“We all want to break our orbits, float like a satellite gone wild in space, run the risk of disintegration. We all want to take our lives in our own hands and hurl them out among the stars.” – David Bottoms on boredom
It will not have escaped any of you that life is pretty challenging right now. At the time at which this post is being released we are nearing the review date of the UK’s third lockdown, and who knows how much longer some, or indeed many, of us will continue to be treated to the familiar confines of our own homes. This year has been a feat of resourcefulness for many of us; finding ways to uplift ourselves and keep on top of our resilience and wellbeing has taken energy and creativity. That being said, I think I speak for us all when I say that one of the biggest issues with being locked down is how boring it is.
Boredom has taken on a whole new meaning in the last twelve months. The banana bread and jigsaw puzzle phase has long since passed, and many of us are struggling to keep ourselves, yes entertained, but more crucially, mentally active.
Boredom busting tips are useful at any time, but they are especially handy after the well of ideas has become a little parched. So, here are a few tips on how to spend a little less time feeling bored, and to keep your resilience afloat as we continue to live a confined life for a little while longer.
This is something I have personally found extremely valuable in the past months. Having a structure for your day, however loose, is hugely helpful when evading boredom. Part of boredom is feeling hopeless, useless, and out of control of your life… like you haven’t got the energy to ‘do stuff’. A short to do list for each day will help you to find things to do as well as giving you the uplift of having been productive. It only needs to be short; three or four things. Here is an example of a list I completed last week…
- Hang up that picture in the lounge
- Play the piano
- Empty all the bins
- Try that new recipe for dinner
Try it. Write your list every evening for the next day and see if it makes a difference to both your boredom levels and how much you can get done!
2. Find A New Hobby
My wife has a new hobby. She has decided to learn how to decorate cookies to a high standard. This has taken her away from entire evenings binging TV shows. Instead, she is now excited to try a new technique, or a new design. She is so pleased to be using her brain in a creative way again. Learning something new doesn’t gave to be a drag, and it really can be anything you like.
3. Make Plans with People
We are all bored of Zoom. I think that’s fair. Zoom is no replacement for actually hugging your friends. That being said, even though I often dread zoom calls before they happen, imagining the long conversations about the fact that nothing is going on, I always feel so much better for having connected with other people. Connection is key to our wellbeing, whatever form it might take. And it doesn’t have to be a video call. Plan that walk in the park. Plan to play that PS5 game online with your mate. Although it might feel like fruitless effort, it will nourish you, and, frankly, it will take up some time!
4. Make A Fuss Over Your Go-To Indulgences
I love TV and I love movies. I have watched a lot of both of those things in the last year. However, watching TV on a Friday evening is something that I particularly look forwards to. Friday is my wife and I’s wine and pizza night. We don’t really drink during the week, and pizza is our favourite thing to eat. So, watching our favourite show on a Friday feels different, it feels like an event. Whatever it is that you do to pass the time, whatever your go-to is; make an effort to make it special from time to time. It helps!
5. Put Your Phone Down
We all know phones are addictive. So much so that we, or certainly I, find myself unable to pull myself away from it whilst feeling frustrated that my social media scrolling is boring me. So, I have taken to simply and consciously leaving my phone in another room. It is amazing how quickly you will engage with other activities once your device is not within arm’s length. It’s really simple, and it works wonders.
By Chris Thomson
Cultivating creativity is also an excellent way to boost wellbeing and tackle boredom. Take a look at this archive post for more… Cultivating Your Own Creativity
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