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  • Due to COVID-19, many of us are forced to stay at home for the foreseeable future either alone or with a couple friends or family members.
  • In either case, we’re struggling with social distancing as we adjust to a new normal; feelings like anxiety and loneliness overwhelm us.
  • Many of us are also experiencing boredom, but we fail to recognize the importance of addressing it, as it can be just as destructive as the aforementioned feelings.
  • Fortunately, we can overcome boredom amid stay-at-home orders; first, try making the most of your time with your current company.
  • Also, pour your newfound time and energy into learning a new skill or finding a new (or old) hobby that you enjoy.
  • It’s also helpful to return to your goals; if your goals got thrown off track, come up with a new plan for achieving them and envision what it will do for you in the near future.
  • Finally, stay active—exercise can help you cure your boredom while also keeping your physical and mental health in check.

The fast spread of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders have forced many of us to self-isolate, either alone or—if we’re lucky—a family member or roommate. Either way, this social distancing and major change in routine has caused the vast majority of us to struggle with anxiety, feelings of loneliness, sadness. These feelings are widely understood and right now they’re being discussed more frequently than before. But there’s another feeling that many of us are tussling with, that we might not feel as comfortable discussing: boredom.

We are fortunate to say that we are bored at a time like this instead of being completely overwhelmed with anxiety, uncertainty, or grief. But that simple fact does not cure our boredom. If you feel bored, do not be ashamed. Boredom can be just as destructive as the aforementioned feelings and it’s important that you address it. Here are our 5 tips for overcoming boredom and making the most of your new free-time:

1) Spend meaningful time with your current company.

If you’re fortunate enough to be stuck at home with a family member, friend, or roommate, make the most of your time together. Take this opportunity to get to know each other better or develop a deeper connection. Ask them questions that lead to in-depth conversations, like, “What’s your favorite memory from childhood?” or, “If you could have anyone over for dinner right now, who would it be and why?” It’s also okay to just keep each other company while you binge-watch Netflix or make breakfast. Now, if you’re stuck at home by yourself, turn this into meaningful time with yourself. Get into the habit of journaling every other day to keep track of your feelings and engage in other self-care activities like bubble baths and meditation.

2) Learn a new skill.

Boredom means that your brain is dying to learn something new or engage in a new activity. “Boredom stems from a lack of mental stimulation. By learning something new, you’re working a part of your brain that hasn’t been used recently and you stimulate your mind to think in a new way,” Caleb Backe, Mental Health Expert, explains. Ask yourself, “What is it that I’ve always wanted to do or learn but haven’t had the time for?” Maybe it’s learning a new language or even improving communication with your spouse. You can easily learn these skills from home thanks to apps and books alike. If, on the other hand, your answer would traditionally mean leaving the house—like spending two weeks in Europe with only essential items—try to approach it from a different angle. You might not be able to fly to Europe right now, but you can map out a plan: where you’d like to stay, what items you’d like to take with you, how you would get from one city to another.

3) Remember and return to your goals.

Your boredom can also signify a lack of inspiration and therefore a backslide in your goal progress. Yeah, remember those goals you set before COVID-19 took the world by storm? They’re still there! You might have to adjust your plan or process, but you can still work toward and accomplish these goals. In fact, your newly cleared schedule might mean that this is the perfect time to do so. You’ll need to renew your source of motivation to get back on the right track. Try outlining a new plan for achieving your goal or envisioning where this goal could take you in a couple months when we return to normalcy.

4) Stay physically active.

Exercise can help you cure your boredom while also keeping your physical and mental health in check. “Exercise boosts endorphins, has us aiming for goals, and increases our overall energy levels. This means it’s a great antidote for boredom,” says Backe. No, you can’t go to the gym right now, but you can go outside. Fortunately, the great outdoors are not off limits! And, it’s warming up as we settle into spring. So, get outside and exercise: go for a walk, do yoga on your deck, run through downtown. Exercising paired with spending time in the sun will eliminate boredom and cause you to feel all-around happier.

5) Explore a hobby, old or new.

This is a simple, easy tip, yet it isn’t quite hitting home for many of us who are bored at home. “There’s nothing that encourages engagement more than taking up a new hobby or reviving an old one. Whether it’s an instrument or sport, hobbies are great time fillers that stimulate new parts of the brain, as well as release stress and anxiety related with being bored,” Backe explains. So, explore a hobby, be it a completely new activity or one you used to enjoy. Something might come to mind right away. If not, try: Puzzles, yoga, painting, crocheting, DIY, gardening, scrapbooking, Legos. The only caveat is ensure it’s something you’re truly interested in and enjoy.

Boredom is not a new experience. Many of us have experienced boredom at one time or another, be it at work or on the weekend when we have nothing to do. But at this moment in time, many of us are falling victim to boredom as we count the days of being cooped up at home either by ourselves or with one or two other people. Fortunately, a little proactivity can help you resolve your boredom when paired with the above tips. We hope this helps.

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the Content Development Manager at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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