As we are in month two of this quarantine, we are likely finding ourselves “bored”. It’s completely understandable with services, businesses and restaurants closed (or only doing take out). We have all lived in a world where we come and go and do as we please. To being restricted has been hard on everyone in the world. Frankly, that is getting boring!
What is Boredom?
Boredom is the frustrating experience of wanting but being unable to engage in satisfying activity. That means a bored person cannot engage the internal (thoughts or feelings) or external (environment) factors necessary to produce a satisfying result. Boredom is the result of lack of physical, mental or emotional stimulation. Of course, one would have to be completely checked-out to be receiving absolutely no stimuli. However, we sometimes get so apathetic about what is happening that we fall into a state of listlessness and dissatisfaction.
Why is Boredom Good For You?
Researchers have shown. When a person is in a state of boredom, their mind wonders. When your mind wonders that is where the ‘creative juices’ in your brain start flowing. In this state we can create great ideas on how to fix things in your current life or situation or redefine what your hopes and dreams can be for the future. We can create and put into action. In this state, it’s the push we need to make changes.
Boredom makes you more creative, altruistic, introspective and helps with autobiographical planning. Dr. Wijnand Van Tilburg wrote whether boredom is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ really depends on the situation. Above all, however, boredom appears to serve an important psychological function: it makes people rethink what they are doing in favor of actions that, at least in the moment, are seen as more meaningful… for better or worse. When we are bored we tend to get on our phones with social media and all of the apps that we have to keep our minds focused on something else instead of our thoughts. When a person is in a state of boredom they very well may want to help others in need. Donating blood. Donating money and time to a charity.
Watch this great video on Why Boredom is good for you.
Bored? Start Cleaning and Organizing
Some of us say that there is never enough time in a day to do what we want to do, or get projects done around the house that we want to get done. For some of us, we have gone from not having enough time in the day to now having all the time in the world. Where is the happy medium? Some of us may have heard this from our parents: If your bored, I will give you something to do! Well, for starters, how about cleaning out that refrigerator or cleaning out a cupboard and organizing it.
- Here is some great step by step tips on How to Organize a kitchen Cupboard from the Container Store.
- How about that garage that maybe you can’t move around in? Here is a great video on How to De-Clutter and Organize Your Garage on a Budget.
- That room you wanted to paint? This Pinterest board has some great creative ideas on how to paint a room.
Science has proven that Cleanliness and organization is good for you. A 2010 study published in the scientific journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shared that the more “cluttered” or “unfinished projects” that people have indicated that they were more likely to be depressed and fatigued. In truth, it’s likely that cleaning and organizing helps because you feel like you accomplished something.
Bored? Practice Self-Care
Self-Care is so important during this pandemic. With so many things going on the world right now, it’s time to look inside our self and work on the those things. We may never get an opportunity like this again (ummm, we hope!) We could be lacking in health and vitality right now. We might be eating a lot more than we should or not eating the right foods that we should or eating because we are bored (and bored eating turns into emotional eating). The University of Limerick conducted a series of studies showing that boredom leads to unhealthy eating as it helps satisfies the unpleasant boredom experience. Emotional eating is caused by sadness and anger as a coping mechanism.
We enjoyed reading Brianna Ruback on Spoon University and thought you might as well. Her plot twist on eating in boredom: You are Not Hungry!
Let’s turn our eating habits into good ones. Need that snack? Grab a healthier alternative and stay hydrated as much as you can, Drink water. Under the UCA Benefits page we have a nutrition page with resources to help you with meal prep and have a healthier life-style.
Beyond food and nutrition, there are so many other great practices for self-care. Exercise including yoga helps with your overall health. Yoga reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, keeps off weight, and improves cardiovascular health, all of which lead to reducing your risk of heart disease. It is well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. UCA has assembled great yoga techniques under our benefits self-care page. A new practice of meditation may also be in your future! Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them – yourself — as well. As a part of UCA’s self-care benefits, we have assembled beginner meditations that are super easy to follow. It’s a great way to explore your curiosity on the practice.
When times get too rough, we all need to reach out for help. UCA members have a 24 hour counseling hotline to help with anything that may be a struggle during this pandemic. Literally, help is just an easy phone call away.
You May Never Get Bored Like this Again… Don’t Waste It!
So, bored in quarantine isn’t such a bad thing after all. Being bored gives us time to reflect and be creative. This gives time to look at our lives to make things better… to make a better life. it’s a time to learn and create. The time is now to go do and see. Get that project done around the house you have wanted to do or practice that self-care or reach out to your community to see what you can do to help to make a difference in someone’s else’s life. As always, we here at UCA want everyone to stay safe and aware of the need for more care in our world. Check out UnifiedCaring.org and the Caring Community Store online to help you with your caring needs. We would love to have you join the growing community of over 160,000 members across the U.S.