An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

100 distractions

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by stellaluna, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. stellaluna

    stellaluna Member

    One my counselor's suggestions was to create a list of ways to distract myself when I'm feeling stressed, negative, anxious, panicky, etc. which are emotions that trigger "bad" behaviors. I thought maybe we could all contribute to a long list of ideas. Here are a few I thought of:
    1. 10 minutes of yoga
    2. Go for a walk
    3. Read a chapter in a book
    4. Clean out my email inbox
    5. Sketch a picture
    RingoBerry likes this.
  2. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    There's literally hundreds if not thousands of things you could do. I don't think listing all of them is feasible. However, I've got a few more just to complement the ones you already mentioned:

    6. Playing multiplayer games
    7. Exercising
    8. Taking up a new hobby
    9. Doing something productive like cleaning or organizing your closet
    10. Going out with friends

    These are just the ones off the top of my head.
  3. stellaluna

    stellaluna Member

    Those are some good ones! I agree it's not possible to list all possible distractions, but I know that in times when I'm feeling really bad I tend to struggle with coming up with ideas, or simply don't feel like doing much of anything. So that's where I can see a list being useful. Even if I don't feel like doing anything, I can make myself choose two or three things and do them anyway. Whereas without the list I'd probably just sit around and continue dwelling on whatever is bothering me.
    imperivm1 likes this.
  4. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    I know most people don't have chickens, but if you have any mind of outdoor animals, you can kill a lot of time and distract yourself very well by cleaning their area. I clean out the coop, put sawdust down after it rains, give them hay, all kinds of little improvements that they may not know they appreciate, but they do.

    So basically, do something to improve the quality of life for someone or something else. There's a lot of satisfaction in it.
    stellaluna likes this.
  5. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I would sugest cleaning. Clearing the junk drawer out is always a particularly interesting experience.
    kassie1234 and stellaluna like this.
  6. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    There are so many things you can be doing beside using substance. Anything that's positive and gives you a sense of accomplishment after completing it is suggested. Others here have already suggested a few. But exercise can be done a few times a day in between little chores you do around the house. Anytime you feel bored just go take a walk or jog.
  7. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree with missbishi. When I'm feeling anxious or stressed I usually just take it as a chance to clean up and organize because it keeps me distracted and it gives me a result I can be happy with by the end. Not only that but I also get a bit of exercise while doing this which makes it even more useful, and I find that after a cleaning session I look at what I've made and can feel satisfaction.
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I would also list walking since that could really help me feel better.
    Other that I would also list includes:
    - Looking or going back to your collection (if you used to have a collection like cards etc.)
    - Cooking or eating (which one do you know best :D)
    - Talking with family or friends/ have bonding.
    - Clean your room/place or the whole house if you can.
    - Workout in the gym or even at home.
    - Chatting online with friends or read an online article.
    imperivm1 and stellaluna like this.
  9. juno

    juno Community Champion

    There are so many things you can do based on your interests. I like to have a feel good movie list on hand. I can catch up on a good flick if its late at night or something like that. I also do crafting and decorating, so projects can take a lot of time. Catching up on social media can connect you to the outside world. I also like to scour cooking blogs to find fun things to whip up and surprise people with.
    stellaluna likes this.
  10. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    Not just cleaning, but re-arranging all the furniture is great! Afterwards its like sitting in a whole new spotless room. That alone can take up most of your day.
  11. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    Cooking is a terrific suggestion! I'd forgotten how much fun I had during the time I was learning how to cook. Once I got the hang of it I got this sense of fulfillment that I'm doing something creative and productive with my spare time. It's a wonderful feeling.
  12. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    Cleaning is a huge distraction for me too - and I love it because it's such a productive use of time. I also find that when I'm getting rid of junk or clutter, that it's very therapeutic -- almost like when there's less physical stuff weighing me down I feel like my mind is clearer? It's strange how things like that work...but it does! My other main distractions are working out, spending time with my family, reading, writing in my journal, trying new recipes, and gardening. I really like gardening because you're always seeing results - things grow all the time, and I guess in a way it's a metaphor for how we grow as people in the whole recovery process!
    stellaluna likes this.
  13. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    You are right. :)
    I also include eating in the list of course for those who do not want to cook but really enjoy eating their favorite foods. :D
    Mara likes this.
  14. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Whenever I feel anxious, stressed, or paranoid, I would just read a good book, watch a movie, and listen to music. Sometimes, I write about random things. These hobbies/activities of mine somehow help me focus.
  15. trevermorgana

    trevermorgana Active Contributor

    Make a schedule. Set daily goals. Keep the mind busy with work, art, conversation, cooking. I often suggest everyone should write. It doesn't matter whether you think you can or not, its about doing something, taking the challenge and believing that with constant practice and a solid routine anything is possible.
  16. stellaluna

    stellaluna Member

    I'm not a huge fan of cooking or cleaning, as many of you have mentioned - haha. But you mentioned journaling and gardening... I love journaling or just writing in general. A couple of years ago I wrote a fiction novella and it was very therapeutic for me, and a great way to slip into a fantasy. Gardening is also a great idea. Working in the yard and getting my hands dirty is a great way to get my mind off things and to burn off some energy. I also think that it possesses a very metaphorical component of growth and change as well. I have a willow tree, so I plant willow sprigs and write down intentions on little pieces of paper, then put them in the soil when I pot the sprig, and meditate on the intentions each day. That might be weird, but it's a great symbol for change and growth for me.
  17. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    Not weird at all! I think that's a really awesome little tradition to have! Any symbols of change and growth to me are wonderful things.
  18. RingoBerry

    RingoBerry Senior Contributor

    I'm loving this idea. I think I'm going to start my own list too. I mean having you think that 100 things up and listing them down is already a distraction itself. :p Quite clever.
  19. adfnio

    adfnio Community Champion

    My high school coach told me this one. He said in life there are a lot of pressures and you will com eto temptations. But of all the negative things in this world, all we need is one positive to turn things around in your life. It can be 1000 to 1, but sometimes if you can find the right motivation that one thing will conquer all. Time we all find that one thing. Or you can make a list of things. It's up to you.
  20. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Well other than addiction. If you are feeling this way more than likely you don't eat enough food during the day. Panic and anxiety generally are from your body being starved. So you can add to the list to eat well.