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

productive activities.

 

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• 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

 

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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.

 

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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

boring.