“Oh! I am so bored” echoes through the walls of every house that has children. Forced inside their homes instead of let loose in their school playgrounds, children are naturally edgy and cranky. With the abundance of energy running through their veins, children are accustomed to a lifestyle with back-to-back academic classes, sporting activities and hobby sessions. The sudden need to put a complete halt to all outdoor activities has taken them off-guard, leaving them restless and ruffled.
However, what if we were able to convince ourselves that “getting bored” is also an activity just as “watching a movie on the ipad” or “playing cricket” might be. Boredom traditionally means being unoccupied and having nothing to do, and we are programmed to pick up our phones/ipads/video games to distract ourselves from even beginning to feel bored because it can be an uneasy feeilng.
Surprisingly boredom has its benefits, and the following are some ways in which we can embrace boredom for its many advantages:-
1. Engage in a conversation
We hardly communicate nowadays. Within a family, we observe each other’s physical growth - are we all eating properly, are we sleeping properly, are we healthy - and if we’ve answered yes to all those questions, we’re all probably fine. There is little importance given to sitting down and having a long conversation about the inner workings of our minds to assess each other’s mental health - which is a lot more complex than our physical health. Instead of reaching out for the TV remote, because you have nothing to do, consider knocking on your parents/grandparents/siblings rooms and initiating a conversation with some simple questions-
“How are you feeling today?”
“What language do you dream in?”
“What is your biggest fear?”
“Tell me your favourite story.”
Sit by the windowsill and let your mind wander away. It is sure to take you to places where even your feet cannot, and no number of lockdowns can ever restrict you from daydreaming. Challenge yourself to be comfortable with solitude, and to hear your thoughts without having to speak them out loudly. It is not easy, but definitely doable. Just like you challenge yourself to a tough math problem while in school, challenge yourself to pause, sit in silence and let your mind wander everyday while at home.
A great way to clear the clutter in our minds is to write. Instead of adding to the mayhem in our heads by fiddling around with our ipads, consider spending some time with just a paper and a pen. Write a letter to yourself, someone in your family, a close friend, or a neighbour. Not only will you be making your own day a whole lot better, but also that of the recipient of the letter.
4. Help out with chores
Gone are the days when chores were meant to be attended to by a certain gender of people or a certain class of people. Our contemporary society raises every child- male or female, rich or poor- to be an individual who must be able to live in a clean environment, prepare themselves a healthy meal and wear clean clothes. However, since we’re always busy trying to level-up our other more “important skills” we do not get time to attend to our chores. Use this surplus time at hand to help out with chores: wash dishes, do the laundry, make your own bed, clean your room or learn how to stitch up all the holes in your clothes.
The art of meditation can be a life-saviour when mastered. Start with as little as five-minutes everyday. Sit in a comfortable position with few distractions around you, and close your eyes and deep breathe. Try to concentrate on one single thought while slowly driving away every other thought that comes to you. Using apps like Calm and/or Headspace makes this process a lot easier. Like every other art, the earlier we start meditating, the better and faster we master it. The process is easy, and the rewards are many, so why not give it an earnest try?