Boredom: More serious than you think

By: Anson Wong

Published on July 26, 2022

Photo: Pitsch (Pixabay) 

Whether you have just arrived in Canada or been here all your life, everyone has been bored in their lives. There is nothing shameful about being bored but studies show that prolonged boredom can result in negative mental health.

With COVID-19, newcomers to Canada must quarantine for 14 days after arrival according to the government. With not much to do, it is easy to become bored. 

A study by the National Library of Medicine found that boredom could develop into anxiety, fear, and depression. One source for these emotions could come from a sense of helplessness in life through situations like unemployment. In times of uncertainty, it is easy to develop a passive attitude that makes it difficult to desire or do change in your life.

The important thing is to engage your brain with meaningful work and tasks. A lack of interest or value can result in boredom and passivity that discourages growth. That is why boredom can be a sign that the activity you are doing has no value to you. 

One way to avoid that feeling is to figure out a task or goal that is important to you. It does not need to be grand as long as there is value. If you are stuck on a boring task you may want to consider what result will come out of completion. Money or another future reward can be a good motivator.

Photo: (Unsplash)

Keeping boredom at bay

The best way to stop boredom is by understanding why you are bored. Ask yourself what steps you can take today to reach your objective. If you are paralyzed by choice, it is always good to remember that doing something small is better than doing nothing at all.

Here are four tips you may consider the next time you feel bored.

1. Avoid the temptation of your smartphone

Smartphones are great but they can dampen your productivity. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are designed to keep your attention with short and easily digestible content. Always keep a balance in mind when browsing. 

2. Engage in some fun activities 

Bingeing on our favourite media or playing games is not always fun. If you experience boredom, it may be that those activities are not intellectually stimulating enough. Activities are a good way to take your mind off boredom. Puzzles can be a great way to engage your mind and avoid boredom. The New York Times released the word game Wordle, where users guess a five-letter word in six tries.

3. Get a certificate

Certain companies like Google offer free courses for certifications such as Advanced Google Analytics. These courses can take a few hours to fully learn but they offer work skills and show any potential employer you are willing to learn.

4. Healthy diet

Another study by the National Library of Medicine found that diet plays a role in protecting mental health. Hunger can affect your mood but just as important is what you are eating. If you find yourself feeling down, consider home cooking and avoiding frozen meals. Meal prep and cooking can be good options to keep you busy and make something delicious. If you are bored, you can always experiment and see what you can make. 

Photo: StockSnap (Pixabay) 

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