How To Survive Boredom

A Few Suggestions

Joe Best, Writer

“There’s nothing to do”, is a phrase commonly heard from the mouths of children and teenagers alike. But why is there nothing to do? A century ago we had too much to do. We had food to grow, houses to make, land to protect and the lack of technology just made these things harder and take longer to do. Life was more focused on staying alive, not on which TV show you should binge watch after work. All our technological advances have made survival easy and more efficient, causing us to be bored more often and forcing us to create new things. But if this is true, does that mean boredom is the core of creativity? Because of boredom, we achieved flight, went to the moon, made moving pictures and wagons powered by metal and gas instead of horses. All of these technological advances have helped to defeat boredom, but they also continued to increase the speed and efficiency of our lives, making more time for our personal enjoyment and leaving us right where we started. Nowadays we have television and phones made for entertainment and those are the things we turn to when boredom strikes. But what if you don’t have access to those things when boredom gets the jump on you? What can we do to fill the void?

  1. Draw a Picture: Expressing yourself with art can be both self-fulfilling and entertaining. There are many different mediums of art and drawing a picture is just one way of them. You can use a regular pencil, colored pencils, markers, paint brushes, charcoal, even cool pens. Experimenting with these different mediums will lead to new skills and possibly a new passion for the arts.
  2. Woodcarving: Obviously not everyone may have access to random pieces of wood or sharp tools to use for woodcarving, but if you do, it is a very enjoyable pastime (especially if the weather is nice). Becoming good at carving actual figures and shapes takes time and practice, but the action cutting away bits of wood can be satisfying.
  3. Create a Language: This one is a stretch, but if you enjoy writing and want to make it a challenge, make up your own letters that correspond with the alphabet and then write a story with your new letters. The end product looks pretty cool, just don’t lose your sheet of paper with the translated letters or you won’t be able to read your own story.
  4. Exercise: Any physical activity takes up time and is beneficial to your health. Going on a run is good for the legs and it forces you to get out of the house and explore. If there is a park closes to your home, running to it and finding a soft patch of grass to lay down on it can not only entertaining but relaxing as well. If you are not a strong runner, biking and skating are also fun choices.
  5. Read an Article: Oh. Great job. Are you bored yet?
  6. Read a Book: If you know what you like to read, going to the library and finding a book you like is a good way to take up some time and if your lucky, the book you chose will be a real page turner that you can’t put down. Sitting on the couch and reading for hours is just like watching a movie, but you get to make up the scenes in your own head that only you get to see and no one else.
  7. Play a Card Game: Card games are usually fun with other people and there are hundreds of different card games out there, each one promising hours of fun competition. You can go classic with the poker cards or find a game that has its own special cards for you to use. And there’s always Solitaire, but in my opinion that’s not as fun as playing a group card game, but if it gets the job done then fine, play Solitaire.
  8. Pick up Game: If you are into sports and competition, gathering a group of friends and teammates for a pickup game is always a great time. Whether its tennis, basketball, football, rugby, soccer, baseball, volleyball, golf, water polo, softball, hockey, pickleball, kickball, spikeball, etc., getting the group together for a game will quickly cure not only your boredom, but everyone else’s too.

Obviously there are more things to do than the ones mentioned above. I tried to keep them creative, easy and cheap, but if your fine with blowing some money on entertainment, take some friends or family members with you somewhere and have a blast. Also, if you are the type of person who enjoys silence and alone time, I’ve found a good nap is the easiest way to blow five hours.