Growing up, the word bored was basically forbidden. We knew better than to use the word bored around my mom because we knew that she would find something for us to do. Something we probably did not want to do. We would rather be bored in silence, than actually voicing the word and being dragged into doing something that was less than desirable. As a kid, we tried to be smart about what our vocabulary included. From a young age, my mom did not want us to use the word bored as an excuse to just lay around and not be productive. I will always appreciate her for that as it influenced the way I want to raise my own kids someday. To help them have a love for learning and understand that you are never truly bored.
Here are 10 creative ways to take bored out of your vocabulary.
1. Get Outside
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is incredible how when we think we have nothing to do, our mind automatically doesn’t think “go outside.” It is either too cold, too hot, or too rainy. There is always an excuse. However, my mom would bring this up first. If you are “bored,” go play outside. Build a snow-fort, throw water balloons, jump in mud puddles. Use your imagination. There is a whole world to explore, and it starts with stepping out of your front door. Revel in the beauty of the sun soaking the tops of the trees, the vibrant colors of the wildflowers, or the snowflakes gently kissing your nose. When you step outside, the possibilities are endless.
This was one of my favorite ways to fight the boredom of “supposedly” not having anything to do. When I picked up a book, I could escape. I could escape into a world that took me away from my actual reality. When I would write, I could create my own world. Hours would pass, my body would ache, tense from feeling like I was right there, or downright just finding myself sitting in awkward positions. As you flip the final page, you wonder how you got there.
3. Be Active
Love yourself. Value the body God has given you. Moving and being active helps release healthy endorphins. When you are having trouble finding something to do, maybe just go for a walk. Or spend 20 minutes doing a HIIT workout. Anything to get you up and moving. Then you are able to fill your time with something productive, while being healthy and taking care of yourself too.
4. Start a New Activity
Do something you have never thought about doing before. Start something new that helps curb your mindset from fixed to growth. Whether that activity is knitting, crocheting, painting, or deciding to write the next Mark Twain novel. While you are working to figure something out, your mind slowly transfers off your impending boredom, and transitions into a problem solving nature.
5. Get Together with a Friend
You never know how much it can mean to the other person when you reach out. Spending time with other people is important. It is healthy. It is how God intended. He made us for community. Set up a time to get together off the beaten path. Drink a cup of coffee at a shop that you have never been to before. Take a walk on a hidden trail. Have intentional conversation, truly seeing them, not just looking at them.
My sister loves this one. She hardly ever complains about not having anything to do. Not only because we grew up with always finding things to do, but because cleaning and organizing is her jam. We sometimes call her the tetris queen because she always, somehow, fits things into places where they probably shouldn’t fit. She loves taking a free afternoon and organizing and cleaning whatever she can get her hands on. The label maker was her best friend for a time. This is an easy way to combat that “boredom” and my mom’s go to when that word was used. It was not always the most fun way to pass the time, hence we always tried to look busy to avoid this as a possible solution. It is a useful one, however, because you can turn idle time into a clean house or bedroom.
7. Blow Something Up
Now, please do not take this literally. I mean, if you do, please use proper judgement and use of safety equipment. What I mean by this, is have fun. Google a science experiment. For example, seeing how many mentos you can fit into a coke bottle before it explodes. Or buy a rocket launch kit and see how far it can go. Set off firecrackers (safely), even if it is not the 4th of July. See an explosion happen, and then you will not only gain something to do, but more than likely, you will have clean up duty afterwards.
8. Take a Drive
This one can be relaxing and serene. I am not a huge fan of driving long distances, only because highway driving makes me sleepy, however, I love road trips. Driving to remote places, on roads you have never been on before can hold so many stories, beauty and memories. If you find a day where you can not find anything truly productive, hop in your car, or hijack another individual to drive you, and just drive. There does not need to be a destination in mind. Take in the sights and sounds of a new area and revel in the stillness of just watching the landscape pass by with the radio turned off.
9. Challenge Yourself
Push yourself beyond what your mind is telling you. Push yourself beyond the limits that your mind is trying to get you to believe. Go out for walk or run and push yourself past what you originally set out to do. If you normally run a mile, aim for two. If you normally walk two miles, aim for three. Challenge yourself. If you have not figured out the Rubik’s Cube, take a couple hours and see if you can nail it. It is incredible what we are able to accomplish if we only silence the demons of self doubt and criticism in our own minds.
This one might see odd to you. How does resting alleviate boredom? I have noticed that rest is key. We move at such a fast pace, that even rest can be productive. Rest. Take a nap. It does not need to be hours long, but taking some intentional time to just close your eyes and rest, can make your mind so much clearer and sometimes, put you in a better head space to be productive later. Being tired can be our largest enemy when it comes to feeling motivated to do anything.
Sometimes, you just have to think outside the box when it comes to entertaining yourself. The way my mom raised us, is that we were self sufficient. We did not need her there all the time to try and come up with ways to get us motivated. If she told us to go outside, we would jump on the trampoline, or swing on the swing set, or build a make shift fort in the woods. Sure, there were times when we wanted her to join us, but it was for her to join in on the fun, not tell us how to have fun. It will be something I hope my kids grasp ahold of at a young age. That mom will always be there to join in the fun, but sometimes you have to figure out the fun part on your own. Taking bored out of your vocabulary, helps your focus to be taken off of “there is nothing to do” to “I am going to find something to do.”