Are you bored? 8 ways to banish boredom from your day.
We've all been there, the daily grind, the same ol' same ol' of another day with young kids or the mountain of laundry which you swore you folded just yesterday (and you probably did!). The life of a mum can be rewarding, challenging but it can also be really, really boring. Whether you are at home with the kids fulltime or working, the daily care of children involves two things; routine and repetition. Under these circumstances it is easy for boredom to set in. And boredom make us unmotivated, unproductive and can even lead to depression if left unchecked.
Boredom is characterised by a general lack of interest and feeling which can make us feel disconnected from people. It is an unpleasant emotion that can leave us feeling restless, numb and even aggressive. When we are bored we can often seek to escape the unpleasant feeling by occupying ourselves with food, TV, surfing the internet, drugs and alcohol or sex. This kind of behaviour can be self-destructive and most definitely unproductive.
How to banish boredom
In order to deal with feelings of boredom you first need to recognise them. One of the ways to do this is to write down your boredom symptoms. For me it is surfing the net and overeating. When I find myself doing either of these things I am usually trying to outrun the uncomfortable feeling of boredom. When you recognise the symptoms of boredom, accept the feelings and just sit with it for a few minutes.
Once you know you are dealing with boredom you are in a position to do something about it. Try these tips:
- Connect with people, call a friend, go chat to your local shopkeeper, even people-watching at your local café will help you feel connected again.
- Get up and get moving. If you are boredom-watching TV or surfing the net, get up and do some laundry, even a quick walk around the living room will break the mindless cycle of boredom.
- If boredom at work is a problem for you, try setting smaller goals which you can achieve with greater frequency which will help to keep you focused and motivated.
- Create a "boredom list", a list of fun things you enjoy doing and post it around the house wherever you tend to experience boredom symptoms most (for me that's the computer and the fridge!). When you recognise boredom setting in, you won't need to search too hard for inspiration.
- Get out of your routine. Routines can be very useful but they can also lead to boredom. Change things up a little. Even something as simple as brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand can be enough to wake you up.
- Practice mindfulness and be present and focused on the here and now. When you are watching TV focus on all the sounds you hear or the clothes each character is wearing, focus on the sensations in your body.
- Be careful of the company you keep. Boredom is contagious so make sure to hang with an active crowd.
- Coach yourself! Ask some coaching questions when you notice boredom – what would make this interesting for me? Do I need to challenge myself to see how quickly I can fold the washing? Can I pack my groceries faster than the cashier can scan them? Can I bang out a blog post in under an hour (I may or may not be drawing from personal experience!).
How do you know when you are bored? What strategies do you find helpful? Let me know in the comments below.
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