What is boredom, anyway? And what can you do about it when you're just plain bored?

As the world flips between full lockdowns and cautious re-opening, many of us find we have more empty time than we did during our pre-pandemic lives. With so many non-essential businesses closed, you might feel you have a lack of ways to spend your time — and not being allowed to visit friends or family can lead to some major boredom.

What exactly IS boredom?

Many of us are even busier than ever as we attempt to adjust to online living yet find ourselves bored more frequently. If having nothing to do doesn't quite cut it, what is boredom? Boredom is related to how engaged you are in the activity you are currently doing.

So, as you find yourself with fewer options for activities to fill your days, and each day begins to feel more repetitive, you may find it difficult to stay engaged. Then you get bored.

What should you avoid?

It's important during self-isolation to try to keep engaged, which also means trying not to fill all of your time with non-fulfilling activities. While binge-watching YouTube and Netflix and browsing Instagram can be a fun way to fill your time, when your whole life seems to revolve around being online, it can become too easy to rely on social media for entertainment.

This doesn't mean completely quitting social media, but it does mean trying to find time-fillers that don't suck up all your energy.

It's also a great idea to find alternatives that take your eyes off the screen. On top of being beneficial for your eyes, getting off the screen is also incredibly helpful for your body. Sitting all day can be incredibly taxing on your body, so it's crucial to try and bring some variety to your schedule.

Reading books (they still print them on paper sometimes!) or listening to podcasts can be good ways to engage with media without needing a screen the whole time.

Some boredom-busting ideas

Get some exercise! Whether it's a socially distanced bike ride with friends or jumping rope in the local park, staying active is key to staying healthy and happy. Just make sure to wear a mask if you're passing other people in public and try to keep your distance.

Talk to friends! Though you can't meet up physically, it's still essential to get your socializing in! Maybe your thing is playing online card games with friends, maybe it's telling stories and just catching up over a video call. Either way, spending time with loved ones, even from a distance, is hugely important, now more than ever.

Take regular screen breaks! Make sure to stretch out your legs and give your eyes a break. Taking regular walks and stretching is a fantastic way to keep your body healthy. If it's safe for you to do so, getting outside at least half an hour each day is great for your physical and mental health.

Always remember to wash your hands, wear your mask, and stay safe!

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