In this fast-paced world, it’s getting rarer and rarer to feel bored. Adults and kids alike have gotten used to calendars filled with activities in order to avoid it entirely. But now, most of those activities have been put on hold in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have all been reminded of what it feels like to be bored.
Boredom can affect the mental health of people of all ages. According to psychologists, it goes beyond just “not having something to do.” Boredom happens when the mind wants some form of novel, or new, activity, but is unable to get it. It can make you agitated and irritable, or listless and unmotivated. Eventually, these can lead to worsening the symptoms of mental illnesses.
So how do you beat boredom when you’re stuck in the house and worried about your family’s health?
The first instinct might be to plan family game times, movie screenings with friends over video chat, and to start a new hobby. These are all fun ways to pass the time! But to truly beat boredom, it starts in your own mind.
Experts who have researched boredom found that people who are self-aware about their moods are less likely to experience the negative effects of being bored. Instead of focusing on how bored they were and experiencing a downward spiral, people who were aware of how they feel had better control of their emotions!
You can get better at being aware of your feelings with simple journaling, meditation, or even talking to your family and friends about your emotions. Then, no matter what happens, you are ready for the next spell of boredom to hit. You’ll also feel more creative, which may give you ideas for how to fill your time. Enjoy the family game time and movie screenings, but check in with your feelings to truly beat boredom!