The idea of entering detox and treatment can be daunting. Even if it’s your choice to enter a program, the thought of combining the pain of detox with hours of one on one therapy, private counseling, nutrition, exercise and group events can sound both boring and lonely, especially if your current social group is focused on drinking or using drugs. How do I avoid getting bored in a long term rehab facility? You may be worried about making friends, finding someone to talk to, or trying to reconnect with family and friends that you’ve lost contact with. At each step of the way, you may see a barrier that pushes you back into isolation. Your brain is going to be dealing with a lot of challenges, especially in the early days of detox and treatment. Staying open to new experiences can help.
Many treatment facilities offer classes to help you to learn new skills. For example, you may choose to learn to paint or draw. This skill takes time and comes with early steps. For example, you may start by learning to stretch or prime a canvas. The next step may be learning to transfer an image to canvas with an expanding grid, or you may start with a sketchbook, a still model and a pencil. Learning something brand new is great for your brain in many ways. First of all, it clears expectations. If you’re feeling guilty or overwhelmed because you know you’ve disappointed people who didn’t understand what you were going through, starting something brand new takes pressure off and allows you to play.
You may have missed out on play as a child because you were abused or are yourself the child of an addict. Detox and treatment can teach you a lot, and that may include learning to play alone or with others. As your body detoxes and your brain responds to treatment, you might also learn new skills within the community. For example, you may learn to prepare food for others in treatment, or work on other projects that benefit the folks in treatment with you. Giving of your time and abilities to others is incredibly beneficial to boosting the pleasure chemicals in your brain. If you’ve been isolated for a while because of addiction, these connections can engage your dopamine receptors naturally and help you find balance.
Don’t Forget Physical Skills
It’s critically important that you take the time during treatment to rebuild trust and confidence in your body. Detox can be agonizing, and the early days of treatment will not be much fun either. You may find that drugs and alcohol have done permanent damage to your body and that you need to learn new ways to move, function and support your health. Physical skills to help you become familiar with your body can help, such as
- yoga or dance
- strength training or isometrics
- cardio, from walking to jogging
As you grow stronger, you may remember activities that you used to enjoy that fell by the wayside. Gaining confidence in the strength and flexibility of your body, combined with healthy hydration and a focus on quality food intake, can do a great deal to elevate your spirit and maintain a positive mood.
Going through the stress of detox and the work of treatment may bring up memories you had put away or simply abandoned. Keep a journal with you so that you can track the feelings and any discomfort that comes with such memories. Study up on these feelings, whether positive or negative, and keep a list of the memories, emotions and physical reactions. Many people who struggle with addiction are trauma survivors. This ability to survive trauma may not be something you give yourself credit for if you’re beating yourself up for being an addict. The attitudes that you have toward addicts may make it hard to embrace the full benefits of treatment. If you catch yourself ignoring or dismissing the guidance of counselors, it could be that you’re condemning yourself before you give the treatment a chance. Boredom and disengagement are not a healthy response if you hope to move successfully into recovery. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day at 833-497-3812 and can help you dig into the necessary work of detox and treatment.