Last Updated: October 26, 2022
Will you be bored in rehab? If you enter rehab due to a crisis, you might not consider whether you will be bored. However, if you are trying to prevent a crisis from happening and your friends and family members have suggested that you enter residential treatment for substance use, then you might wonder what you will be doing with your time while you are there.
Is Boredom Bad?
Many people are used to caretaking, working, and running from one place to the other with little time to reflect. Slowing down and taking time to think can actually feel intimidating because that is when you start to consider your life decisions and your emotions. You might use substances to moderate your feelings about your life and your past and current challenges or traumas. Boredom seems frightening because it gives you an open expanse of time in which to sit with your thoughts.
Boredom Does Happen in Early Sobriety
According to Psych Central, “when an addict first begins sobriety he finds a sense of ennui sets in fairly quickly, which feels overwhelmingly empty.” Before you entered rehab, part of your busy life was finding the next high. Your life may have had that as a major focus, or you struggled to hide your substance use from others. Once you are not looking for alcohol or drugs, that focus is gone. You may feel like you have lost your identity, your main occupation, and possibly your friends. This is boredom at one of its lowest points.
What to Do If You Are Bored
The challenge in early sobriety is to determine what you can do instead of focusing on the idea that life will be boring from now on. While you are sitting in your boredom, you can:
- Tell yourself that you are moving onto a new path. It takes some time to gestate this new way of life, and right now you are in that process.
- Acknowledge that you do not like the feeling of being bored and that this is all right. From boredom comes creativity. Encourage yourself to feel those unpleasant feelings that might come up.
- Find yourself something to do. This should be positive and contribute to your goals. For instance, you could set a goal of going for a walk every day, which will give you exercise, time to think, and potentially build a community.
- Find positive companionship. Join a 12-step group or get a pet. Find people with whom you can have a positive social relationship that will allow you to explore new hobbies, make emotional strides, and care for others outside of yourself.
For some people, boredom is the enemy in rehab. It can lead people to try and fill the void with substance use. However, if you can move through boredom and find meaning within yourself, in new hobbies, and in the work that you are doing in rehab, you can value boredom for what it is: the space in which to discover who you are without substance use.
At The Recovery Village Columbus, we can provide you with Ohio drug rehab resources that will help you on your path to recovery. Talk with us today to learn about admission.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.