Boredom eating from time to time can be completely normal and nothing to worry about. However, it may be frustrating for some people and have health implications, including weight gain (1, 2, 3, 4). When we get bored, drinking is not one of the options we have to relieve that boredom. It’s what makes certain parts of your life all the more exciting.
- We’re sorry, we seem to be having some technical difficulties, but we don’t want to lose you.
- In fact, when you first quit, it feels like everyone in the world is out getting drunk but you.
- The most effective treatment provides access to ongoing therapy, skills training, group or peer support, relapse avoidance techniques, and prescribed medications, if necessary.
- If boredom leads to daydreaming that sparks creative thinking, that could be a good thing.
Next time you feel bored, take a few minutes to think about how you’d really like to be spending that time. Break associations you might have between eating and screen time by making a point of eating meals at a table — not in front of the TV — and putting your phone away while you’re dining. Remember, it’s normal to reach for a snack out of boredom on occasion. If you find you’re more susceptible to food cravings, depriving yourself of certain foods might make you crave them more in the short term (6, 7, 8). What’s more, knowing that you plan to eat a meal or snack in the next few hours could be motivation to hold back from eating until then.
Have nutritious, filling snacks
We’re sorry, we seem to be having some technical difficulties, but we don’t want to lose you. So now comes the arduous task of learning how to manage the tough stuff without a chemical crutch like alcohol. Feeling bored, sad, lonely, or anxious about something are all very human things to feel. If nothing else, it starts to chip away at any notion you might have that you’re unworthy. Plus, you might meet some cool people, and that’s always a double win. That is the activity I’ve buried my energy into since quitting.
Especially when it comes to psychological types of hunger like boredom eating, external factors often trigger the urge to eat. Some studies have found mindfulness is particularly helpful at helping people reduce eating in response to emotions like boredom (24, 25, 26). Ocassationally, there may still be times when you reach for a snack when you’re bored.
Eat a Healthy Snack Instead
Replacing boredom drinking with enjoyable and fulfilling activities can help you maintain a healthier lifestyle and improve your mental health. Some alternative activities to consider include physical exercise and outdoor activities, creative pursuits and learning new skills, and volunteering and community involvement. For instance, you may not realize that you eat several extra snacks in the afternoon every day while you’re on your computer. And even if you know that’s the time when you overeat, you may not realize how much you’re eating until you start to keep track of every bite.
- The percent alcohol by volume (alc/vol) for distilled spirits is listed on bottle labels and may be found online as well.
- Making sure a person is adequately hydrated throughout the day may help avoid overeating.
- Your friends are out getting drunk, the same as they always do.
- Acute anxiety and depression from the withdrawal process can ease within a few days to a week.
- If boredom drinking becomes unmanageable or leads to alcohol addiction, seeking professional help can be crucial for taking control of your life and preventing potential health risks.
AspenRidge Recovery offers online treatment programs that make it possible to receive recovery care while still maintaining a flexible schedule. AspenRidge Recovery methodologies prove to support clients through recovery and long-term care. We can address fear and healthy coping mechanisms to combat any doubt and uncertainty that either an individual or family may feel during these difficult times.
Why Shouldn’t You Drink Out of Boredom?
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. As we’ve developed as a species, it’s a privilege to have the leisure time to make and eat food that brings us joy. But it can also be a curse, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or suffer from a diet related health condition.
Rather, use it as a learning experience and opportunity to treat yourself with kindness and compassion. What’s more, research has linked boredom to certain benefits. Researchers know that your emotions and mood often influence when, what, and how much you eat (20, 21). Finding a routine that works for you and sticking with it seems to matter more than exactly how many meals and snacks you have each day. The great news is that you now have many options, an endless supply of options.
Curious about all the amazing benefits a break from alcohol can bring?
Various addiction treatment programs are available for those struggling with alcohol use disorder and boredom drinking. These programs should address substance use and any underlying co-occurring mental health disorders to ensure the most successful outcome. The best approach to treatment includes access to follow-up drinking out of boredom therapy, management of skills, group or peer support, strategies to prevent relapse and prescribed medications if needed. Such a comprehensive treatment is most effective in achieving recovery. By implementing these strategies, you can effectively overcome boredom drinking and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
In the modern era, food in many parts of the world has become as much a source of entertainment as it is nourishment for survival. Changing the environment by getting outside can alleviate boredom and improve a person’s mood. Mindfulness can help people avoid reacting to triggers that may cause them to eat when they are not hungry. Individuals can try slowing down when eating, and appreciating the aromas, tastes, and textures of food to allow their body to send the signals to the brain that they are full. Balancing blood sugar can help avoid dips in energy, which may trigger eating out of boredom. Consider replacing mindless eating during screen time with another activity, such as knitting, doodling, or playing with a toy or piece of jewelry, to keep your hands busy while you watch TV.