For many people who experience problems with gambling, it can become their main recreational activity and hobby. In addition, they may be constantly preoccupied with the idea of gambling as it consumes their thoughts throughout the day.
So. What to do when you are no longer gambling?
If you have stopped gambling or are looking at reducing your gambling, it is normal to feel a bit lost and/or uncertain about what you are meant to do with your time. Have a think about non-gambling activities that you enjoy, which might include:
- Social activities
- Starting a new fitness program
- Pursuing creative outlets
- Starting a new hobby/taking up a new sport.
It is important to make time for activities, such as:
- Taking a walk
- Phoning or visiting a friend
- Reading a book
- Watching a movie.
Taking care of yourself and engaging in new, enjoyable activities can lead to new interests and reduce your urge to gamble out of boredom or habit.
The loss of gambling as the main focus of your time and energy can feel daunting. Seeking individual counselling may assist you in identifying what is really important to you, where you would like to focus your time and energy and determining goals for the future. A gambling counsellor can be found by calling Gambling Help on 1800 858 858. Free individual sessions are available to anybody who might be concerned their gambling has gotten out of hand.
The Gambling Help website has a range of free resources and self-help tools available to download or order, as well as new community support forums where you can share your experiences and hear from others who are in similar situations. Visit www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/forum to join the conversation.