack my gut lining. Drinking, hangovers, and second-day hangovers made me far less diligent with my gluten-free diet than I need to be to feel good. My sober lifestyle has created more space to do my own research, find nutritional deficiencies, and other food sensitivities. The gut is considered the second brain and hosts 90% of serotonin production. So taking care of my body was also taking care of my mental health.

  • Before I stopped drinking, I was trying so hard to be successful that I lost sight of the vision I had for my life.
  • At festivals, I would often miss half the acts because I was in a state of drunken disorientation.
  • Boredom can bring unwanted feelings of restlessness, irritation, and low self-esteem, and it’s important to learn and discover healthy ways to manage these feelings.
  • It does nothing to change any external circumstances.
  • Valuing and prioritizing yourself in recovery can be a powerful way to remove the hold alcohol has on you.

Don’t assume people are too busy to see you, all they need is to know that you would like to meet up. Everyone reacts to boredom differently, but the way we react is vital to our health and well-being. The best way to get outside of your own head and boredom is by helping someone else which is why we recommend volunteering.

The Truth About How Boring Life Is Without Alcohol

I tried meditation (though never quite managed to get a consistent practice.) Nature seemed to help. I want to be an emotionally available mother and be a fun, spontaneous wife. I want to go to grad school, visit all the countries, start a podcast, speak Spanish, and be an expert harmonica player.

  • I couldn’t stick to my rules around drinking, and so I had to give it up.
  • Fortunately, groups of people are frequently available to aid those in addiction recovery.
  • This is important to remember when thinking about boredom.

I was horrified by what a needy and nervy dork I was. It had been nice pretending to be relaxed and laidback for a few hours every day. I was devastated to discover I was one of the most uptight people I had ever met.

It’s important to fight long periods of boredom to keep yourself sane but you can also embrace the peace of boredom. Being bored means you’re not in trouble, you’re not in withdrawal, you’re not worried about what you said, and you don’t have to apologize for your actions. After weeks of years of that mindset being bored can be welcoming. If you’re going to be bored – embrace the peace of it. There is an in-between time (somewhere in the middle of “no longer” (drinking) and “not yet” (your full life, the one you love, without alcohol in it)). Apologies for the slight tangent, but it’s important to understand that drinking again will do absolutely nothing to relieve your boredom.

But when alcohol is marketed as this fantastic product that can enhance your life, that’s another story. If you believe these advertisements, alcohol drinking out of boredom can make you come across as a more interesting, fun, and exciting person. Having the correct mindset when you stop drinking makes a huge difference.

Tips For Overcoming Boredom in Sobriety

But heavy drinking, even occasionally, can have harmful effects. Alcohol becomes a problem when it causes social or relationship problems. Perhaps you argue with your partner when you’re drinking, or maybe you become the loud person who embarrasses their friends in a restaurant. Like many people, it sounds like you initially sought alcohol because you thought it was a solution. It might have temporarily offered relief from boredom or loneliness.

ways to combat boredom when quitting drinking