Sober living

How to Stop Drinking Out of Boredom

There is a strong relationship between boredom, stress, and drug or alcohol use. It’s therefore no surprise that during the pandemic, the rate of alcohol consumption increased among people that reported COVID-19 related stress. The pandemic has been here and, at the time of this writing, is continuing to keep our world in a state of flux. This puts those who have formed an attachment to alcohol in a very vulnerable position. Talking with a trained therapist, especially one who understands substance abuse, is important. They can give you tools and resources for navigating everything you’re feeling (or not feeling) right now.

drinking out of boredom

For resources related to AUD, including how to get support, please visit the NIH website. We’ve also partnered with Moderation Management, a non-profit dedicated to reducing the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol. Not to mention alcohol also suppresses hormones related to appetite. So when you reach for a snack, you add even more pounds. Say you have downtime on a Saturday afternoon after a challenging week at work. “Getting through the week” might be your rationale for pouring a glass of wine.

How to Stop Drinking Out of Boredom: Tips and Advice for a Sober Life in 2024

By developing self-awareness and reflecting on your emotions and thought patterns, you can uncover the triggers for boredom drinking and take proactive steps to address them. The reasons people start drinking alcohol is very different than the reasons they continue to drink alcohol. Boredom and isolation are known relapse triggers for people with substance use disorders. An important way to safeguard your sobriety is to be aware of this and take steps to mitigate it.

Once you have really looked at your habits, consider alternative solutions. If you like gin and tonic when you’re vegging on the sofa, swap it for fizzy water with lemon. If you know your willpower weakens after 9 pm, get up before then and go and have a warm shower instead. Everyone reacts to boredom differently, but the way we react is vital to our health and well-being.

TALK TO SOMEONE

Alcohol can be in a unique position of being both the solution to and the cause of pain. Yet, no matter how much pain it causes to the individual or family, alcohol is one of the most difficult substances to remove. This can lead to increased anxiety, depression, and stress when not drinking, which might make sober times feel particularly empty or boring. If you drink to alleviate boredom, your brain starts associating alcohol with relief from that negative feeling. Also, when you eat, say, three times a day, your brain and stomach send out hunger and fullness signals just three times a day. But when you randomly eat, say, six or eight times a day, those signals are regularly sent out six or eight times a day.

It’s pretty normal to reduce the entire experience of boredom in sobriety to missing alcohol and believing that getting drunk is the primary way you (and everyone else) have fun. Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

Building a Supportive Social Network

I’m a loser.” In the second case, boredom is going to feel much more painful—and a drink (or two, or three) may prove harder to resist. Boredom has an emotional quality to it, and cognitive behavioral therapy teaches that feelings are an outgrowth of thoughts. Someone who’s bored and drinking on a couch probably didn’t get there by accident. Typically, whether they’re aware of it or not, there was a thought or a sequence of thoughts that preceded this outcome.

If our body perceives a harmless situation as dangerous, we start to experience increased levels of stress and anxiety. Getting outside and communing with nature is scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve mental health and cognitive function in both kids and adults. When you get sober, you realize there is an entire daytime pulse in your city or town that you never really felt before. Things that people do during that day that don’t involve recovering or boozy brunch.

Your friends are out getting drunk, the same as they always do. Meanwhile, you’re at home wondering how many days it would take someone to find your body after you’ve choked on those peanut M&M’s you’ve been knocking back during your latest Netflix binge. When you remove alcohol from your life, you free up all the time you spent drinking and recovering from drinking. If you ever sit down to do that math, you will shock yourself with how much time went towards drinking. Alcohol robs you of the ability to feel naturally motivated and inspired. Those feelings don’t come back immediately when you quit.

Even if you have no idea HOW things can change, trust the process and keep working on it. It is very common for people to replace alcohol with sugar in the beginning, which is detrimental not only to your waistline https://ecosoberhouse.com/ and physical health but your mental well-being as well. When you begin to view your negative thoughts and feelings as problems to be solved rather than the embodiment of who you actually are, you liberate yourself.

I’ve spent the last seven years researching and understanding alcoholism, addiction, and how people get sober. Additionally, I examine the way mental and physical health as well as our relationships with others impact the reasons people drink and their role in maintaining sobriety long-term. By becoming more involved in your community, you can effectively replace boredom drinking with meaningful connections and activities that improve your overall mental health and well-being. Understanding your drinking patterns empowers you to take proactive steps to prevent boredom drinking and stay on track with your goals. You can use this knowledge to create a personalized plan for overcoming boredom drinking and maintaining a sober lifestyle. Drinking to combat boredom can be problematic, but you can prevent long-term consequences if you identify it early.

It’s hard to fill that time, especially when dealing with alcohol cravings and triggers. I’ve been where you are, as have thousands of other sober people who had to learn to have a life again after sobriety. Alcohol’s reinforcing effects can be attributed to the way cortisol interacts with the brain’s reward system, causing a person to feel pleasure and therefore reach for more of it when stressed.

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