Anytime you are going through a rough patch in life you want to keep busy. Whether you have just gone through a breakup, trying to quit a bad habit, or quitting something really difficult like opiates, you need to keep your mind busy.
Anything that causes such a strong physical and mental addiction will require tremendous strength to not give in to temptation, but you can do it. With a little organization, you can keep busy with these 7 proven ways to stay busy when quitting opiates.
Before I started meditating I thought of it as being something really odd. It just seemed weird to me that people would try to sit in a quiet room for 30 minutes listening to their thoughts. It turns out that it is not odd at all. A lot of normal and very successful people meditate daily! To back this up, there is a lot of research that has been conducted to show the benefits of meditating.
That being said, don’t let the information on the web about meditation overwhelm you. When I began meditating it was for anxiety. I wanted something healthy that I could do daily to quiet the mind and I found a company called Headspace. Getting started required me to set aside 10 minutes per day while they taught me a new strategy every day for 10 days. I challenge you to commit to 10 days of meditating for only 10 minutes per day and report back to tell us how you feel.
2. Play a coed or group sport
You would most likely describe yourself as a fun and outgoing person before your opiate addiction started wreaking havoc on your life. It’s time to get back to being that person again while you quit. Nothing keeps your mind distracted like getting involved in a coed or group sport.
Look into your local YMCA or recreational department for a league you can join. Sometimes having an external commitment to others will give you purpose and something to focus on to prevent a relapse. Plus, you will have fun and be less likely to obsess over any cravings you may have.
3. Begin working out daily
One of the better ways to boost your low self-esteem from opiate addiction is to work out daily. By getting to the gym at a set time every day, you will slowly start building up your confidence again. According to WebMD, your body releases endorphins when you exercise.
Endorphins are chemicals in the body that are responsible for making you feel good. One of the easiest ways to incorporate a daily workout is to commit to a specific amount of time you will spend per day at the gym. For example, when I started my gym routine back up, the information on the web was overwhelming that I didn’t even want to start. I decided to commit to 25 minutes per day during the first week.
In those 25 minutes, I kept it simple, I just walked on the treadmill for 25 minutes. The second week I set a new goal, I would stay for 30 minutes each day, but I wanted to run for 5 minutes and then walk the remaining 25. As you can see over time I started building unstoppable momentum as I progressed. You can do this as well. Feel free to change it up in order to make it work for you.
4. Find a volunteer opportunity
Studies show that if you are involved in helping others live sober this can help you maintain your own sobriety. You can go to websites like www.volunteermatch.org or www.idealist.org to find volunteer opportunities in your area. You can also visit your local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous club and volunteer to become someone’s sponsor.
Personally, I volunteered at my city’s food bank because I wanted to help contribute to other members of my society. By volunteering, you will ensure that you don’t have to go through the recovery process alone and you can feel good knowing that you are helping someone else as well.
5. Rearrange your house
Rearranging my house is one of my favorite things to do to keep busy. Also, by changing your environment you can change your psychology. My feeling is that seeing the same environment over and over again reinforces habits and you might develop certain feelings towards a certain environment. By changing things up, you essentially create a new environment to have a fresh start in.
Don’t just take my word for it though. Carry Barron, M.D. of the website PsychologyToday.com recommends rearranging your furniture to lift your mood and spark creativity. In the article, she says, “An impact on the environment, whether an imprint or a removal, lifts mood, provides concrete satisfaction, and instills a sense of effectiveness”. Start rearranging your furniture and elevate your mood today!
6. Spend time getting to know yourself without drugs
One often overlooked way to stay busy while you are quitting opiates is to stay busy by yourself. I use to get curious about myself when I was going through this process. When the dust settled from my alcohol addiction, I didn’t even know who I was anymore or what I stood for. This was depressing, but it was also exciting because I had a clean slate to start from.
Getting curious allowed me to get to know my likes and dislikes without judgment. I realized a lot of my stress and anxiety came from trying to please everyone while simultaneously forgetting to please myself. Commit to spending a day by yourself. What sports do you like? Do you like movies? What clothing stores do you like? What moral values do you want to develop? Just get curious.
7. Take a class to advance or jumpstart your career
Finally, my last piece of advice to keep yourself busy is to take a class or two in order to advance or jumpstart your career. When I started writing, I had no idea how to start a blog, but I knew I wanted one. I took a few classes on blogging and it has since become a full-time hobby for me. There are many places that you can receive a great quality education very inexpensively.
Schools like www.GeneralAssemb.ly offer part-time courses in fields like product management and digital marketing. These types of courses can prepare you for advancement or to apply for entry-level positions within the industry. I would highly recommend checking this option out!
Now that you have had the chance to read through these 7 proven ways to keep busy while you quit opiates, I hope that you will take action. Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Look at this rebuild as a day to day process, but please don’t just sit around and think, take action. Get out there and volunteer once a week. Commit to 25 minutes of walking at the gym per day. Enroll in a class about something you are interested in.
I have faith that you will conquer this opiate addiction, but you have to get busy. Let me know in the comments section what you do to keep busy.