Do you remember the two worst words you could say when you were younger?
For me, they were, “I’m bored.”
If you uttered that within earshot of my mom she would cure your boredom in under 30 seconds.
If there is one thing that I have gotten more comfortable with since COVID, it is the idea of being bored. The guilt involved in doing nothing and also sort of being okay with doing nothing was hard to shake.
Like I needed to pile that on top of the fear, anger, and routine existential crisis that came with the coronavirus.
Sure, those first few weeks of sheltering-in-place were alive with possibility. There was banana bread to bake or whipped coffee to try. There were chalk murals to draw with the kiddos (Sidewalk chalk flew off the shelves almost as fast as toilet paper.)
If you’re an Ina Garten fan (hand raised), there were giant cocktails to try and replicate.
But as the weeks dragged on, having a surplus of free time lost its appeal. Some of us struggled with boredom. Were we not making the most of this time? Would we look back with regret at that novel that we didn’t write or that blanket we didn’t knit?
Or the fact that we didn’t go viral on Tik Tok?
To add to our challenges were the posts from people who were “Killing it in quarantine!” and “Slaying their goals while sheltering at home!.” All, while we were having days where summoning up the energy to brush our hair, seemed Herculean. I have no idea who these PRODUCTIVE people are personally, but I completely believe that they are robots.
Our brains are working overtime, discerning, and fending off threats so sometimes even the little things seem too much to take on. We may go through the day doing just what we need to do to make it to the next.
And guess what? That’s okay.
Being bored, to me means that my brain has finally stopped trying to figure out all of the logistics of navigating life in 2020. It means having a chance to just stop, stare off into space, or at a television show I’ve already watched dozens of times. Embrace the boredom. Be a vegetable, or as I like to refer to it be a slug.
We don’t boredom shame at Anxiety Resource Center.
We see those moments as a time to refresh and recharge. You are giving your anxiety a break for however long you need. It’s not about time management, it’s about energy management.
Remember again, we’ve never been through this before.
If you are someone who can embrace boredom, but only in small doses, you might like this list of 15 Things that You Can Try When You’re Bored.
There are lists upon lists of suggestions on the internet that you can check out as well, but none of them will have cute kittens in pineapple hats!
*If you are struggling with the symptoms of your anxiety and/or depression, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We can get you scheduled for an intake with one of our amazing psychologists as well as offer resources.*