How to Stop Drinking Out of Boredom

Adding variety to your day keeps things feeling fresh and exciting, and it might fend off boredom eating. If you tend to crave or reach for certain foods when you’re bored, you might be tempted to completely stop eating those foods to remove the temptation. A diet that leaves you feeling full and satisfied over the course of the day leaves less room for wondering about whether you should have a snack when you’re bored. Most people experience stress and try their best to alleviate it. You might have a drink to calm your mind, mellow out your mood, and take the edge off stress. You might occasionally consume several alcoholic beverages to blot out a highly stressful day.

drinking when bored

This might help to deter you from turning to alcohol or substance use in order for you to alleviate your own boredom in a self-destructive, detrimental way. It also makes you accountable to others and them to you, if you’ve extended your hand for help. Drugs or alcohol can appear to take away the pain of emotional, mental, or physical challenges. Boredom is often simply a state of awareness that shows up just prior to the surfacing of difficult, painful thoughts and feelings we have pushed away from our conscious awareness. Some studies have found mindfulness is particularly helpful at helping people reduce eating in response to emotions like boredom (24, 25, 26). Practicing self-awareness and developing a better understanding of how your own emotions are influencing your appetite is a great starting place to combat boredom eating.

Short-Term Effects

Once in a college course we conducted an exercise of eating a blueberry to truly experience it. The whole exercise can take up to a minute…to eat one blueberry. For this reason, it contains the same bioactive compounds found in tea – such as polyphenols – with the added benefit of gut-healthy probiotics. It’s also high in acetic acid, which has strong antibacterial properties. The tea you use – fresh versus dried – temperature and steeping time all have a significant effect on the antioxidant levels of green tea.

As you change your drinking, it’s normal and common to have urges or a craving for alcohol. The words “urge” and “craving” refer to a broad range of thoughts, physical sensations, or emotions that tempt you to drink, even though you have at least some desire not to. You may feel an uncomfortable pull in two directions or sense a loss of control. If you need to reach for something habitually, hydrate! I’m not calling anyone out but chances are you’re not drinking enough water. Drinking water doesn’t just give you something to fidget with while you’re bored, filling your stomach with water will make you feel less hungry and less apt to snack (2).


Apologies for the crude example, but I don’t ever see advertisements that show the real side of drinking. But when alcohol is marketed as this fantastic product that can enhance your life, that’s another story. Having the correct mindset when you stop drinking makes a huge difference. There will always be a long lost friend who arrives on your doorstep looking to catch up over a few drinks. Be ready for these moments when they arrive, and they will, give yourself a wry smile, then make the choice that fits with your goals. Get to know what 5 ounces looks like by measuring it out at home.

But if you can’t or aren’t able to do a group class, at the very least, take a tech-free 30-minute walk every day. I promise it will do wonders for your mental health, which, in turn, will help you feel motivated to do more things. So much of this list is not just about finding things to do, but treating the underlying causes of extreme boredom in sobriety.

How To Use First Principles Thinking To Get Control Of Your Drinking

Always have a list of people that support your recovery available. This provides quick access to those who empower you on your recovery journey. Surrounding yourself with people that support you can help alleviate possible remnants of guilt and shame from past behaviors.

  • Some people like to have three meals and a few snacks each day, while others may prefer to have more or less.
  • An urge to drink can be set off by external triggers in the environment and internal ones within yourself.
  • There is nothing wrong with being bored after stopping drinking.
  • If you’re an artist you can always go and paint; if you’re a gamer there’s always going to be a game that you can play.

Drinking out of boredom is how some choose to deal with the dull moments life throws at us. These are some of the drinks that I make on the daily if I’m doing homework and want to sip something. Usually I just have water with my meals, but for me, water gets a tad boring sometimes; especially when you’re studying for hours on end and want to sip something more exciting. Take note that these aren’t the healthiest drinks in the world—I’m basically sipping my life away.

How To Overcome The Boredom When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Boredom is a big danger area when we’re trying to quit. When drinking becomes habitual, it eventually becomes the default choice, maybe the only choice. Getting pissed is the default choice when we’re feeling happy, sad, tired, bored, grumpy, angry, or bored. When we’re bored, the first thing that pops into our minds to alleviate the boredom is alcohol.

People with a parent, grandparent, or other close relative with alcoholism have a higher risk for becoming dependent on alcohol. For many, it may be difficult to maintain low-risk drinking habits. If your goal is weight loss or just being less bored, an active lifestyle is an especially great replacement for snacking and reduce stress at the same time. The biggest thing you can do to avoid eating out of boredom is to consider what you’re eating by practicing mindful eating.

Why Shouldn’t You Drink Out of Boredom?

Losing relationships to the substance can be challenging but anchoring to others in recovery can be the very thing you need to feel worthy of recovery. In more severe cases, drinking out of boredom can lead to severe alcohol abuse disorders. Starting to drink gradually might be considered normal or appropriate, but it can quickly create a dependence and lead to a severe drinking problem.

drinking when bored

The boring moments make the exciting moments seem all the more exciting. We have the seasons where we can stroll around in the fine warm weather and other seasons where we have to get all dressed up in our woolen winter clothes. Download our Quick Start Preparation course as our FREE gift to help you stop drinking alcohol and get the best start to your new life.

In physics, the law of inertia states that a body at rest stays in rest unless acted on by an outside force. It explains why it’s easy to lie on the couch watching a movie and not move. Through coaching others, I have found that making time for important activities drinking out of boredom is one of the big bottlenecks. However, if you are able to schedule your time, it can be a game-changer. Most people set goals and think they will achieve happiness when they reach their goals. Boredom is a part of life, but it can be easily overcome.

drinking when bored

In that case, some of these tips to address boredom eating could work for you. Throughout 2020 and into 2021, people reported feeling bored at higher rates than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic (27). If you’re concerned you could be experiencing symptoms of disordered eating, reach out to a trained professional for help. If someone expects that every Friday night they should be out on the town with friends, but they’re alone on a couch, it may be easier to justify boredom and self-pity, followed by booze.

Your friends are out getting drunk, the same as they always do. Now that you know the chemical reason for your boredom, let’s explore additional factors that might be contributing to these feelings. So it’s not that sobriety is inherently boring; it’s that your serotonin and dopamine levels are now very low. Our brains don’t like imbalance and will work very hard to correct it. That overcorrection is what you’re probably feeling right now.

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