How to deal with boredom9 min readReading Time: 6 minutes
Boredom refers to an empty feeling, mixed with frustration. It is formed when you have nothing productive to do, or you have a lack of interest in what’s happening around you. Boredom leads to nervousness, being fidgety, and/or the feeling of being fatigued. Boredom can also be caused when you have difficulty focusing on a hard task. Sometimes, you even feel you are trapped in a cage, or in a loop.
Boredom is very common these days, especially because of COVID-19. We have to stay at our homes and repeat the same process everyday. Wake up, attend school, have breakfast, attend classes repeatedly, study, do homework, eat, and go to sleep. We have been following this routine over and over for over a year now, which has led to a lot of passivity, mainly in children and adolescents. I miss going out to play with my friends or going for a walk with mom and dad and enjoying the cool breeze and chatting along the way sharing stories of when they were young, and being with extended family during festivities. With the pandemic, it’s hard to maintain many of these interactions with the outside world and it is harder to socialise with friends, extended family, and for me, my grandparents and even relatives. I am very happy that my immediate family stood as a support and helped me adapt, but I am still concerned about a number of people who have mentally and physically fatigued themselves of boredom.
Four phases of boredom
Boredom has 4 phases.
The first phase is distraction, when you try to distract yourself from the present to avoid doing required tasks.
The second phase is loss of goals, and nothing to achieve. This is a slow process, but it can damage a person’s passion to do something they love as a hobby.
The third phase is conflict (a series of disagreements). Without a goal or something to work towards, you will end up having a disagreement on anything. Conflict can also lead to lack of socialising with others, and keeping to oneself.
The fourth and final phase is hopelessness. In this phase/stage, due to the excessive conflict and hardship, people give up and lose hope. This can also lead to aggression, or quitting of the task.
How can you deal with it boredom?
Here are some tips:
~ Trying something new
Finding a new hobby or an interesting and temporary distraction. Doing new things does not only relieve boredom, it can also help you learn new skills and develop a new skill set. This can also help us lead a happy life.
~ Connecting with friends and family
This can help you open up more and let each other know that all of them are in it together. It also stops boredom and gives you something to look forward to, daily. Given that I can’t meet my friends in person, we have created a whatsapp/discord group to keep ourselves updated and set aside time once a week to catch up to play video games and talk about each other as well
~ Watching a movie
This can provide an easy and simple temporary distraction which will allow you to freshen up, and after the movie get right back to work. Comedy movies are a personal favourite and my favourite ones include Mr. Bean and the Hindi movie Angoor which kept me in splits.
~ Creating something
Art can calm us down in situations of anger, stress, or boredom. It can help us focus and feel better about ourselves. It personally helped me a lot as the colours of art kept my creativity alive giving me a lot of satisfaction
Exercising can not only help with your physical, but mental health too! Exercising freshens up the mind and body. It gives plenty of energy to do the task you are required to do. I built this into my routine and ensured that I at least do 30 minutes of cycling daily just after school finishes. This helps me relax from a stressful day of classes and assignments and keeps me energized.
~ Playing music
I am learning to play the piano and even started learning vocals in lockdown. It is said that music has a number of positive effects on the brain and helps reduce anxiety and stress— I love listening to music and learning vocals elevates my mood and gets me to sing along which keeps me active and energized through the day.
~ Enjoying family-time
Playing a board game can help with social interaction with family and friends online or offline. It is a short, yet a fun activity to play when bored— playing a game of chess with my dad is always fun but I am still working on defeating him at the game.
~ Create a scrapbook
We are living in strange times. Might as well record them!
This can help you keep track of fun things you do in your day, and when bored, you can refer to the book to gain some positivity. You can also look at your old family photographs.
~ Declutter your home
Since we are spending all our time indoors, might as well beautify our surroundings. Cleaning also gives a sense of freedom, space, and accomplishment— I like to keep my room minimalistic with just the basics-It’s the place in the house I love the most to chill and just be by myself
~ Learn to cook
While working, some people can get very hungry. Making a snack for oneself can not only provide a temporary distraction from a boring task, but it also gives energy to do more. I learnt to make french toast, my favourite bhurjee paratha and some hot tea for my parents.
Sometimes, being alone can also help to introspect new ideas and strategies for the task. It can help you connect with yourself. I remember when I got really bored of online studies. I did not want to do any assignments nor pay attention to the class. I decided to distract myself for a while. I simply closed my eyes and meditated, then went for my cycling exercise, and came back a brand new me!
I hope these suggestions help you in staying energised.
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