When you were a kid, boredom seemed to flood over you more often than not, especially in those looonnnnggg summer months where school work was a distant memory. I mean, a kid can only play video games or watch TV for so long until they’re charged up more than the Energizer bunny.
Even as an adult – juggling more responsibility than we ever bargained for – boredom still seems to find a way to creep into our lives.
But how do we fight the good fight and keep boredom at bay? In a digital world, you’d think keeping ourselves occupied would be easy. But that’s not always the case. So here are 10 ways to keep the boredom blues away.
1) Switch it up
Sometimes the easiest way to tiptoe around boredom is to simply do ordinary tasks in a slightly different manner. For example, instead of cooking dinner and eating in front of the TV (you know you do it, don’t lie), cook dinner and then throw yourself a picnic. You don’t even have to go to the park. Simply take the food outside to your backyard and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as you eat.
What’s a better use of your bored downtime than turning it into positive self-improvement? Seriously, if we worked out every time we were bored, instead of watching TV or snacking to fill the time void, we’d all be a little healthier, and probably happier. Working out is the perfect way to improve your body and mind.
3) Pick up a hobby
In a couple hours of downtime, you could probably learn a simple song on the guitar. Or learn a new card game to play with the whole family. So, put your boredom to use by making it work for you, not against you. Grab an instrument and learn how to play. Filling your life with more hobbies and games will in turn help fill those holes to that strainer of continual boredom.
4) Digitize your memories
Sometimes when you’re bored, flipping through old photos or popping in an old VHS can help occupy the time. But what happens when that time is up? After all, your old films and photos are fading from existence right before your eyes with every passing year. So before those memories disappear, dig them out of the closet, basement or wherever they’re wasting away, and send them in to get digitized. Your bored future self will most definitely thank you.
5) Become a tourist in your own city
Sometimes we take the cities we live in for granted. So if you ever find yourself bored – just aching for something to do – look up some to-do attractions in your city that you’ve never seen/done and become a tourist. Who knows. You may learn something you never knew or find a new favorite hangout spot. One thing is for sure, you won’t be bored.
6) Thrift shop
Shopping may not be the healthiest monetary habit to explore when you’re bored, but thrift shopping might be the exception. In fact, you can make a game out of it. Who can find x, y and z in the store first? Or what’s the most outrageous shirt in the store? Also, it’s never too early to start planning your costume for Halloween or looking for that perfect (and authentic) ugly Christmas sweater.
7) Read a book
You don’t have to be a book worm to want to pick up a book. Sure, finding the right read can be daunting, but searching the local bookstore for your next read is a better use of your time than lying around the house moping about nothing to do. And for the kids, let them pick whatever book they want. It should help them view reading as something fun and not something that feels like school. If you ever read Great Expectations in class, you’ll understand what I mean ...
8) Plan a vacation
Got some bored downtime? Put it toward planning your next getaway. A little bit of productive planning here and there when you’re bored can get you one step closer to hopping on a plane to destination unknown. And when you’re finally on that vacation, you’ll look back and thank boredom for making it all happen.
Are you seeing a trend in turning the negative effects of boredom into positive actions? Because you should be. No one really likes cleaning, unless your Monica Geller from Friends. But if I’m going to be bored, I’d rather be bored in a clean house. Wouldn’t you? Also, cleaning can be cathartic, helping you let go of things and start anew. So the next time you’re twiddling your thumbs, try twiddling a duster instead.
10) Get crafty
One walk through Hobby Lobby or your local craft store should help light a fire under your behind to get creative. And I don’t want to hear, “I’m not a creative person” excuses. Everyone is creative, they just may or may not know it. So, pick up some supplies and start crafting a DIY project – a new picture frame, decorate a plant pot, build a yard game – whatever your bored heart desires.
There are so many things to do with your boredom, sometimes you just need a little kick to the conscious to spur an idea. So, the next time you’re on the verge of being bored to death, try one of the activities on this list. Who knows, it may just save your life ;)