10 Tips to Banish Your Own Boredom

BlogHer Original Post

Do you turn to your smartphone whenever you feel bored? It's tempting, isn't it? If you're trying to limit your own screen time, here are some other things to do when you find your mind wandering and get that itchy feeling of being bored (provided you're not at work).

What Kind of Bored Are You?

I have been known to confuse situational boredom with existential boredom. You can banish situational boredom in a few hours. Existential boredom might require a life change of some significance. If you find yourself bored every single day, I recommend a life coach. This guide is for situational boredom, as in it's-Saturday-afternoon-at-three-and-I-don't-want-to-spend-money-but-I'm-bored boredom.

vintage catalog page

Credit Image: AZ Adam on Flickr

10 Boredom Bashers in No Particular Order

I know, I know, you're way too busy to ever be bored. But you can be busy bored, right? Bored even when you're making dinner or driving around town doing errands? Some of these tips require not doing anything else at the same time, but some are mind-fillers you can do anywhere.

  • Take someone else's dog for a walk. Not yours -- that is probably boring. However, animals are unpredictable and fun, and by the time you return your neighbor's beagle, you'll probably have thought about what you'd like to do next. And you got exercise! So many good things.

  • Find a nice, fat catalog. A paper one. It can be Restoration Hardware or Ikea or whatever, though the old department store ones are totally the best. Give yourself an unlimited budget (limits are boring) and pretend you can have anything you want to redecorate your pad. Design down to the shower curtain. For extra bonus points -- do the math and figure out how expensive your taste really is.

  • Are you a gardener? A fashionista? A book lover? Find a collection of physical things in your house that you love and go admire them. Remember when you got them, why you got them. Reorganize them. Clean them. Fawn over them. Enjoy them!

  • Imagine you've just been told that you need to spend the next five hours waiting at a doctor's office with no food, television or reading materials. And now you realize you are not there! What popped into your mind that you really wanted/needed to do while you were imagining being trapped? Go do that thing.

  • Go to the library. Find the periodicals. Stare at all the shiny magazines. Which one catches your eye? Which looks the most interesting intellectually? Which has the best eye candy? Grab a handful and read three articles. See if you're inspired to go do something when you're done.

  • Plan your ultimate birthday party for yourself -- no constraints. Who would you invite? Where would it be? Which gifts would you receive? What would be on the menu?

  • Take school pictures of your cat. Find a variety of different backgrounds, try some different poses. Print out wallet sizes in case anyone wants one.

  • Make a playlist for Ryan Seacrest to listen to right before the New Year's Eve show. The fate of his mood is in your hands.
  • Figure out one item you wish you still had from your bedroom when you were 15.
  • Take a nap. If you're still bored after all these suggestions, you must be exhausted.

Do you ever get bored? Where? Why? Any more suggestions?

Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel The Obvious Game & the senior editor of BlogHer. Find more at www.surrenderdorothyblog.com.

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