Did you know that July is National Anti-Boredom Month? I love looking up unique holidays and celebrations. (See, only a couple sentences into this post and I have already given you one idea of what to do when you’re bored.) By definition, ‘bored’ simply means that you have nothing to do or have no interest in the activity you are doing. Boredom can strike at anytime, anywhere, and with anybody. I think it’s pretty safe to say that everyone has experienced boredom at some time throughout their life. Even people with busy schedules can find themselves bored with their routine.

A few weeks ago Annie wrote a blogpost (“Don’t Waste Your Summer”) that was filled with great suggestions about how to keep your kids occupied during summer break. My post is different in that it targets adults (with or without children) during any time of year. I am a high school teacher and therefore I am used to working well over 40 hours each week between school and home. When I finish my responsibilities for the day, I am often emotionally and physically drained. I rarely have the opportunity to get bored during the school year. Come mid-June, I go from rarely having a free moment to having a lot more free time on my hands.

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece. (Proverbs 16:27 TLB)

When we are bored, our minds go to bad places. We can think about the things that aren’t “perfect” in our lives. This same boredom can cultivate bad behaviors like mindless eating, shopping, or watching too much television. I know this is true for me. Like beating anything negative, it is important to be proactive and have a solid plan in place with how you can avert occasional or chronic boredom. So what can you do when you find yourself saying, “I’m bored?”

Help Yourself

  • Learn something new. Learn to speak a new language by listening to audio tapes. Learn to play an instrument by watching YouTube videos. Learn about something new by watching a free massive open online course (see below for useful links). Who knows, some of these newly developed skills could lead to a new job or promotion.
  • Find a new hobby. What interests you? Do you like art? Have an interest in Latin cuisine? Like to watch or play baseball? What interests you that could capture your attention and provide opportunities for you to relax and explore your interests?
  • Read. A great book can lead you to discover new places, things, and people. The great book–The Bible– can help you develop your spiritual self.
  • Improve your health. Take time to try a new healthy recipe. Exercise at home, around the neighborhood, or join a gym. Every weekday morning (during the school year) I turn to YouTube on my XBox for workout videos. Train for a 5K, half marathon, or full marathon.
  • Improve your surroundings. Assess your dwelling for possible home improvement projects. A fresh coat of paint, a deep cleaning, or simply rearranging the furniture can give you and your home some new life. Bring the colorful beauty of nature to your home by planting flowers or crops.
  • Journal. This can be very cathartic in many ways. It can help you get to know yourself better through self-discovery (which can help you figure out your boredom triggers). This can be great for dealing with emotions and helping you learn to reflect on positives in your life (if you use it as a gratitude journal).
  • Plan for the future. Make a bucket list of all of the things you want to do in life. This can give you focus and ideas for what to do to avoid or end boredom. I love to travel so sometimes when I am bored, I look for travel specials and begin planning our next vacation getaway.
  • Connect with others. Call friends you may not have heard from in a while. To ensure that you and your friends don’t become strangers, plan regular outings. Call your mom and dad on a regular basis (my mom will be happy to read this one). Spend more time with relatives you may not see very often.
  • Travel the globe. It’s hard to be bored when you are exploring the world around you. The planning phase alone will stave off boredom. Be prepared for the letdown that (inevitably) follows an exciting vacation.
  • Create an anti-boredom box. Get pieces of paper and on each one write down one thing you could do to block boredom. Put the papers in an empty container. Whenever you’re bored, pull out one of the papers and do whatever it says.

Help Others

  • Be there for family. Aging parents (or injured relatives) may have lots of work that may need to be done. Granted the work might not be the most exciting thing to do, but sometimes the change in scenery or simply knowing you are doing something good for someone else, can be exciting and fulfilling.
  • “The only way to have a friend is to be one” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Rescuing friends from their own moments of boredom can be a double-positive. Maybe you’re doing something with your friend or maybe it’s doing something for a friend (e.g. babysitting so she and her husband can have a date night, helping a friend move).
  • Volunteer your time and talent. There are many different organizations that benefit all kinds of groups including children and animals. Would you like to mentor tomorrow’s leaders through Junior Achievement or Big Brothers Big Sisters? Perhaps help take care of homeless animals with the Animal Rescue League or Humane Society? Maybe helping to give others a second chance at life with the Hope Rescue Mission is more your thing. You can always serve here at GT. If you’re not sure which organization you’d like best, I listed a website below that can help you find your passion.

There you have it, several suggestions to help you should you find yourself feeling bored during Anti-Boredom Month. However you decide to “celebrate,” have fun and perhaps take the time to make yourself and the world a better place.

Useful Websites

  • Volunteering
    • Volunteermatch.org is a great website to find the perfect volunteer opportunities near you. Simply enter where you live and select a category you care about.
  • Massive Open Online Courses
    • These allow you to explore something you’ve always wanted to learn about from some top name Universities–for FREE. There are a variety of options to choose from.
      1. Coursera.org
      2. KhanAcademy.org
      3. Codecademy.com
      4. EdX.org
      5. Ted.com/talks
      6. https://knowledgelover.com/best-mooc-massive-open-online-course-providers-list/ lists the one I highlighted above and some others that I have never heard of.

Weight Update

I hadn’t weighed myself in almost two months. I was very scared to step on, but was pleasantly surprised to see that summer break and a recent cruise did not have a negative impact on my weight. I have been taking two water aerobics classes every Monday thru Friday this summer. Next week I made a promise to actually try the classes outside of the water (I am getting a little anxious about this). My husband and I go for walks almost every evening after dinner. I can increase my water consumption now that I can go to the bathroom when I WANT (probably the biggest negative of being a teacher). Hopefully some month soon I will actually have something exciting to report.