Being bored in the pandemic

Feeling bored? The corona virus pandemic has affected every American in different ways. From physical health to mental health, we are experiencing unprecedented times. To protect our physical health the government has issues mandatory lockdowns for non-essential businesses such as movie theaters, hair and nail salons, bars, restaurants, and even playgrounds. And we also have a social distancing rule of six feet apart where we cannot be around our friends and family. No wonder we’re getting bored! Our lives have changed drastically since the pandemic. We cannot take ourselves to get “pampered” or to take our kids out to blow off steam at the park or be with their friends. But is boredom a good thing or a bad thing? Due to the mandatory shut downs and social distancing, the coronavirus has created new meaning to the phrase, “I’m bored”. Before the pandemic we used to think that if someone was bored they were not enjoying exciting things in front of them. However! Because of the pandemic we are bored because there is nothing to go out and do. We cannot go out and distract ourselves or participate in social adventures! First, I want to say that being bored in a pandemic is a normal thing to feel. Because we are not used to this instant lack of external excitement of going out and doing something fun! Second, to answer my question from earlier “is bored a good thing or a bad thing?” The answer is that it depends! It truly depends on the person. The phrase “I’m bored” is common slang in the English language for individuals to complain about their lack of interest of what’s happening around them. Some symptoms of boredom includes feeling tired, unmotivated, and withdrawn. Hmm, sounds me in this pandemic. So what’s a person to do? The following are suggestions to help combat against the Pandemic Boredom.
  1. Identify different feelings and thoughts related to the phrase “I’m bored”. What are you ACTUALLY feeling? Sometimes we may feel tired and upset because of the pandemic, other times we may feel uninterested and need to change up our routine. The phrase “I’m bored” is a quick fix and assumption to how we actually feel. And well, assumptions do not have proof of actual facts.
  2. Tap into your boredom! What?? I should actually be bored! The answer is, yes! When you tap into true “boredom” we are being present in the moment with our lives! We are not being distracted from screens or other things. We can purposefully tap into our boredom by picking an activity that requires minimal concentration. Such as walking a familiar path, petting your dog, looking around outside, taking a bath, and just sitting with your eyes closed. This will help us unplug from the craziness of the outside as well.
  3. Turn off screens and turn on your imagination. Research suggests that boredom can spark creativity! But we cannot be fully creative if we are distracted from our screens. When we are focus on our creative side we can have fun and feel fulfilled.
  4. Daydream about your goals and dreams. This is okay to do. Especially in a crisis such as the pandemic. We need something to look forward to, and thinking about our goals of the future can provide us with hope. If you can, go the extra mile and share your goals and dreams with a loved one.
  5. Pick up the phone and talk to a friend or two. Just because we cannot physically “see” our friends, we can virtually “see” our friends and family. Have an online game night, plan an activity, or just normalize your feelings of boredom!
Boredom is the least understood emotion, especially in a crisis like the coronavirus. But the boredom you are feeling is normal and it happens. There are ways to combat the phrase of “I’m bored” we have to work on challenging this feeling and saying. If you or someone you know and love is struggling with daily boredom, or the effects from the coronavirus pandemic, please contact Therapy Etc.