What to Do When Recovery Gets Boring

Jun 14, 2023

Surrendering to treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring mental health conditions can be an emotional phase in one’s life. Participating in treatment can help an individual learn new strategies to safely manage their condition. Once treatment has been accomplished, an individual may transition into early recovery. This can be a very vulnerable yet busy time in one’s life. Typically, early recovery may involve making major sacrifices. Once everything slows down, for most, recovery gets boring. Renaissance Ranch’s Band of Brothers alumni program can be a potential resource for men that need help changing up their daily recovery routine.

The Busy Life of Early Recovery

In early recovery, everything may seem like all is happening at once. A majority of individuals with SUD or mental health conditions learn to accept and understand that part of moving forward includes changing up their usual routine. During this transition, major life changes are to be made for the benefit of one’s future. Living a sober lifestyle means more focus is placed on other important areas in life. Not everybody’s journey in early recovery is the same, but a few new changes in one’s routine can help. 

For example, an individual may: 

  • Remove toxic friends
  • Find new employment
  • Discover unique sober activities
  • Spend more time with loved ones for support
  • Participate in therapy
  • Expand their relationship with God by attending church
  • Balance an intensive outpatient program (IOP) while pursuing education
  • Focus on self-care 

Committing to a solid routine can promote long-term recovery. Making sacrifices may be difficult at the start but can make for a positive future. Slowly but surely, by doing this, new and exciting opportunities may arise. New connections can be made with individuals who have similar goals. Furthermore, one may find they have improved and balanced relationships with others who live a sober lifestyle. 

Making positive changes can boost an individual’s self-esteem and confidence to prevent a potential drug or alcohol relapse. For instance, spending more time with family can help mend past problems and increase trust. Attending church services or building a personal relationship with God can create a healthy grounded foundation. Finally, focusing on self-care can improve one’s well-being both mentally and physically. 

Changing the Routine When Long-Term Recovery Gets Boring

When personal goals are met and everything seems just so, some people feel long-term recovery can be mundane. Certain triggers, pressure, and temptation to use substances may always remain. Although treatment has been accomplished and the challenges in early recovery have been addressed, an individual is still at risk for a possible relapse. This brings us to the next phase of addiction

When boredom kicks in, cravings can come back to the surface. One must learn how to appropriately respond to triggers and fight substance cravings. They may not be as intense as they once were in treatment or early recovery, but can still be problematic. Committing to continuing care, such as attending therapy, can help one handle substance cravings.

As stated in The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine (YJBM), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments. CBT is used to help someone facing challenges with addiction change their way of thinking. This statement has been confirmed in several clinical studies. Practicing the strategies learned in therapy can greatly improve an individual’s mental state during this late phase of addiction.

Sober Activities for When Recovery Gets Boring

One big sacrifice to make in recovery is removing unhealthy relationships with friends and sometimes even family members. This can be a very lonely choice. Unfortunately, this can lead to pure boredom. Loneliness can increase depressive feelings. Therefore, an individual may be more prone to drinking or using drugs again in hopes to relieve these negative emotions. 

In addition to therapy, staying busy may be the best route to take when recovery gets boring. Making a change in routine can bring plenty of new opportunities that can serve as a very positive distraction from substance cravings, negative thoughts, and overall behaviors. Participating in fun sober activities can be a helpful way to make new connections with others as well. Light encouragement from like-minded individuals can be positively influential in one’s life. Interacting with people who have a similar mindset can be an extra support system that can promote long-term sobriety. 

A few sober activities may include: 

  • Adventure therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Playing sports
  • Bonfires
  • Barbecues
  • Boating
  • Christian concerts
  • Art festivals
  • Working out with a buddy

Moving Forward With Renaissance Ranch’s Band of Brothers Alumni Program

As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an individual’s recovery is developed on their coping abilities, inner strengths, and resources that are given. Recovery can be supported by friends, peers, family, and the community as a whole. 

Joining an alumni program and attending alumni events can be extremely beneficial for individuals who need additional recovery support. Accepting a helping hand or ongoing support from career coaching, professionals, and peers can help one find the direction needed to stay on track to long-term recovery. A career coach can provide emotional and informational support to find sober alumni events. 

Recovery gets boring. Men who have completed the treatment program at Renaissance Ranch can participate in the Band of Brothers Alumni program to gain new opportunities and the strength needed to maintain ongoing abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Early recovery can be an overwhelming time in one’s life. When certain goals have been established and all seems just right, recovery gets boring for some individuals. Here at Renaissance Ranch, we believe in providing the best quality care to all those who participate in our programs. Men who have gone through our program are constantly connecting with the newer members of the program and showing them that there is hope in recovery. If you are having difficulty maintaining abstinence, our team would be happy to provide the support needed to stay on track to a healthy future. Our Band of Brothers Alumni Program and events can help. Call Renaissance Ranch at (801) 308-8898.