Drinking Out of Boredom Hobbies to Replace Drinking
This could include changing your daily routine, developing new hobbies, or getting involved with sober activities. You can go to support groups, talk to your sponsor, or reach out to recovery chat rooms online. Reaching out to others will give you the proper support needed to get through this lull in your recovery. It can be helpful to talk to people who are also in recovery and share your experiences with them. It can also help reduce stress and boost your mood by releasing endorphins into the bloodstream. We all know there are all sorts of habits we live with on a daily basis.
Your stomach has something called “muscle memory.” The muscular walls of your stomach get used to holding a certain amount of food before it distends enough to send out signals of fullness to your brain. Whenever you eat, your stomach waits for that sensation of fullness from that drinking out of boredom amount of food. Boredom usually stems from one’s own lack of motivation, endeavor, or creativity. Everyone gets bored now and then, but there’s a difference between changing that mood through healthy alternatives and turning to drugs or alcohol, either alone or with friends.
Reframe Boredom as an Opportunity
In coaching Ria Health members through the early stages of recovery, many have shared that they feel a sense of boredom—as in having nothing to do—which has led them to drink to pass the time. Planning an activity at times when a person would usually eat through boredom, such as in the evening, may prove effective. Satisfying hobbies can distract you from wanting to drink, but they also help you relax — something everyone needs to do. By avoiding alcohol, you’re taking a big step toward improving physical health.
It’s possible to develop a better relationship with alcohol and make more mindful, informed choices about drinking without total sobriety. Knowing why you drink is essential, says Cyndi Turner, LCSW, LSATP, MAC, a Virginia therapist specializing in addiction treatment and alcohol moderation. All the same, “a quick drink” often turns into three or four drinks. When you’re having a good time, you find it hard to stop, especially in the company of friends having the same amount. Swapping our routines and habits that are damaging you for ones that can strengthen your body and soul will give you a really clear reason why you want to stop drinking out of boredom. Boredom is a key reason people give for drinking too much and drinking out of boredom like this can become almost a subconscious activity, something that you do whilst doing something else.
Changing the environment by getting outside can alleviate boredom and improve a person’s mood. A person can try downloading a 5-minute mindful breathing exercise to have ready to play when they experience a trigger that leads them to eat. Mindfulness can help people avoid reacting to triggers that may cause them to eat when they are not hungry. Balancing blood sugar can help avoid dips in energy, which may trigger eating out of boredom. Boredom is what can occur when you feel like you’ve got nothing to do and no real agency in changing that fact.
- Some alternative activities to consider include physical exercise and outdoor activities, creative pursuits and learning new skills, and volunteering and community involvement.
- The obvious answer may be “find something else to do,” but that can be difficult if food is what you do.
- Boredom is a key reason people give for drinking too much and drinking out of boredom like this can become almost a subconscious activity, something that you do whilst doing something else.
What’s more, knowing that you plan to eat a meal or snack in the next few hours could be motivation to hold back from eating until then. If you do it right, keeping a food journal can help you see what, when, where, and how much you are overeating. The right way is to write down the type and amount of food you eat, as well as the location and time. That way, you may be able to identify an eating style that needs correction. Carole Bennett, M.A., is a family substance abuse counselor, lecturer, columnist and author based at her Family Recovery Solutions Counseling Center in Santa Barbara, CA.