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Healthier addiction?  


Has anyone found a "healthier addiction " to replace gambling? I'm so bored most evenings once the kids are in bed and I can't stop thinking about slots and the excitement of gambling. Is there something else that I could do instead? I can't go for a walk or run at that time of evening. What are you doing when you are bored and gambling is not an option anymore? Any ideas are appreciated!!

Posted : 10th February 2021 6:17 pm

Have you tried learning an instrument? I play guitar. I have children myself so I understand you probably don't want to make too much noise and wake everyone. It takes my mind away from everything not just gambling. Could be a new skill/something to learn or get back into?

All the best


Posted : 10th February 2021 6:51 pm

It would need to be something quiet but learning a new skill is a good idea. It could give me something to focus on and distract me from gambling. 

Posted : 10th February 2021 6:56 pm

A new skill would be great or just doing something you preciously enjoyed before gambling took over. I'm recently starting my journey all over again after wasting my life for 12/13 years. I'm doing anything and everything to keep myself busy. Last month I did Veganuary to keep myself constantly occupied, this month im doing Joe Wicks. I love skateboarding so waiting for the weather and Virus to improve before I can go out and do that. Do you have any interests/hobbies?

Posted : 10th February 2021 7:10 pm

I never really had any hobbies, my days used to be filled with work, commute, ferrying kids from A to B and then housework,  bedtime, getting ready for next day etc. But with covid most of that disappeared and I filled my evenings with online slots. So now I am a bit lost with myself!! I like languages so I'm going to try and learn a bit of French. Keeping busy is so important.

Posted : 10th February 2021 7:43 pm
B67 B67

I have been furloughed since last March and my husband works nights. I have been playing online slots on & off, without him knowing. I haven’t spent large amounts, but I do enjoy it. I am able to take a break when I need to. But also missing it. I am trying to get a little part time job but with no luck. I have started colouring and I play a lot of free games on my iPad. I also paid £29 to do an online course, which can take up a lot of time, especially in the evenings.

Posted : 10th February 2021 8:15 pm

I have found exercising in doors at any time is a good habit to get into. When I’m bored, I get down and do a 10 min HIT or AB session.

There are a few free self improvement courses that you could consider, google Future Learn and see if something catches your eye.

Ive also started watching positive motivational speakers on YouTube and have picked up some useful ideas. 

Granted, none of the about will replace the excitement of gambling but key is to replace the void with some new healthy habits that will move you in the right direction. For me, progress equals happiness and each day that you can abstain, the stronger and happier you will become.

Keeping busy for me is critical and learning a new language is a great idea. I was reading that one can learn a new language within 6 months, so something to aim for. You can do it if you think you can.

good luck x



Posted : 10th February 2021 9:13 pm


I have thought about this over time and you have to get your mindset to a place when there is no excuse for feeling totally bored. I know what you mean though and I think we mix up the feelings of restlessness and boredom.

I understand this lockdown is very tough in extreme circumstances. Unfortunately it plays on our anxiety levels and confusion which is fertile ground for gambling triggers.

See if you can get into a book or enjoy some music on the headphones.  I collect some childhood memories and stuff on ebay. I dont go mad though as its chosen to hold some value or even make me a few quid. Take it slowly and see what you enjoy. When the kids are in bed should be a time you can get back to what you personally enjoy doing in quiet time. Im not going to jump in and say start learning something but you can build up to that in a more fulfilling life.

I know how hard bringing up kids and running a household is. Even if you have a nap or veg infront of the telly for a while its better than gambling.

You also have to focus that what makes you think about gambling is neurons creating a drug running through the bloodstream. I know that feeling of false excitement and craving very well you have to do the cold turkey to let it fade. Time is a great healer because it allows your mind to reset and heal.

You can never be complacent again though so keep blocks in place and reporting your feelings to your trusted loved ones.

What I do now is normal things and Im not doing them to fight urges. I dont think about gambling other than helping people on here. More than that I dont feel worried if I think about my life and gambling...That word just makes me sad now as I am crystal clear about the misery it causes

 Coming on here is part of a routine as I am motivated to try and help.

This lockdown is knocking our motivation so you have to keep busy and get around to the jobs you may have been putting off.

It does get easier when you have much better things in your life to do.

Best wishes from everyone on the forum

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Joydivider
Posted : 11th February 2021 4:09 am

I do diamond painting of an evening. It’s relaxing and focuses the mind

Posted : 11th February 2021 11:18 am


I used to think TikTok was all about cats running up curtains and school girls jumping about to the latest trend - but it isn't.  There's a section all about learning new stuff. I got interested in all kinds crafts, even if you don't take amy up in the long term  I find as they are short clips it's something you can pick up and put down easily  I'm very anti social media and just use it to learn. Lots of psychology and counselling tips and ex-gamblers as well telling their story. It's not really a chit chat app like other sites it can be very useful.


This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Amba
Posted : 11th February 2021 2:37 pm

Yes its not easy, to figure out how to occupy your time, now your not gambling. As you say, when feeling bored or restless if was so easy to turn to gambling, supposedly as a fun way to pass time and win money (yeah right!).

For me I find that the only partial replacement has been exercise and especially jogging but like you say, what to do indoors of a night time is more challenging.

For me, am going through a phase of asking Alexa to play me some music and then when she plays me something I like I tell her and she remembers. So over time Alexa is learning what music I like and plays me more of it. Sometimes I lie in the dark, chilling out to the music that Alexa has chosen 🙂

I also find I watch the news quite a lot, cos i like to know what's going on in the world, even if it is skewed to reflect western thinking. But I don't watch anything else on mainstream telly, cos it bores me stupid... all these game shows and DIY shows and soaps... I avoid like the plague. I do however watch a lot of YOU tube. Ordinary people making podcasts about interesting things. I follow some of the contributors over time. Your more likely to find something trully fascinating on YOU tube than the mainstream propaganda ie what the government wants you to hear.

Clearly reading and writing on hear is a good thing to do... as it focusses the mind and gets me thinking. Its very easy to stop using one's brain when gambling. Unfortunately when I die and i have my life review, alot of it will consist of me mindlessly sitting at a computer or a slot machine. By the way I watch a lot of stuff about near death experiences, going to heaven etc. I am a firm believer in the after life. It makes no sense that we just die and become nothing forever.

Anyway, that's me. Like you suggest, its not easy to readjust ones life when the gambling stops.

Regards... S.A

Posted : 12th February 2021 7:49 am

Hi all,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and suggestions. 

What I normally do at nights is to listen to the radio, especially LBC because it is interesting what they talk about, like current issues, a wide range of subjects, sexism at work. And sometimes, they has had  legal advice night. It also stimulates the mind. 

Listening to radio rather than participating in gambling. 

Start off with little healthy replacements then move on to larger projects, like reading a large novel, playing console games etc. 

I hope this helps.


Ps a journey of a thousand miles begin with one step 

Posted : 18th February 2021 10:45 pm
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