Managing Boredom and Finding Purpose
Managing Boredom & Finding Purpose
Lately I’ve been finding myself feeling “bored” and without my typical ability to find purpose in the things that I’m doing. This might be because since the beginning of the pandemic, most days feel like the same routine over and over and seem to blend into each other without a sense of productivity or accomplishment. The pandemic has also changed my day to day life in a way that has made it increasingly difficult to feel connected with family, friends, my team at work, and the world at large. Since I’ve been struggling with feeling connected, present, and finding meaning in my daily routine, I’ve also noticed that I’ve lost interest in pursuing many things that used to bring me joy. Over time, a loss of connectedness, purpose, and interest in hobbies can have a very negative impact in your mental health so if you're also finding yourself “bored” and needing some ideas about how to manage that, keep reading!
Remind yourself why your doing the activity
Whether it's homework, chores, or doing something you enjoy, remind yourself why you are doing it and why it's important to you. If the activity is homework, you may remind yourself that you’re doing it so that you can get a good grade and pass a class. Reframing your own thoughts about why you are doing any part of your daily routine in a way that helps you to recognize the bigger purpose or deeper meaning behind it can be a great way to have a more fulfilling experience.
Find a rhythm
Routines provide structure and an expected schedule for our day. Having a clear plan for each day will give you time to prepare and feel good about what's ahead of you and what you are able to accomplish!
Try something new
This one can be easier said than done, especially while we are all still living through the safety restrictions in place because of the pandemic. Finding the energy and motivation to step outside of your routine and your comfort zone can feel overwhelming at first but it is also rewarding! So learn that new dance on TikTok, pick a new food to try at the grocery store, or try experimenting with your creative side and pick out a craft you’ve never done before. Evidence shows that embracing new experiences can help us lead a happier and more meaningful life. And, as an added bonus, you may just find a new hobby or interest to keep you busy (or at least less bored!).
Make more intentional time for yourself
You deserve to show up for yourself and carve out time to focus exclusively on you! Practicing regular self-care provides all of us with much-needed mental refreshment and recharging. What have you tried incorporating in the past while practicing self-care? Allow yourself to incorporate a new self-care practice if you’re feeling up to it; maybe even explore some new grounding techniques that engage your senses in enjoyable sights, tastes, smells, sounds, and textures and allow you to feel more present in the moment.
Go with the flow
Despite our best effort to follow our daily schedule, sometimes our day does not unfold as expected. Plans change, people show up late, appointments get canceled, we get unexpectedly snowed-in, or we may even find ourselves quarantined; this can often leave us feeling both disappointed and “bored” because we no longer have anything planned. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, try redirecting your thoughts and energy on coming up with a new plan for the day. Maybe you can call a friend and catch up or play an online game together like Words with Friends, Among Us, Codenames, online bingo, Heads Up, Kahout!, or Skribbl. Or, maybe you can repurpose your new found free time to practice a little extra self-care!
Connect with others
Last of my tips but certainly not least is: reach out and connect with others. They may be feeling the same way as you. In fact, they probably are! Giving your mind a break from whatever you're doing to refresh and talk with another person is always a good idea even if you only have time for a few text messages or a quick Facetime call. Sometimes all it takes to help yourself through a low point in your day is knowing that you're not alone.
Thank you for reading - Please feel free to add your own life hacks for coping with boredom in the comments!
Youth Peer Support Specialist