As a society, we are a bunch of bored folk.
When we’re bored, what do we do?
- Turn on the TV
- Go Digital
- Go Shopping
I’m not saying that all of those activities are bad (heck, they’re on my list of things I love to do), but when done in excess or when it starts to control you, then for the most part, this turns us into uninteresting, poor and slightly overweight folk.
POSSIBLE BOREDOM INDICATOR #1: WATCHING TV
I firmly believe that if we are already well-adjusted and an interesting person to talk to and be with, watching a little TV here and there isn’t going to change much.
It’s when your only activity is watching TV, then it becomes a problem.
Even worse would be when it controls your life, and you actually leave early and rush home as not to miss the latest episode of [insert TV show here], or you’re glued to your phone at work or in the car (worse!), watching TV.
POSSIBLE BOREDOM INDICATOR #2: GOING DIGITAL
Going on the internet and heading over to Facebook, Twitter or surfing the web. These are all things that aren’t necessarily bad but when done to the extreme, can pretty much take over your life.
People are addicted.
For the record, I rarely go on Facebook and I don’t get Twitter updates 24/7. I try to control my usage as much as possible so it doesn’t end up dictating my activities. If I feel like reading instead, I put down everything and read.
Have you ever seen those zombies, aged pre-teen and older, holding their smartphones, texting, thumbing, scrolling and replying to messages or emails?
How about while absentmindedly trying to control their rampant, screaming, shrieking toddlers?
Or how about when they bump into you and barely give you a glance with an insincere “Oh sorry“?
It’s a disease and they don’t call it Crackberry for nothing.
*NB: Crackberry is a play on “Blackberry” a popular smartphone, likening it to crack (cocaine), a highly addictive drug.
POSSIBLE BOREDOM INDICATOR #3: GOING SHOPPING
Don’t look at me for being a saint about this. I’m an occasional sinner.
I have caught myself a number of times saying: Gee, what should I do today? Maybe I should go to the mall and just wander around.
In the past, I’d buy without having the intention of wanting to buy anything in the first place.
I’d go to the mall just to browse, only to end up with 3 bags of things.
Now, if I do go to the mall or downtown, I am firmly there to browse (mostly to people watch), take photos of interesting things and post about them.
I pick up something I like, and I think: Wait. I like this. Why? Do I really need it? Don’t I already have something JUST like it, which is why I’m touching it and excited about it?
Then I usually find a substitute or I can’t justify the price tag (even $20 is a lot of money), I put it down and walk away.
POSSIBLE BOREDOM INDICATOR #4: EATING
Yes. Eating. Who here hasn’t picked up a snack food of even hummus and crackers when we’re bored?
(Okay so in my case it’s more mochi** and chocolate, but who’s blaming who here? )
**NB: Mochi is a Japanese glutinous rice snack that has various fillings. I like green tea, myself.
This mindless eating has gotten us into trouble (hello expanding waistline!) and it also eats away at our savings.
Sooner or later, it becomes a habit and we’re 15 pounds overweight, and $150 poorer to boot.
HOW TO STOP BEING BORED
EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS
Being a well-rounded person takes effort and time.
You need to pick up a book and read it, attend a class, learn a new skill, get out and volunteer, or just simply watch new things on TV, not the same ol’ shows you’re used to.
Do and watch something educational. I like documentaries like BBC’s Planet Earth, BBC’s Wild China and other documentaries.
WATCH FOR TRIGGERS
If your mind starts drifting away and you think it might be a good idea to head to the mall for fun, acknowledge the boredom trigger and ask yourself what you were doing before (or not doing) to feel like that.
The first step is locating the source of these feelings.
SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS
I like the 3-a-day rule. Set 3 things you want to accomplish each day. Anything. Then do them.
- You’ll feel great because you accomplished 3 things
- You’ll think: It’s only 3 things. Not 30. And you’ll get them done.
- You won’t feel overwhelmed
DO TASKS MINDFULLY
Eat mindfully. When you have a plate of food, eat it. Enjoy it, savour it.
This is something I have to work on, because I REALLY love watching Top Chef or Iron Chef while I eat. I almost feel like it enhances my food because then I can pretend I am eating what they’re making on the show.
Where I draw the line is if someone is around me, like BF or my family. I won’t watch TV while eating, I’ll actually eat and spend time eating with them.
FIND ALTERNATE ACTIVITIES
Go for a walk, read a book, clean the house, organize… bla bla bla.
We’ve heard it all before, and let’s face it, other than reading a book it sounds pretty boring.. no?
Find truly alternate activities that can be substitutes, that are FUN. FUN FUN FUN!!
So you want to go shopping?
Go through your closet and look for pieces that are missing from your own personal capsule wardrobe.
Read 30 items of an ideal minimalist woman’s wardrobe (definitely not what I own)
You might think that going through your clothes and listing out what is missing will make you want to shop even more but by the time you get through Mountain #2 of clothes, you’ll realize you have a lot of them and you don’t need more.
Or you will end up finding out that you have 4 pairs of bright red pants (really? ) but none that are a neutral that you can wear to work.
Play music while you’re doing it, dance around your room, read up on interior decorating sites for closet inspiration.
You will organize your closet, weed out the clothing you don’t wear, cannot fit into from last Christmas’ overeating bonanza and will need to repair or fix.
Then you will donate or sell a bunch, and end up spending 4 weekends completing your task.
There. Mission accomplished. Shopping fever averted.
Some other activities to stop being bored:
- Go for a walk…and learn how to use that fancy camera of yours
- Flip to a good documentary on TV
- Cook a nice meal for your lunches for the week, dinners, or just in general
- Review your schedule of things to do today, tomorrow and the future
- Start a budget to manage your money (okay, this might just be me )
- FB’s Guide to Selling Stuff Online (Fabulously Broke)
- Inoculate [children/teenagers] against boredom (Psychology Today)
- Technology giveth, technology taketh away (Steven K. Griffin)
- Minimalist Woman’s Wardrobe
- Minimalist Man’s Wardrobe
- Minimalist Wardrobe for Children
- Organizing Jewelery Part One and Organizing Jewellery Part Two
- How I cleaned my closet
- 6 things to get rid from your closet right away