Boredom.. an overlooked effect of the Coronavirus pandemic
Although complaining about boredom may seem trivial as compared to
everything else, it is not an inconsequential experience. In fact, boredom
can produce distress and is associated with negative emotions. They may
end up turning towards sensation seeking behaviours like excessive
drinking, abusing drugs (for example, stimulants), overeating, or even
compulsive use of social media.
In light of our current situation and the need to lessen the deleterious
effects of boredom, what can we do?
Here’s something’s that might help. Emphasis on the word might :
• Add fun to your day-to-day routines. It is important to find ways to
maximize fun and minimize behaviours or events that are dull. As
beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, what is considered dull or fun is
also related to your perception. So it may be necessary to reset your
mind-set from viewing generally dull activities—such as washing
dishes, putting away laundry, or picking up groceries—as an
opportunity to transform and thereby view these tasks as fun and
• Connect to others. Social distancing leads to disconnection and is
associated with boredom. Connection reduces social isolation. If you
spend each day working at home remotely and feel isolated, the
antidote would be to reach out to friends to see if you can have a
virtual coffee break or virtual dinners a few times a week. If you are a
“travel bug” and feel stir-crazy staying at home, try a virtual vacation,
or even a virtual visit with someone who lives where you want to visit.
Start a virtual book club, cooking club, or a club that studies medieval
art—whatever floats your boat!
• Move. No we don’t mean packing up your things and just leaving. We
mean actually body movement that will stimulate your mind and body.
Too many of us avoid exercising as it seems too daunting. Really,
exercise is just moving your body. Even if you are not an “exercise
junkie,” a short walk around the neighborhood a few times a day will
do just fine while obviously taking the correct safety precautions
• Get curious. Add in an explorer mentality: What can you discover
about your neighborhood? The city? Get up early and track the
sunrise each day.
• Give yourself treats. It sounds like a phrase you’ve either used for a
dog or cat doesn’t it? Well in this case use it for yourself since it
basically means spoiling yourself. Add to your daily routine at least
one small “guilty pleasure” (positive and in moderation). Simply
setting aside a time each day where you pamper yourself adds
interest to your day-to-day routines. It can be as simple as watching
old sitcoms like Gossip Girl or the Golden girls. Or binge watching
them in one day. We are all very familiar of the feeling we get when
we have nothing to do and end up finishing 20 episodes in one day.
That’s ok though.
• Listen to music. Music is powerful. It can stimulate positive emotions.
Listen to music that energizes and motivates you. Or even soothes
you. Music doesn’t particularly help with boredom but it can help with
any negative feelings it may cause.
• Don’t be a news junkie. Now there’s nothing wrong with being aware
of what’s going on in the world. But frankly, it is all too easy these
days to become overwhelmed by the news reports and broadcasts.
We are bombarded by stories that pop up on our cell phones; we can
access cable news or news on the internet 24/7. Because bad news
sells, most of the stories are likely to be ones that enhance our
feelings of a lack of control. Constant focus on bad news risks a
sense of helplessness. Stay informed but limit your consumption of
the news. No matter how much people or parents say that we should
always know everything. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Activities like reading or dying your hair can be fun too. It sounds cliché but
you sometimes wonder that such things are cliché for a reason. Mostly
because they work when curbing boredom.
Try expanding your creativity by writing or painting or making videos.
Anything that you have always been curious about.
Although the pandemic is to be taken seriously, there’s not much We can
do but pray that it passes quickly and to follow the health codes given out.
It has given us time to focus on ourselves as a whole and connect with
ourselves. Work on ourselves even. So as you can see… It’s not all that