How to Stop Drinking Out of Boredom

We don’t just treat the symptoms of addiction; we address underlying issues like co-occurring mental health conditions and trauma that perpetuate substance use. We’ll also teach you healthy coping skills that support long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol. However, although almost two-thirds of the sample reported that their alcohol consumption had increased during COVID-19, it should be noted that 12.8% of the participants reported that their alcohol consumption had decreased. One factor in their decreased consumption might be that a larger percentage of these individuals were males without children. Future research should examine the impact of having children currently in the home on parental alcohol consumption as this may help direct public health messaging.

  • 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.
  • Typically, whether they’re aware of it or not, there was a thought or a sequence of thoughts that preceded this outcome.
  • Activities like talking a few short walks or periodic stretch breaks during the day provide a mental and physical break from usual routines.
  • The biggest thing you can do to avoid eating out of boredom is to consider what you’re eating by practicing mindful eating.
  • Boredom is the best excuse to finally getting around to doing these things that can enhance one’s life.

If you find that that’s not helping you, then exercise is a great one, even if you get up and turn on some loud music and do a little bit of dancing or do 50 jumping jacks or get out and have a jog or skip or whatever. Additionally, it’s important to communicate your boredom with a friend or loved one. The Association for Addiction Professionals represents the professional interests of more than 100,000 addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad. The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers is a nonprofit professional society designed to offer support to organizations across the continuum of care.

1. Limitations, implications and future studies

Over time, this pattern of behavior can inculcate a kind of learned helplessness, so that every time a person drinks to relieve boredom, they reinforce this learned helplessness. That’s worrying because self-medicating feelings of boredom with alcohol can invite health problems. Drinking substitutes alcohol for other forms of stimulation that are better for health and fitness, and, in some cases, it can escalate into alcoholism and require professional detox and treatment. On that note, the following pointers for ending a boredom-induced alcohol habit are for those who want to take their health, diet, and fitness to the next level. You may want some chocolate even though you aren’t feeling physically hungry, stressed or bored.

drinking due to boredom

Our data are indeed very high even when compared to national surveys investigating alcohol consumption. The ESPAD survey (Hibell et al., 2012) claims that binge drinking involves 35% of young Italians, a percentage slightly below the European average. In our sample, almost half of the adolescents declared they had experienced binge drinking in the last two weeks and this percentage is  higher than 50% for boys.

How to Stop Eating When Bored: 10 Tips to Avoid Boredom Eating

This consistent connection will help foster healthy relationships in recovery with people who can support you and what you’re going through in the present moment. Losing relationships to the substance can be challenging but anchoring to others in recovery can be the very thing you need drinking out of boredom to feel worthy of recovery. When you’re feeling bored, taking a walk not only provides a distraction from any urges to snack but also physically removes you from food temptations. Adding variety to your day keeps things feeling fresh and exciting, and it might fend off boredom eating.

Boredom alerts us to the fact that, for some reason, we can’t or won’t engage in a more meaningful activity. If you are an emotional overeater—meaning, you respond to your emotions by turning to food—boredom is bound to get the best of you when you can’t think of anything else to do. The obvious answer may be “find something else to do,” but that can be difficult if food is what you do. Most people drink in order to fill a void of some sort, e.g. an unhappy relationship, an unfulfilling job, loneliness or feeling bored with your daily routine. If you take alcohol away, but do nothing to change those other factors, you’re probably going to feel it. Most people drink to fill some sort of void, like boredom, loneliness, an unhappy relationship, job-related stress or anxiety.

Ways to Stop Eating When You’re Bored

If you’re feeling content with your food choices for the day, you might be less likely to reach for a snack when you’re bored. A small 2018 study showed that drinking water before a test meal caused participants to eat less and feel just as full. Therefore, adequate hydration may help a person stop eating when they feel bored. Various factors lead individuals to abuse alcohol, including genetic traits, environmental reasons, and societal factors. Still, alcohol is a highly addictive substance that can lead to dependency, especially when consuming frequently and in large quantities. While boredom is to be expected and is nothing unusual, some individuals equate boredom with lack of productivity and negative connotations.

Moderate drinking is the only safe way to consume alcohol, but drinking in general isn’t safe for everyone. I know that my increased dependence on alcohol during the pandemic pales in comparison to the challenges faced by those with alcohol addiction. As one psychiatrist wrote in the Guardian in November, many of their patients who were already alcohol dependent have relapsed due to boredom and a lack of human contact. Make notes in a food journal about what you’re doing and your environment when you feel the urge to eat. In certain situations, being bored too often may have detrimental health effects, such as increased rates of depression and altered eating habits (1, 28).

Managing our expectations can relieve boredom as well as the unhealthy compulsions to relieve it. The same study that found limiting portion sizes of unhealthy food found that increasing the portion size of healthy snacks had positive health benefits overall (4). Don’t give yourself the chance to down an entire container of cheese puffs. Portion how much of a snack you want to savor ahead of time to avoid regretting eating six servings because you were pulling from what seemed like a bottomless pit.

Learning to be aware of your emotions, hunger triggers, and fullness cues can help prevent you from eating because you’re bored. You may be a single parent, widowed, or unmarried and living alone. You might be retired or house-bound due to a medical condition or injury. Picking up that drink to get past feeling bored is a dangerous practice that can only get worse.