Making Friends with Boredom

I have been thinking a lot about the role of boredom in my life lately and how it can actually be an indicator of life balance, stability, and mental wellbeing. I don’t often experience boredom because as a full-time mom, wife, and PhD student, I usually have many plates spinning at once. However, in the past week or so I have become pleasantly reacquainted with boredom. Despite having a lot on my plate, I am experiencing time more slowly. Since people are out and about after over a year of pandemic-induced social anxiety and agoraphobia, people with whom I work are out and less accessible and therefore, less work gets done. Instead of stressing about this, I have also been able to cultivate a sense of ease about working less which my workaholic tendencies usually do not permit.

With more tranquility in my external environment, I find myself looking within to make sure I maintain a calm internal state. I’ve been drinking more water, optimizing my eating patterns, getting more restful sleep, stretching, and getting back into my spiritual practices. Whenever I’ve felt bored, I’ve used it as an opportunity to check in with myself and look at my immediate environment to see what draws my attention. I felt so invigorated the other night when I did this. I gravitated towards my old guitar displayed on the wall collecting dust. It was a sweet moment to pick it up again and spend 30-minutes learning a new song. Spontaneous moments like that are teaching to make friends with boredom and the opportunities that can arise.

I have to say — as someone with Bipolar who historically has struggled with intense mood fluctuations and the drama that ensues — boredom is quite nice. It also is a benchmark of how far I have come in managing my Generalized Anxiety which affects me no matter what mood I’m in. Normally, I would pack my life with so much activity to distract myself from my tormenting thoughts. I have done so much work on my mind to combat deleterious thinking patterns that now it can even be pleasurable to be in the company of my thoughts.

I know this period won’t last forever, especially as summer comes to a close and the school year starts. So instead of creating busy work for myself, I’m going to continue to ride this boredom out and see where it takes me!

What is your relationship with boredom?

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

Image Description: A black pug with a bored expression lying lazily on a seat dangling one paw in the air

2 thoughts on “Making Friends with Boredom

  1. I fear boredom and I do not trust myself with it. Whenever it hits me, it comes with maddening anxiety, which thanks very much id rather not have to endure. But I’ve had situations where I can’t avoid both but I always find something to do as escape. But, stimulating thinking there…, maybe I can unlearn the fear and distrust

    Liked by 2 people

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