How many times in your house has someone said they are bored during Covid-19? In my house, it’s not been so much the verbalisation of boredom, more a few behaviour patterns which have suggested boredom is at play;
- snack eating
- sighing and moping about
- not wanting to get up off the sofa
When I was a kid I used to love that programme ‘Why Don’t You?’ in which there were various suggestions for activities you could do in the holiday time. The thing is that now we are so over-saturated by material to occupy our time that it’s really hard to know where to start, so we often do nothing as a way to deflect the inability to choose. Less really is more. So if you have a huge list of things that you want to do, but cannot decide which one to get going with then reduce your list. It’s better to do one thing well than lots of things half-heartedly. Here is my list of boredom busting activities that can be really good for improving mental health too:
- Plan an exercise programme that is realistic. 20-30 minutes daily is a great way to make inroads into a routine, such as starting to run, cycle or walk. If you hate exercise then what can you do to make it more fun? Listen to a podcast or music, call a friend or set yourself a topic to think about whilst you are walking or running.
- Journaling. Asking yourself some reflective questions on a daily basis can be hugely cathartic and get out a lot of that stuff that is clogging your brain up, this stops you from getting things done. Even just asking yourself, how am I feeling today? or what would I like to achieve today can really get your mind into sorting things out and clarifying where you’d like the day to go.
- Subscribe to a youtube channel and watch some videos on a topic that you like, that other people might find dull. My own personal favourites are a Tarot page I’ve discovered and Russell Brands Under the Skin series. No one else in my house would be vaguely interested in either of those, so that is something I can do by myself when I want ‘me-time’.
- Learn to cook something new. Yesterday my 14 year old son baked a souffle. He loved the challenge. I’ve been perfecting making chicken soup. I think I have got the perfect combination of ingredients now after a few attempts!
Being bored can actually be hugely productive in a paradoxical kind of way. We can learn to motivate ourselves, try new things and then fine-tune what we like doing. It gives us the space to connect more with those that we love and find people who like the exact same things that we do.
As a homeopath I am always fascinated by how people approach periods of down-time. Are they excited, overwhelemed, scared or anxious? Do they have lots of half-started projects and ideas but lack the grit to get them done? Maybe they feel stuck and need help getting back into them. I always ask my patients what do you like to do in your spare time as this gives me a great insight into how they can deal with not being busy or periods when they don’t have to be working.
If you are someone who likes to set yourself a challenge then ask yourself the following questions; What exactly am I going to achieve?, How long is it going to take me?, Can I actually achieve this if I set my mind to it?, Is this a realistic challenge? and how will I be able to measure that I have completed what I have started? Best wishes with your projects!