overcome boredom
overcome boredom

Ever feel like you’re going to lose your mind out of sheer boredom? You’re not alone. Everyone has that experience on occasion. Instead of letting it get the best of you, turn to these seven tips to overcome the feeling.

1. Use your imagination

Bored at a family gathering or business luncheon? Be sure to pay attention to the people around you, but consider having some fun in the midst of all the ho-hum, yawn-inducing discussions. Why not envision the entire scenario as being part of a movie set? All that talk about Aunt Betty’s homemade bread or why a coworker’s flow chart is the best thing since sliced bread (just not Aunt Betty’s), could make for a great comedy, right? Meanwhile, heated banter between two colleagues during a meeting—for the umpteenth time—has all the makings of a drama. Envision scenarios that make a boring moment no so boring. You’ll be able to smile inside, thanks to your wild imagination.

2. Explore a new interest

Why not try to turn your boredom into something creative? Use whatever time you have to experiment with a new DIY project that you’ve been itching to try. Whether you’ve been wanting to try adult coloring books, take up a new hobby, or learn a new language, now is the time. All that energy shouldn’t be stifled by boredom. Give some creative new interests a go!

3. Embrace the quiet time

In today’s society, having nothing to do is often falsely perceived as a sign of laziness. At the very least, it sometimes produces feelings of uneasiness; having time on your hands may make you feel stir-crazy or make think you’re bored out of your mind. However, take quiet time as an opportunity to reflect on your thoughts, rather than negatively assuming that it’s boring. When you become comfortable with the silence and learn to pay attention to your inner thoughts, you’ll find several welcoming circumstances will greet you. Perhaps you’ll discover an inspirational new idea or come across a solution to a problem you’ve been trying to address—one you couldn’t solve because you were so busy.

4. Clean

This one’s a win-win. While organizing the junk drawer or dusting the living room isn’t exactly a thrilling activity, cleaning will not only tidy up your house—it will also keep you busy. Instead of sitting around feeling antsy, getting your home in shape will keep you moving and less focused on how bored you’ve been.

5. Call someone

Forget email or social media. Instead of sitting at the computer or sending texts to interact with a family member or friend, think about giving them a call instead. The break away from your traditional communication methods will make you feel less bored—not to mention the fact that having a stimulating conversation with a loved one is almost guaranteed to alleviate your boredom.

6. Exercise

Exercise is good for your health anyway, so why not hit the gym or go for a walk around the neighborhood when boredom strikes? Putting yourself in a public setting will allow you to focus on anything but how bored you are. From the outdoor sights during your walk to the vibes of energy at the gym, you’ll be sure to forget that you were twirling your thumbs moments earlier.

7. Indulge in some fun

Breaking away from boredom doesn’t mean you have to do something that leads to the next big life idea or new hobby (although if it does, that’s good too). You owe it to yourself to enjoy some downtime, but instead of tackling your budget or thinking about dinner plans, think about indulging in some semi-mindless fun. Search for funny animal videos, watch a sitcom you used to enjoy as a child or reminisce about entertaining memories from days gone by. Give yourself permission to be silly. Sing aloud. Make a funny face for no reason. There’s even a web site that might be right up your alley: BoredPanda.com. It’s filled with a variety of entertaining stories, art, and photography that’ll be sure to make you forget you were ever bored in the first place.

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