The science of boredom and how to deal with it
A few minutes every morning is all you need.
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Since the global spread of coronavirus, months have passed and many of us have been trapped in our homes, often running out of things to do. Instead of going out to restaurants, the movies or the mall – due to recent events, we’ve been stowed away at home.
Boredom is nothing new to us, especially with quarantine and lockdown becoming the new norm. Sitting at home with nothing to do can actually make us feel jittery, anxious and worn out. Being stuck in the same space with a repetitive routine can make our minds numb due to a lack of stimulation.
So, what exactly is boredom? And how do we deal with it? Research suggests that the science behind boredom is much more complicated than not having anything to do. Studies have also suggested a correlation between boredom and the propensity for self-control.
However, it can be argued that you’re less likely to feel bored when you’re engaged in productive or fulfilling activities. We’ve compiled a list of ways to combat boredom and keep your brain stimulated.
Whether it’s with a simple at-home workout, yoga or even meditation – it’s time to get active. It can be frustrating running out of things to do, and it’s vital to take care of both our mental and physical health – especially during these times. That’s why when we say to get active, we mean both mind and body.
According to the American Osteopathic Association, yoga alongside meditation and breathing exercises can provide mental clarity and calmness, increase body awareness, relieve stress, sharpen concentration and benefit us overall in many ways.
Catch up with old friends
FaceTime is a favorite tool during times of social distancing, and it’s also one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with people. Being stuck at home has left some of us with extra time throughout the day – why not use it to catch up with an old friend? Our hectic regular schedules or constantly being at work or school make it difficult to find spare time to socialize and keep in touch with everyone. But, apps like FaceTime, Google Meet and Zoom are making this much easier to accomplish.
Chatting with longtime friends is a great way to reconnect and spend your time. Catching up on things you may have missed out on can be both therapeutic and relaxing.
Organize, organize, organize
Messy wardrobes, dusty shelves and disorganized work tables – that’s often the state of our rooms and homes. With extra time on our hands, it’s a good idea to put it to good use and organize our spaces. Now that we’re spending more time at home, it’s a relief to have a fresh, clean workspace or living area. While cleaning and organizing can seem like a hassle, it can also be rewarding and good for our mental state.
Disorganized and busy spaces have also been linked to stress and depression. According to Intermountain Healthcare, organizing your spaces can help you sleep better, reduce stress, alleviate depression and anxiety and make you more productive.
Take an online course
Taking a course online to gain some extra knowledge is a great way to be productive with your time at home. EdX and Coursera are offering free online courses in affiliation with a long list of well respected universities all over the world such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, University of British Columbia, University of Oxford and more.
You can choose from a variety of courses in business, languages, arts and more. Go ahead and pick up a new language and even diversify skills outside of your current field for free online – all at your own pace and convenience.
Watch a documentary
Taking the time out of busy days to sit down and enjoy a documentary or docuseries is not something we get to do often. Documentaries are a great way to understand and connect with issues going on in our world. The content keeps you intrigued and educates you on a variety of topics, in turn keeping your mind engaged and active.
If you want to make it a social event, consider gathering friends on Netflix Party or Zoom and enjoy their company virtually while maintaining social distancing. If you’re in the need for some recommendations, check out some of our favorite true crime or sports documentaries.
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