Yawn…so bored. So very bored. As it turns out, it seems that lots of people are bored these days. A new study concludes that the average American experiences boredom 131 days out of the year. Why are we so bored?
Many Americans are bored for more than a third of each year — that’s an awful lot of bored days.
Researchers spearheading the study surveyed 2,000 Americans and they defined a “boring day,” as one in which there was no fun at all. That’s a bit depressing, isn’t it?
Survey participants cited cost, stress and general fatigue from work/life for the reasons they experience boredom. But could you ever imagine that apparently, we feel bored 131 days out of 365? I wonder what the average American does on those bored days? Odds are, they probably watch TV or surf social media — hardly good things to do with one’s down time and those activities probably make us feel even more frustrated.
I wonder if this boredom stems from a sense of burnout — burnout from work stress, the toxic political climate or perhaps just a general sense of frustration at what is supposed to pass for life these days?
When I was a kid, of course we had those days in which we felt like there was nothing to do. But, on those days, our parents made us get up and get outside or, they made sure we did something constructive with our time — read a good book, draw pictures, even help with chores. The point is, we had to do something, because parents knew that just sitting around made the boredom worse.
Today, I’m concerned that people don’t feel motivated to do anything when they’re bored. Surfing the net or binge watching some TV show on Netfilx has become the norm to combat boredom. Surely there are far more beneficial and rewarding things we can do to chase away the boredom.
Here are just a few things you may want to try the next time you’re feeling bored:
First, acknowledge that boredom is a state-of-mind. Boredom is sort of like being stuck between a desire to do something, but seemingly unable to actually find something compelling to do. It’s a frustration we’ve all had, in which we sit there trying to think of something to do, but we become frustrated and just pooh-pooh every idea…in other words, there are lots of things to do, but out of crankiness, we shoot down every idea.
– Read a book. Can’t find one? Head over to your local Library and explore…that in itself will relieve boredom.
– Sketch, paint or just doodle. You don’t have to be a particularly talented artist…just have at it and let your imagination guide you. Or, you can also try a paint-by-numbers, because they are really fun!
– Color. Yes, they do make coloring books for adults and yes, they are loads of fun!
– Cook or bake. Whip out the cookbooks and let your culinary skills flow. Trying out a new recipe is a fantastic way to conquer boredom. Plus, lots of times you realize that cooking/baking have always been your passion and it often leads to a very rewarding long-term hobby.
– Write a letter. Personally, I feel that its best to use pen and paper for this, but if that not your thing, type it out on your computer. Who should you write to? Anyone that you feel needs to hear from you. On days your bored, consider reading up on the positions of your elected representatives in government…let them know what you think and want by sending them a letter.
– Crafting. Knit. Crochet. Take and old box and decoupage it. Need some ideas? Try visiting DIY Everywhere — they’re a fantastic source for craft/DIY ideas.
– Workout. Nothing gets rid of boredom faster than a good workout. Ride your bike, jog, go to the gym, go for a hike… get some exercise to burn off calories, stress and boredom.
– Get involved. Check out some charities you might like to help, or volunteer at your local hospital, animal shelter, etc.
– Clean! Yes, cleaning one’s home is a very therapeutic way to relieve boredom. Plus, once you’re finished, you have a very fulfilling sense of satisfaction that you made your home look better.
– De-clutter. This is a bit different than cleaning, because what you’re doing is getting rid of clutter — and clutter can be very bad for our mental health. Once you start to see some progress and you’ve streamlined, you’d be surprised at how good it makes one feel.
– Re-arrange a room. Ever thought that maybe your couch should be at more of an angle? Give it a try!
The options for what we can do to eliminate boredom are as many as we can think of. Boredom is a part of life and we all need those days in which we just relax and do little. But if we’re bored almost a third of the year, I think that means we need to do something about it. One thing to do is to prepare — come up with a list of things you can do when you’re feeling bored so that next time you are, you have a plan in place. Want to know what I did last time I was bored? I took a can of Beeswax polish and shined all the trim and molding in my house — not only did my house smell great afterwards, but it was brighter looking and…I basically got in a work-out by going all through my house!