- Addiction & recovery
Tips for Managing Boredom Without Increasing Alcohol and Cigarette Use During COVID
February 23, 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and many states continue to be on statewide stay-at-home order, many people are wrestling with feeling bored. Under normal circumstances, we have plenty of ways to stimulate our brains and stave off boredom, like watching television or movies, exercising, cooking, or spending time with friends. But when confined to the same day-to-day environment for long periods without structure, it’s understandable that our typical hobbies or activities are beginning to feel stale or unappealing.
To break the monotony of staying at home all the time, people are seeking different forms of fun and stimulation, whether it’s mental, physical, or recreational. However, some people might find themselves leaning into using alcohol, cigarettes, or other substances as a way to just pass the time and escape from the current state of the world. Even people who wouldn’t regularly drink or smoke frequently are now finding themselves more inclined to do so. Without structure and stimulation in place, it may become difficult to moderate use and distract yourself from the urge to drink or smoke. But it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to bust boredom without substances.
Establish substance-free days as part of your routine
For lots of people, it’s a struggle to sustain a daily routine at this time. To make it easier to get into a rhythm, instead of setting too many goals at once, try focusing on fewer goals and more realistic timeframes. Rather than trying to go substance-free for one week, take one or two days each week to stop the habit from forming around drinking or smoking. Those 24-48 hours can help you break up the repetition of turning to alcohol or cigarettes as a way to pass the time.
Build-in time for activities that bring you joy or challenge you
While different types of boredom busters and entertainment will appeal to different people for different reasons, now is a great time to revisit hobbies that you normally don’t have time for or things that you always wanted to try, such as:
Cooking, baking, or developing your own recipes
Arts and crafts like drawing, sewing, or scrapbooking
Exercising at home with YouTube videos
Learn something new like coding or a new language
Puzzles, board games, or cards
Use this time to improve your mental health and get help
Dr. Harrison, Addiction Expert, Psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer for Eleanor Health says “Even though these circumstances are temporary, it’s a great time to find different methods of managing your feelings while confronted with this stressful situation.”
Instead of drinking or smoking, some helpful and healthy ways to improve your mental health include:
Speaking with a therapist
Finding an online support group
Seeking help for managing substance consumption
If you are seeking help with your loved one’s addiction, contact us today or complete our quick contact form below, to speak with an addiction treatment specialist.
If you need help with your substance use disorder, we are here to help you build your confidence and momentum towards the future you want. We provide treatment services for adults with alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders. We are currently located in Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington.